Cowbit seen in 1870
Almost 150 years ago, when the Rev. John Marius Wilson published his Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, this is how he saw the parish of Cowbit:
COWBIT, a village and a parish in Spalding district, Lincoln.
The village stands near the Welland navigation and the March and Spalding railway, 3 ½ miles SSE of Spalding, and 5 NNE of Crowland; and has a post office under Spalding, and a r. station. The parish includes also Peakhill hamlet, and allotments in Pinchbeck North Fen. Acres, 4,590. Real property, £4,591. Pop., 649. Houses, 141.
The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lincoln. Value, £625.* Patrons, Feoffees. The church was built in 1486; and has a tower with a groined roof, and an octagonal panelled font. There is a Wesleyan chapel. A school has £55 from endowment: and other charities £30.
John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)
The focus on the church and its value is perhaps not surprising in a record edited by a clergyman, but it is a useful reminder that we tend to see what we look for.