The Trolleybus Museum is situated in the Isle of Axholme, an area of countryside rich in history; in 2022 North Lincolnshire Council launched a bid to have it designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are also other visitor attractions around us, so why include a visit to our Museum in a tour of the area?
The Isle is bounded on all four sides by rivers and is very low-lying. 400 years ago, it was largely marshland or flooded – the “Ax” is derived from an ancient word for water. King Charles I granted a charter to a Dutch engineer, Cornelius Vermuyden, to drain the land and over the next years a team of largely foreign labourers created a system of dykes. Today, the Dutch influence can still be seen in the architecture of some buildings, particularly some of the windmills in the local area, whilst Vermuyden has leant his name to streets, community centres and the like. You can read more about the Isle of Axholme here.
Perhaps the most famous residents of the Isle were John and Charles Wesley, the founders of the Methodist Church, who were born in Epworth in 1703 and 1708 respectively. Epworth is about 5 miles from the Museum and the largest market town in the area. Their birthplace is now the Epworth Old Rectory museum. The connection with the Isle is also recognised in London – Epworth Street being close to John Wesley’s house in City Road.
In more recent times, the cricketer and footballer Ian Botham lived in Epworth and Sheridan Smith (television, film and stage actress) grew up in the town – and still regards it as home.
Some other Attractions in the area:
South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum
During the Second World War Lincolnshire and the eastern side of Yorkshire found themselves on the front line. In part, this was due to being a part of the country close to occupied Europe and in part due to the flat nature of the land, which made it ideal for the construction of airfields. Our own Museum is on part of the site of one such airfield, whilst the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum is on the site of RAF Doncaster, 13 miles from the Trolleybus Museum. It hosts a vast collection of aircraft and helicopters from the first years of flight, right up to the modern day. From the biplanes flown at the 1909 Doncaster Airshow (the First airshow held in the UK) to Military fast Jets like the Harrier and Meteor and Civil light aircraft seen around the world.
In the district of West Lindsey, just 30-minute drives from both the Museum and Lincoln on the westerly edge of Lincolnshire, bordered by the River Trent lies the historic market town of Gainsborough. Home to one of the UK’s best-preserved manor houses, Gainsborough Old Hall – a must-see for lovers of historic buildings.
No visit to the area would be complete without a visit to the historic city of Lincoln, approximately 38 miles from the Museum, with its world-renowned Cathedral and historic centre.
About the same distance away is York – a city with Roman roots and a Viking past where ancient walls surround incredible local businesses, attractions, shops, accommodation and eateries, with exciting events every day and inspiring festivals every month of the year. For transport buffs, York is home to the National Railway Museum.
It’s also a springboard to the glorious Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Wolds: York is unlike any other English city. There’s thirty world-class museums you can explore, the best racecourse in the country and a thriving cultural scene.
These are just some of the places and attractions within easy reach of the Trolleybus Museum. For more information about attractions and accommodation in Lincolnshire, take a look at the Visit North Lincolnshire and Visit Lincolnshire websites.