Sots Hole and Tanvats are two small hamlets, half a mile from each other on the Fen between Metheringham village and the River Witham. Before agricultural mechanisation, the hamlets had a thriving community with a school, Methodist Church, a Church of England School and a grocers shop. It is reported that locals of the two hamlets claimed the bar in the local pub, The Oaksheaf, was the longest in the country.

The Methodist church has since been demolished, the first school closed in 1948 and the replacement school, which was sited in between the two hamlets, closed in 1985. Both the school and the old pub are now private dwellings.

The name Tanvats comes from tanning animal skins in vats which was reportedly done outside of the village due to the very strong smells produced during the tanning process.

Tanvats and Sots Hole are very isolated but access across the Delph to Blankney Fen was provided by a wooden footbridge which was later replaced by a rope footbridge in 1937. After 1975 access to Blankney Fen was via an infill bridge, pictures of which are shown.


Tanvats Bridge prior to 1937

Tanvats Bridge


Tanvats Bridge 1937 to 1975

Tanvats Bridge after 1937


This photo shows Tanvats more recently

Picture © Chris -


Tanvats Chapel

Tanvats Chapel