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The arms of Kesteven County Council
The Parts of Kesteven ( or ) are a traditional subdivision of Lincolnshiremarker, Englandmarker. This subdivision had long had a separate county administration (Quarter Sessions), along with the other two parts Lindsey and Holland).


The word Kesteven is supposed to have derived from two root words: the Celtic ced meaning wood (cf. Modern Welsh coed) + the Old English stefna, a meeting place.

Administrative Areas

Local Government Act 1888

The three parts were given separate elected county councils in 1889 by the Local Government Act 1888, and recognised as administrative counties. These separate county councils were abolished in 1974 and Lincolnshire (minus the northern part of Lindsey) had a single county council for the first time, although the name survives in the districts of North Kestevenmarker and South Kestevenmarker. Kesteven lies in the south-west of Lincolnshire. It includes the towns of:

Kesteven was historically divided into the wapentakes of Aswardhurn, Aveland, Beltisloe, Boothby Graffoemarker, Flaxwell, Langoe, Loveden, Ness, and Winnibriggs and Threo. Grantham and Stamford were administered separately.

Local Government Act 1894

Under the Local Government Act 1894 Kesteven was divided into a number of rural district and urban districts based on earlier sanitary districts:

The urban districts and boroughs were:

Bourne urban district was abolished in 1920, with Bourne becoming a parish in Bourne Rural District. Bracebridge became part of the county borough of Lincolnmarker that same year, becoming associated with the Parts of Lindsey.

Local Government Act 1929

The rural districts were re-organised by a County Review Order in 1929, to create four new districts named after points of the compass:

Ruskington became part of the East Kesteven district.

Local Government Act 1972

Most recently, in 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the four rural districts merged into two district councils:


The barony Baron Kesteven has been extinct since 1915. Former Prime Minister (and Kesteven native) Margaret Thatcher took 'of Kesteven' as the territorial designation for her peerage, and is titled "The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven".

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