Rippingale Parish Council Crest Rippingale Village Rippingale Village Sign


Early History of Rippingale

The village has existed for many centuries. This is certain. However the age of the village and the meaning of the name is not.

The Name

One theory suggests ' RI APEN CAL', a combination of three Celtic words; Ri (upper), Apen (water) and Cal (forest), describing the situation of the village on rising ground between the fens and the forest land further to the West.

( When the Danes reigned in England, the fens were nearly one hundred miles long and the forest land, later known as the Great forest of Kesteven, covered a tract of land, fifteen miles in length. )

Alternatively, the name may refer to a dwelling place of the Saxon Chieftain Hreopas.

The name is often spelt as 'Ripingale' in the Episcopal (church) registers and elsewhere. In the Domesday register, it took the form of 'Repinghale' ; before this date it took the form of 'Repings'.

The Age of the Village

Although little is known of the history of Britain before the invasion of the island by Julius Caesar, BC 55, there can be no doubt that long before the Roman conquest, the country was inhabited by a tribe of Celts who originally came from the neighboring continent of Gaul. When the Romans arrived in Britain, they found the part of it now called Lincolnshire occupied by a tribe of the Celtic race, to whom they gave the name of 'Coritani'.
If the theory of Celtic origins for the village’s name were correct, this would support the evidence for a British settlement in the village prior to the Roman occupation....

However, any definite reference to 'Rippingale' is not found till long after the Roman era.

Perhaps the first reference to Rippingale is to be found in the Anglo-Saxon chronicle for the year 675. This relates to the granting of certain lands to the Minster of St. Peter at Medehamstede (modern Peterborough) . Part of this land was at a place called 'Repins' which may well be Rippingale. Later in the year 806, another Saxon king confirmed a grant of certain lands, part of which was at Baston ; the remaining at Rippingale.
Later still, the Domesday Book of 1086 notes that the celebrated Saxon Hero, Hereward the Wake, had at one time rented land in Rippingale.
By this time there was already a stone built church in Rippingale but no trace remains.

The oldest part of the present church is the entrance porch, built perhaps one hundred years after the Domesday Survey was made. It was probably added to an older building and was then allowed to remain when the rest of the church was rebuilt from about the year 1300 onwards.

© Phil Rippingale