The village of Torksey lies on the A156, approximately nine miles north west of Lincoln and nine miles south of Gainsborough. There is some evidence of prehistoric activity, but Torksey did not develop as a settlement until the Roman period. The name is probably Saxon in origin, from Torca’s ey meaning Torca’s island.
The Roman road, which is now known as Tillbridge Lane, runs to the North of Torksey at Marton. However, Torksey’s importance is mostly due to the construction of a Roman canal, the Foss Dyke, which linked Brayford Pool and the River Witham to the River Trent. With the construction of the Foss Dyke Torksey begins to develop into a port, and it is thought that this waterway was the Roman supply route that carried grain to the northern legions.
Torksey becomes an important town in the late Saxon and Viking era and in AD 873; the Viking Danish army established its winter headquarters at Torksey. It became something of a regional capital. A Viking king was crowned here and a coin mint was also established. An important pottery industry was also developed at Torksey, the proximity of the river being a vital part of this industry.
Torksey became an important Port in the early medieval period, but its prosperity depended on the state of the Foss Dyke canal, which was always silting up. Henry 1 restored the canal in 1121 as the town was quite important, and it is known that there were three Churches and two Monasteries at Torksey in 1291. The town’s prosperity depended on river traffic and the tolls charged on goods passing along the River Trent.
However, the Foss Dyke kept silting up, and there are many complaints recorded between 1335 and 1432. It is highly likely that this problem contributed to the decline of Torksey during the fifteenth century.
Present day Torksey has one Church, St Peter’s, and the Foss Dyke is still well used with pleasure craft making good use of the moorings just east of the lock basin. In September 2004 an interpretive centre was opened at Torksey Lock telling the history of the waterway and the port.
Approximately 700 people live in the parish.
There is one public house, The Hume Arms and a Post Office in the Villge Church Tuesdays 9.30-12.30