Historical ‘facts’ are wrong says author

Nancy Snowdon
Nancy Snowdon
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AMATEUR historian Nancy Snowdon asked Spalding Library to take down new display boards about the town’s history, claiming some facts are wrong.

She described the body of knowledge drawn on to create the boards as “absolute balls.”

But library chiefs refused to remove the boards, put up in the library’s entrance after its refit a year ago, saying to the best of their knowledge they are correct.

Nancy, whose latest book about the first Norman Lord of Spalding Manor came out in December, said: “When we moved to the area 11 years ago I realised there was nobody who’d written a proper history of Spalding.

“There was nothing before Alderman Gooch in the last century, and he was a cut and paste man who copied what others had written.

“As a result there’s a corpus of traditional history handed down, most of which is absolute balls.

“You just have to look at the boards in the library - they’re not right, but the library won’t take them down.”

Nancy has researched and written three books on local history since moving to Spalding in 2005.

Her newly published Ivo Taillbois, about the larger-than-life Norman Lord whose wife Lucy she credits with founding the Priory years after the 1066 Conquest, directly contradicts the display’s statement that Spalding Priory was founded in 1051.

And her previous study Ayscoughfee A Great Place in Spalding asserts that there is no evidence of any connection between the Ayscough family and the hall named after them, whereas the display says otherwise - that they are “reputed to have owned it in the 16th century.”

A spokesman for Lincolnshire Libraries said: “We welcome Mrs Snowdon’s suggestions about the history of Spalding, and she will appreciate that much of history is down to the interpretation of records.

“We did not remove the boards at her request because, to the best of our knowledge, they are historically accurate.

“We have based the concise information on the notice boards on the most accurate facts that we have available, and have received no other complaints.”

“It is intended to be a quick snapshot of Spalding’s history, as a point of interest for visitors, rather than a detailed historical account.”