Willoughby Arms History

Situated opposite the village railway station on the Great Northern Line, The Willoughby Arms was originally known as The Steam Plough Inn. The Willoughby Arms has had several owners, the current proprietors taking over in January 2007.

willoughby arms pub


Built in 1853 it started life as the booking office and waiting room for a stretch of railway line owned privately by the 21st Lord Willoughby of Grimsthorpe. The railway track, established by Lord Willoughby in 1855, stretched around what was The Grimsthorpe Estate Deer Park up to the castle at Edenham and served five trains a day including both passenger and goods wagons.


It crossed in to Little Bytham station, which was considered to be the busiest station between Peterborough and Grantham, right in front of the stone building which later became the pub.

Regular traffic on the main railway line during the heyday of steam included The Flying Scotsman and the Sir Nigel Greasley.

Most significantly of all, in 1937 the line was the site of a record which endures today, when The Mallard became the world’s fastest steam locomotive reaching a speed of 126.5mph.
willoughby arms mallard


As well as supporting the railway industry The Willoughby Arms and its outbuildings have been used as a water tower and as a butcher’s shop in conjunction with an abattoir which was located in what is now the bungalow next door.

To this day, the field at the back is still known as Slaughterhouse Field.