Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Lincoln is a cathedral city and county town with a population of more than ninety thousand residents. It is a vibrant and busy city, rich with tradition and history, bold with all that is new and modern.

The earliest origins of Lincoln can be traced to the remains of an Iron Age settlement of round wooden dwellings which pre-date the calender. This settlement was built by a deep pool (the modern Brayford Pool) but it is not possible to know how big the original site was as its remains are now buried deep beneath the later Roman and medieval ruins, as well as the modern Lincoln.

In the 1st century, during the Roman conquest of Britain, a legionary fortress was constructed high on a hill overlooking the natural lake formed by the widening of the River Witham and at the northern end of the Fosse Way Roman Road (A46). The Celtic name Lindon was subsequently Latinized to Lindum and given the title Colonia when it was converted into a settlement for army veterans. Accessible from the sea both through the River Trent and through the River Witham, the town flourished but four centuries later saw much decline and the town was mostly abandoned.

After the Norse raids, Lincoln once again rose to some importance, with overseas trading connections. During the 9th century it became established as one of The Five Boroughs in the East Midlands and its economy was massively boosted with the settlement of the Danes. In the late 11th century, after the Norman conquest, William I ordered Lincoln Castle to be built on the site of the former Roman settlement. The first Lincoln Cathedral was completed during the late 11th century but was rebuilt after fire and an earthquake destroyed it in the late 12th century. The rebuilt Lincoln Cathedral is on a magnificent scale, its crossing tower crowned by a spire reputed, though not confirmed, to be the highest in Europe. It is truly an iconic building, of outstanding and breathtaking Gothic architecture, and few journey to Lincolnshire without visiting it. When Magna Carta was drawn up in 1215, one of the witnesses was Hugh of Wells, Bishop of Lincoln. One of only four surviving originals of the document is preserved in Lincoln Castle.

During the 14th century, the city's fortunes began to decline; flooding and disease were commonplace, trade was poor, income from the Church was little, monasteries were closed, the Church spire rotted and collapsed, it was ultimately a grim and harrowing period. Things became even worse during the 17th century English Civil War; Lincoln was on the frontier between the Royalist and Parliamentary forces and changed hands several times with damage to buildings and sacking. The town lacked industry and while the rest of the country was beginning to prosper it suffered immensely.

With the Agricultural Revolution and the re-opening of the Foss Dyke canal, Lincoln began to see an upturn with coal and other raw materials vital to industry to be more easily brought into the city. Boundaries expanded to include the West Common and, to this day, an annual Beat the Boundaries walk takes place along the perimeter of the common. Coupled with the arrival of the railway links, Lincoln boomed again during the Industrial Revolution, and began to excel in heavy engineering, building diesel engine locomotives, steam shovels and all manner of heavy machinery.

Modern Lincoln is a all that a city should be. Transport can be made by train, bus, taxi and car with a number of multi-storey car parks. There is plenty of shopping on offer, especially Lincoln High Street, chain stores, shopping centres, numerous local indepedent shops, an indoor market and retail parks. There is a wide variety of places to eat and drink, from cafes to fast food outlets, takeaways to department store restaurants. There are parks, bridges, open squares, walkways and canal banks to enjoy and historical buildings to visit inlcuding The Collection Museum and the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.

Never has the phrase "Something for everyone..." ever been so apt as to describe the city of Lincoln.