|To:||Maltby le Marsh (TF464814)|
|Distance:||27 miles (43.5 km)|
|Meets:||A158, B1225, A631, A16, B1200, B1520, B1373, A1104|
|Former Number(s):||B1196, B1373|
|Old route now:||A158, B1200|
|Route outline (key)|
The road starts at a mini-roundabout on the A158 in the centre of Wragby. It heads northeastwards out of town to go through West and East Barkwith before climbing into the Wolds. In Hainton the road bends sharply left then right to head in a more easterly direction.
After crossing the B1225 the road descends to cross a couple of valleys before continuing along the top. It then descends along the valley of a small stream to a T-junction where it meets the A631 from Gainsborough, coming in from the left, and shortly afterwards a roundabout junction with the A16 Louth bypass.
Originally the A157 continued ahead into town (along what is currently the B1200) but it now multiplexes along the bypass, which meets the A153 before the A157 regains its number at another roundabout. It is now the A157's turn to form the bypass, which ends at the next roundabout where our road cannons off the B1200 to rejoin its old eastbound route.
The next few miles run vaguely southeastwards. "Vaguely", because the road is so winding that it rarely stays on the same heading for more than a few hundred yards; on the map the road is just one long zigzag. It's not even as though the road bends to avoid steep gradients: the terrain here is almost completely flat.
After going through Legbourne the A157 continues to wind through the fields. It passes through the scattered villages of North and South Reston before crossing the River Great Eau. The old bridge has been bypassed and is now a layby. The road next enters Withern where it meets the B1373 at a junction on a bend.
Our route runs north-east and south-east again, passing to the south of Strubby, which originally lay on the line of the A157; unusually the road has been straightened here. A few hundred yards further on, the road enters Maltby le Marsh, where it ends at a T-junction on the A1104.
In the 1922 Road Lists the A157 ran from the A15 in Lincoln to the A16 in Louth. By 1932 it had been extended eastwards along an erstwhile section of the B1196 as far as Withern and then took over the entire length of the B1373 to reach Maltby le Marsh. The plan was presumably to establish a continuously numbered route from Lincoln to the coast, although the extended road still ended on the A1104 and never actually reached Mablethorpe.
In 1935, presumably reflecting the increased importance of Skegness over Mablethorpe as a seaside destination, the western end of the route (from Lincoln to Wragby) was renumbered to become a part of the A158, and the A157 has retained this Wragby to Maltby itinerary (the Louth bypass aside) to this day.