Lincoln, England

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Lindon, Lindum Colonia
City of Lincoln
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Flag of Lincoln.svg
Lincoln UK locator map.svg
Shown within Lincolnshire
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Location in the East Midlands
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Location in United Kingdom
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Location in Europe
Coordinates: 53°13′42″N0°32′20″W / 53.22833°N 0.53889°W / 53.22833; -0.53889 Coordinates: 53°13′42″N0°32′20″W / 53.22833°N 0.53889°W / 53.22833; -0.53889
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region East Midlands
Ceremonial county Lincolnshire
City status 1072
Incorporated1 April 1974
Administrative centre Guildhall and Stonebow
Areas of the city
(2011 census BUASD)
  Type Non-metropolitan district
  Body City of Lincoln Council
   Leadership Leader and cabinet
   Executive Labour
   Mayor Rosanne Kirk (Lab)
  Council LeaderRic Metcalfe (Lab)
   City and borough 13.78 sq mi (35.69 km2)
   City and borough 103,813
  Rank232nd (of 309)
  Density1,780/sq mi (687/km2)
189,000 [1]
92.2% White
3.2% Asian
2% Mixed race
0.9% Chinese
1.4% African
0.3 Arab
Demonym(s) Lincolnian, Lincolnite, Lincolner
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areas
Dialling codes 01522
ONS code 32UD (ONS)
E07000138 (GSS)
OS grid reference SK9771
Primary airports Humberside, East Midlands
Member of Parliament Karl McCartney (Con)

Lincoln ( /ˈlɪŋkən/ ) is a cathedral city and district in Lincolnshire, England, of which it is the county town. In the 2021 Census, the Lincoln district had a population of 103,813. [2] The 2011 census gave the urban area of Lincoln, including North Hykeham and Waddington, a population of 115,000. [3]


Roman Lindum Colonia developed from an Iron Age settlement on the River Witham. Landmarks include Lincoln Cathedral (English Gothic architecture; for over 200 years the world's tallest building) and the 11th-century Norman Lincoln Castle. The city hosts the University of Lincoln, Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln City F.C. and Lincoln United F.C.. Lincoln is the largest settlement in Lincolnshire, with the towns of Grimsby second largest and Scunthorpe third.


Earliest history

Brayford Pool Brayford Pool - - 107133.jpg
Brayford Pool

The earliest origins of Lincoln can be traced to remains of an Iron Age settlement of round wooden dwellings, discovered by archaeologists in 1972, which have been dated to the 1st century BCE. [4] It was built by a deep pool (now Brayford Pool) in the River Witham at the foot of a large hill, on which the Normans later built Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle).

Lincoln Castle Lincoln Castle view.jpg
Lincoln Castle

The name Lincoln may come from this period, when the settlement is thought to have been named in the Brittonic language of Iron Age Britain's Celtic inhabitants as Lindon, "The Pool", [5] presumably referring to Brayford Pool (compare the etymology of Dublin, from the Gaelic dubh linn "black pool"). The extent of the original settlement is unknown, as its remains are buried beneath the later Roman and medieval ruins and modern Lincoln.

Lindum Colonia

Newport Arch, a 3rd-century Roman gate Newport Arch.jpg
Newport Arch, a 3rd-century Roman gate

The Romans conquered this part of Britain in 48 CE and soon built a legionary fortress high on a hill overlooking the natural lake, Brayford Pool, formed by the widening of the River Witham, and the northern end of the Fosse Way Roman road (A46). Celtic Lindon was later Latinised to Lindum and the title Colonia added when it became settled by army veterans. [6]

The conversion to a colonia occurred when the legion moved on to York (Eboracum) in 71 CE. Lindum colonia or more fully, Colonia Domitiana Lindensium, after the then Emperor Domitian, was set up within the walls of the hilltop fortress by extending it with about an equal area, down the hillside to the waterside.

It became a flourishing settlement accessible from the sea through the River Trent and through the River Witham. On the basis of a patently corrupt list of British bishops said to have attended the 314 Council of Arles, the city is often seen as having been the capital of the province of Flavia Caesariensis, formed during the late 3rd-century Diocletian Reforms. Subsequently, the town and its waterways declined. By the close of the 5th century, it was largely deserted, although some occupation continued under a Praefectus CivitatisSaint Paulinus visited a man holding this office in Lincoln in 629 CE.


East Gate, Lincoln Castle Lincoln Castle, Lincoln - - 689665.jpg
East Gate, Lincoln Castle

Germanic tribes from the North Sea area settled Lincolnshire in the 5th to 6th centuries. The Latin Lindum Colonia shrank in Old English to Lindocolina, then to Lincylene. [7]

After the first Viking raids, the city again rose to some importance with overseas trading ties. In Viking times Lincoln had its own mint, by far the most important in Lincolnshire and by the end of the 10th century, comparable in output to that of York. [8] After establishment of the Danelaw in 886, Lincoln became one of the Five East Midland Boroughs. Excavations at Flaxengate reveal that an area deserted since Roman times received timber-framed buildings fronting a new street system in about 900. [9] Lincoln underwent an economic explosion with the settlement of the Danes. Like York, the Upper City seems to have had purely administrative functions up to 850 or so, while the Lower City, down the hill towards the River Witham, may have been largely deserted. By 950, however, the Witham banks were developed, the Lower City resettled and the suburb of Wigford emerging as a trading centre. In 1068, two years after the Norman conquest of England, William I ordered Lincoln Castle to be built on the site of the old Roman settlement, for the same strategic reasons and controlling the same road. [10]

Green cloth

Coat of arms of King James I added in 1617 when the monarch visited the city for nine days Lincoln Guildhall Coat of arms.JPG
Coat of arms of King James I added in 1617 when the monarch visited the city for nine days

During the Anarchy, in 1141 Lincoln was the site of a battle between King Stephen and the forces of Empress Matilda, led by her illegitimate half-brother Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester. After fierce fighting in the city streets, Stephen's forces were defeated and Stephen himself captured and taken to Bristol.

By 1150, Lincoln was among the wealthiest towns in England, based economically on cloth and wool exported to Flanders; Lincoln weavers had set up a guild in 1130 to produce Lincoln Cloth, especially the fine dyed "scarlet" and "green", whose reputation was later enhanced by the legendary Robin Hood wearing woollens of Lincoln green. In the Guildhall, surmounting the city gate called the Stonebow, the ancient Council Chamber contains Lincoln's civic insignia, a fine collection of civic regalia.

Outside the precincts of cathedral and castle, the old quarter clustered round the Bailgate and down Steep Hill to the High Bridge, whose half-timbered housing juts out over the river. There are three ancient churches: St Mary le Wigford and St Peter at Gowts, both 11th century in origin, and St Mary Magdalene, from the late 13th century. The last is an unusual English dedication to a saint whose cult was coming into vogue on the European continent at the time.

12th-century Jew's House Jew's House, Lincoln.jpg
12th-century Jew's House

Lincoln was home to one of five main Jewish communities in England, well established before it was officially noted in 1154. In 1190, anti-Semitic riots that started in King's Lynn, Norfolk, spread to Lincoln; the Jewish community took refuge with royal officials, but their homes were plundered. The so-called House of Aaron has a two-storey street frontage that is essentially 12th century and a nearby Jew's House likewise bears witness to the Jewish population. [11] [12] [13] In 1255, the affair called "The Libel of Lincoln" in which prominent Lincoln Jews, accused of ritual murder of a Christian boy (Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln in medieval folklore) were sent to the Tower of London and 18 executed. [13] The Jews were all expelled in 1290. [13]

Frontage of Jews' Court on Steep Hill Jew's Court, Lincoln.jpg
Frontage of Jews' Court on Steep Hill

Thirteenth-century Lincoln was England's third largest city and a favourite of more than one king. In the First Barons' War it was caught in the strife between the king and rebel barons allied with the French. Here and at Dover the French and Rebel army was defeated. Thereafter the town was pillaged for having sided with Prince Louis. [14] In the Second Barons' War, of 1266, the disinherited rebels attacked the Jews of Lincoln, ransacked the synagogue and burned the records that registered debts. [15]

Decline, dissolution and damage

Some historians have the city's fortunes declining from the 14th century, but others argue that it remained buoyant in trade and communications well into the 15th. In 1409, the city became a county corporate: the County of the City of Lincoln, formerly part of the West Riding of Lindsey since at least the time of the Domesday Book . Additional rights were then conferred by successive monarchs, including those of an assay town (controlling metal manufacturing, for example). [16] The oldest surviving secular drama in English, The Interlude of the Student and the Girl (c. 1300), may have originated from Lincoln.

Lincoln's coat of arms, not officially endorsed by the College of Arms, is believed to date from the 14th century. It is Argent on a cross gules a fleur-de-lis or . The cross is believed to derive from the Diocese. The fleur-de-lis symbolises the cathedral dedication to the Virgin Mary. The motto is CIVITAS LINCOLNIA ("City of Lincoln"). [17]

16th-century High Bridge High Bridge, High Street, Lincoln.jpg
16th-century High Bridge

The dissolution of the monasteries cut Lincoln's main source of diocesan income and dried up the network of patronage controlled by the bishop. Seven monasteries closed in the city alone, as did several nearby abbeys, which further diminished the region's political power. A symbol of Lincoln's economic and political decline came in 1549, when the cathedral's great spire rotted and collapsed and was not replaced. However, the comparative poverty of post-medieval Lincoln preserved pre-medieval structures that would probably have been lost under more prosperous conditions.

The west front of Lincoln Cathedral viewed through the Exchequer Gate, one of a number of surviving gates in the Cathedral Close walls Exchequer Gate.jpg
The west front of Lincoln Cathedral viewed through the Exchequer Gate, one of a number of surviving gates in the Cathedral Close walls

Between 1642 and 1651 in the English Civil War, Lincoln was on a frontier between the Royalist and Parliamentary forces and changed hands several times. [18] Many buildings were badly damaged. Lincoln now had no major industry and no easy access to the sea. It suffered as the rest of the country was beginning to prosper in the early 18th century, travellers often commenting on what had essentially become a one-street town. [18]


By the Georgian era, Lincoln's fortunes began to pick up, thanks in part to the Agricultural Revolution. Reopening of the Foss Dyke canal eased imports of coal and other raw materials vital to industry. Along with the economic growth of Lincoln in this period, the city boundaries were spread to include the West Common. To this day, an annual Beat the Boundaries walk takes place along its perimeter.

Coupled with the arrival of railway links, Lincoln boomed again during the Industrial Revolution, and several famous companies arose, such as Ruston's, Clayton's, Proctor's and William Foster's. Lincoln began to excel in heavy engineering, by building locomotives, steam shovels and all manner of heavy machinery.

A permanent military presence came with 1857 completion of the "Old Barracks" (now held by the Museum of Lincolnshire Life). They were replaced by the "New Barracks" (now Sobraon Barracks) in 1890, when Lincoln Drill Hall in Broadgate also opened. [19] [20]

20th and 21st centuries

Westgate water tower Westgate Water Tower.jpg
Westgate water tower

Lincoln was hit by typhoid in November 1904 – August 1905 caused by polluted drinking water from Hartsholme Lake and the River Witham. Over 1,000 people contracted the disease and fatalities totalled 113, [21] including the man responsible for the city's water supply, Liam Kirk of Baker Crescent. Near the beginning of the epidemic, Dr Alexander Cruickshank Houston installed a chlorine disinfection system just ahead of the poorly operating, slow sand filter, to kill the fatal bacteria. [22] Chlorination of the water continued until 1911, when a new supply was implemented. [23] Lincoln's chlorination episode was an early use of chlorine to disinfect a water supply. [24] Westgate Water Tower was built to provide new supplies. [25]

In the two world wars, Lincoln switched to war production. The first ever tanks were invented, designed and built in Lincoln by William Foster & Co. in the First World War and population growth provided more workers for greater expansion. The tanks were tested on land now covered by Tritton Road in the south-west suburbs. In the Second World War, Lincoln produced an array of war goods: tanks, aircraft, munitions and military vehicles. [26]

Ruston & Hornsby produced diesel engines for ships and locomotives, then by teaming up with former colleagues of Frank Whittle and Power Jets Ltd, in the early 1950s, R & H (which became RGT) opened the first production line for gas turbine engines for land-based and sea-based energy production. Its success made it the city's largest single employer, providing over 5,000 jobs in its factory and research facilities, making it a rich takeover target for industrial conglomerates. It was subsumed by English Electric in November 1966, which was then bought by GEC in 1968, with diesel engine production being transferred to the Ruston Diesels Division in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, at the former Vulcan Foundry.

Siemens Pelham Works Pelham Works - - 76691.jpg
Siemens Pelham Works
The first tanks were built in Lincoln. Water carrier for Mesopotamia.jpg
The first tanks were built in Lincoln.

Pelham Works merged with Alstom of France in the late 1980s and was then bought in 2003 by Siemens of Germany as Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery. This includes what is left of Napier Turbochargers. Plans came early in 2008 for a new plant outside the city at Teal Park, North Hykeham. [27] Still, Siemens made large redundancies and moved jobs to Sweden and the Netherlands. The factory now employs 1300. R & H's former Beevor Foundry is now owned by Hoval Group, making industrial boilers (wood chip). The Aerospace Manufacturing Facility (AMF) in Firth Road passed from Alstom Aerospace Ltd to ITP Engines UK in January 2009. [28] [29]

Lincoln's second largest private employer is James Dawson and Son, a belting and hose maker founded in the late 19th century. Its two sites are in Tritton Road. The main one, next to the University of Lincoln, used Lincoln's last coal-fired boiler until it was replaced by gas in July 2018.

New suburbs appeared after 1945, but heavy industry declined towards the end of the 20th century. Much development, notably around the Brayford area, has followed the construction of the University of Lincoln's Brayford Campus, which opened in 1996. [30] In 2012, Bishop Grosseteste teaching college was also awarded university status.


Lincoln's economy is based mainly on public administration, commerce, arable farming and tourism, with industrial relics like Ruston (now Siemens) remaining, although many of Lincoln's industrial giants have ceased production, leaving empty industrial warehouse-like buildings. More recently these have become multi-occupied units, with the likes of Lincs FM radio station (in the Titanic Works) and LA Fitness gym taking space. The main employment sectors are public administration, education and health, with 34 per cent of the workforce. Distribution, restaurants and hotels account for 25 per cent. [31]

Like many other cities, Lincoln has a growing IT economy, with many e-commerce mail order companies, along with a plethora of other, more conventional small industrial businesses. One reason behind the University of Lincoln was to increase inward investment and act as a springboard for small firms. Its presence has also drawn more licensed premises to the town centre around the Brayford Pool. A small business unit next door to a university accommodation building, the Think Tank, opened in June 2009. [32]

County council building on Newland Lincolnshire County Council - - 108767.jpg
County council building on Newland

Of the two main electronics firms, Chelmsford-based e2V (Associated Electrical Industries before 1961) is situated between Carholme Road (A57) and the Foss Dyke, next-door to Carholme Golf Club; [33] and Dynex Semiconductor (formerly Marconi Electronic Devices) in Doddington Road (B1190) near the A46 bypass and North Hykeham. Bifrangi, an Italian maker of crankshafts for off-road vehicles using a screw press, is based at the former Tower Works owned by Smith-Clayton Forge Ltd.

Lincoln is the hub for settlements such as Welton, Saxilby, Skellingthorpe and Washingborough, which look to it for most services and employment needs. Added they raise the population to 165,000. [34] Lincoln is the main centre for jobs and facilities in Central Lincolnshire and performs a regional role over much of Lincolnshire and parts of Nottinghamshire. According to a document entitled "Central Lincolnshire Local Plan Core Strategy", Lincoln has a "travel-to-work" area with a population of about 300,000. [34] Its two universities, gained since 1994, contribute to its growth in the services sector. Blocks of flats, restaurants and entertainment venues have appeared. Entertainment venues linked to the universities include The Engine Shed and The Venue Cinema.

In 2021, Lincoln joined the UK's Key Cities network. [35] [36]

Retail parks

Around the Tritton Road (B1003) trading estate, new businesses have begun trading from large units with car parking. Lincoln has a choice of seven large national supermarkets (Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl).

St Mark's Square complex had a Debenhams as its flagship store until 2021. [37] The accompanying trading estate still has well-known chain stores.


A view up Steep Hill towards the historic quarter of Bailgate Steep Hill.jpg
A view up Steep Hill towards the historic quarter of Bailgate
Waterside Empowerment 2002 sculpture Lincoln waterside.jpg
Waterside Empowerment 2002 sculpture

The city is a tourist centre for visitors to historic buildings that include the cathedral, the castle and the medieval Bishop's Palace.

The Collection, of which the Usher Gallery is now part, is an important attraction, partly in a purpose-built venue. It currently contains over 2,000,000 objects, and was one of the four finalists for the 2006 Gulbenkian Prize. Any material from official archaeological excavations in Lincolnshire is eventually deposited there. Other attractions include the Museum of Lincolnshire Life and the International Bomber Command Centre.

Tranquil destinations close by are Whisby Nature Reserve and Hartsholme Country Park (including the Swanholme Lakes SSSI), while noisier entertainment can be found at Scampton airfield, Waddington airfield (base of the RAF's Red Arrows jet aerobatic team), the County Showground or the Cadwell Park motor racing circuit near Louth.

Early each December the Bailgate area holds a Christmas Market in and around the Castle grounds, shaped by the traditional German-style Christmas markets, including that of Lincoln's twin town Neustadt an der Weinstrasse. In 2010, for the first time, the event was cancelled due to "atrocious" snowfalls across most of the United Kingdom. [38] [39] It succumbed again in December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [40]


In the 2021 census, the population of Lincoln district was 103,813. [2] The largest ethnic group was White British at over 92.2%, followed by South Asian at 3.2%, Mixed race at 2%, Black British at 1.4%, other ethnic minorities made up 0.9% and Arab were 0.2%. This makes the ethnic makeup of the city 92% White and 8% ethnic minorities.

Lincoln: Ethnicity: 2011 Census [41]
Ethnic groupPopulation %
Asian or Asian British3,3473.5%
Black or Black British1,4661.4
Other Ethnic Group9480.9%

Religious sites

St Benedict's Church in the city centre, now a book shop St Benedicts church, Lincoln (geograph 4736080).jpg
St Benedict's Church in the city centre, now a book shop
St Swithin's Church, in the city centre. Currently closed due to repairs needed but the congregation meet opposite the church in a converted-nightclub. The Church of St Swithin, Lincoln - - 2054968.jpg
St Swithin's Church, in the city centre. Currently closed due to repairs needed but the congregation meet opposite the church in a converted-nightclub.
St Nicholas' Church, near the city centre Lincoln, St Nicholas' church (24702545741).jpg
St Nicholas' Church, near the city centre
Jew's Court on Steep Hill in the city centre Jew's Court, Steep Hill, Lincoln - - 47185.jpg
Jew's Court on Steep Hill in the city centre
Lincoln Central Mosque and Cultural Centre, Lincoln Lincoln Central Mosque and Cultural Centre, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, UK.jpg
Lincoln Central Mosque and Cultural Centre, Lincoln

Lincoln is home to many active and former churches, the city has around 34 or more active churches. These serve the city centre and outer suburbs of the city and urban area. [42] The city has three mosques; these are located on Orchard Street and Dixon Street. The Lincoln Grandstand is sometimes hired out for Jumu'ah Salaah prayers. [43] The city has no Sikh or Hindu temples, with the nearest ones being in Scunthorpe, Grimsby, Nottingham and Doncaster. The city has two Jewish synagogues on Steep Hill and Eastbrook Road. As well as an international temple on James Street. [44]

Many of the notable churches in the city include: St Mary le Wigford, St Giles, St Benedicts, St Swithin's, Lincoln Cathedral, St Hugh's, St Katherine's, Alive Church, Saint Peter at Gowts, Central Methodist Church, St Nicholas and Greek Orthodox Church of St Basil the Great and St Paisios. Among others in the city and outer suburbs. [45]


Norman West Front of Lincoln Cathedral Norman West Front of Lincoln Cathedral.jpg
Norman West Front of Lincoln Cathedral

Construction of the first Lincoln Cathedral within a close or walled precinct facing the castle began when the see was removed from the quiet backwater of Dorchester-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. It was completed in 1092 [46] and rebuilt after a fire, but succumbed to an earthquake in 1185. The rebuilt minster, enlarged eastwards several times, was on a grand scale, its crossing tower crowned by a spire reputedly Europe's highest at 525 ft (160 m). When complete, the central spire is widely accepted to have succeeded the Great Pyramids of Egypt as the world's tallest man-made structure. [47] [48] [49]

The Lincoln bishops were among the magnates of medieval England. The Diocese of Lincoln, the largest in England, had more monasteries than the rest of England put together, and the diocese was supported by large estates. 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.

Lincoln Cathedral Lincoln Cathedral from the Castle east gate - - 134106.jpg
Lincoln Cathedral

Among the famous bishops of Lincoln were Robert Bloet, the magnificent justiciar to Henry I, Hugh of Avalon, the cathedral builder canonised as St Hugh of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste, the 13th-century intellectual, Henry Beaufort, chancellor of Henry V and Henry VI, Thomas Rotherham, a politician deeply involved in the Wars of the Roses, Philip Repyngdon, chaplain to Henry IV and defender of Wycliffe, and Thomas Wolsey, the lord chancellor of Henry VIII. Theologian William de Montibus headed the cathedral school and was its chancellor until he died in 1213.

The administrative centre was the Bishop's Palace, the third element in the central complex. When built in the late 12th century by Hugh of Lincoln, the Bishop's Palace was one of the most important buildings in England. Its East Hall over a vaulted undercroft is the earliest surviving example of a roofed domestic hall. The chapel range and entrance tower were built by Bishop William of Alnwick, who modernised the palace in the 1430s. Both Henry VIII and James I were guests there. The palace was sacked in 1648 by royalist troops during the civil war.

Geography and environment

Lincoln lies 157 mi (253 km) north of London, [50] at an altitude of 67 ft (20.4 m) by the River Witham up to 246 ft (75.0 m) on Castle Hill. It fills a gap in the Lincoln Cliff escarpment, which runs north and south through central Lincolnshire, with altitudes up to 200 feet (61 metres). [51] The city lies on the River Witham, which flows through this gap. The city is 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Hull, 32 miles (51 km) north-east of Nottingham, 47 miles (76 km) north of Peterborough, 82 miles (132 km) southeast of Leeds and 40 miles (64 km) east south-east of Sheffield.

The city urban area extends to the town of North Hykeham and the villages of Bracebridge Heath, Branston, Burton, Canwick, Cherry Willingham, Dunholme, Heighington, Nettleham, North Greetwell, Saxilby, Skellingthorpe, South Hykeham, Thorpe on the Hill, Waddington, Welton and Washingborough. These villages act as commuter villages to the city and to nearby cities of Doncaster, Hull and Sheffield as well as the towns of Gainsborough, Grantham, Grimsby, Louth, Market Rasen, Newark-on-Trent, Retford, Rotherham, Scunthorpe, Sleaford and Worksop.

Uphill and downhill

Due to the variation in altitude, which presents something of an obstacle, Lincoln is divided informally into two zones: uphill and downhill.

Uphill Lincoln Bailgate - - 102523.jpg
Uphill Lincoln

The uphill area comprises the northern part of the city, on top of the Lincoln Cliff (to the north of the gap). This includes the historical quarter, including Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Castle and the Medieval Bishop's Palace, known locally as The Bail (though described in tourist literature as the Cathedral Quarter). [52] It also has residential suburbs to the north and north-east. The downhill area comprises the city centre and suburbs to the south and south-west. Steep Hill is a narrow, pedestrian street directly connecting the two. It passes through an archway known as the Stonebow.

High Bridge 'Glory Hole' High Bridge Glory Hole, Lincoln.jpg
High Bridge 'Glory Hole'

This divide, peculiar to Lincoln, was once an important class distinction, with uphill more affluent and downhill less so. The distinction dates from the time of the Norman conquest, when the religious and military elite occupied the hilltop. [52] The expansion of suburbs in both parts of the city since the mid-19th century has diluted the distinction.


The mute swan is an iconic species for Lincoln. Many pairs nest each year beside the Brayford, and they feature on the university's heraldic emblem. Other bird life within the city includes peregrine falcon, tawny owl and common kingfisher. [53] [54]

Mammals on the city edges include red fox, roe deer and least weasel. [55] European perch, northern pike and bream are among fishes seen in the Witham and Brayford. [56] Nature reserves around the city include Greetwell Hollow SSSI, Swanholme SSSI, Whisby Nature Park, Boultham Mere and Hartsholme Country Park.

Since 2016, little egrets have nested in the Birchwood area and otters appeared in the River Witham. Both are native to Britain and repopulating the area after near extermination. [57] [58]

Several invasive species of plants and animals have reached Lincoln. Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam are Asian plant species around the River Witham. Galinsoga and Amsinckia are American species found among city weeds, also American mink which are occasionally seen on the Witham.

Built-up area

The Lincoln built-up area or Lincoln urban area extends outside of the city boundaries and includes the town of North Hykeham and the villages of Bracebridge, South Hykeham, and Waddington. It had a population of 115,000 according to the 2011 census. [3]

The other outlying villages of Skellingthorpe, Bracebridge Heath, Washingborough, Branston, Burton-by-Lincoln, Nettleham, Cherry Willingham, Thorpe-on-the-Hill, and Canwick have also been described as part of the urban area, but not according to the Office for National Statistics. This would put the population of the urban area at roughly 130,000. [ citation needed ]


Lincoln railway station Lincoln Central Station - - 109754.jpg
Lincoln railway station


Lincoln is served by Lincoln station and is the city's main railway station. Other railway stations near the city are Hykeham and Saxilby. Another station in the city was Lincoln St Marks to the south of the city. That station has since closed, but is now used for commercial purposes.[ clarification needed ]

The city was once connected to many railway lines. Some old railway relics and stations that served it and its surrounding commuter suburbs are still visible. Notable closed stations close to the city include Waddington, Skellingthorpe, Washingborough, Skellingthorpe (Great Northern Railway), Branston & Heighton and Reepham. Two of the former railway lines are now footpaths.


The city lies on the A57, A46, A15 and A158 roads. These bring high levels of through traffic and as a result the city has had many bypasses built. To the north west is the £19-million A46 bypass opened in December 1985. On 19 December 2020 the £122-million A15 Eastern bypass was completed. [59] A southern bypass formally known as North Hykeham relief road is due to start construction in 2025 and will be the final section of a complete ring road around the city. [60]

Until the 1980s, the only two trunk roads through Lincoln were the A46 and A15, both feeding traffic along the High Street. At the intersection of Guildhall Street and the High Street, these met at the termination of the A57. North of the city centre, the former A15 (Riseholme Road) is now the B1226, and the old A46 (Nettleham Road) is now the B1182. The early northern inner ring-road, formed of Yarborough Road and Yarborough Crescent, is numbered B1273.


East Midlands Airport, 43 miles from Lincoln, is the main international airport serving the county. It mainly handles European flights with low-cost airlines. Humberside Airport, 29 miles north of Lincoln, is the only airport located in the county. It has a small number of flights mainly to hub airports such as Amsterdam. From 2005 until 2022, Doncaster Sheffield Airport also served Lincoln.


Higher education

The older of Lincoln's two higher education institutions, Bishop Grosseteste University, was started as a teacher training college linked to the Anglican Church in 1862. During the 1990s it branched out into other subject areas with a focus on the arts and drama. It became a university college in 2006 with degree powers taken over from the University of Leicester. It gained university status in 2012. An annual graduation celebration takes place in Lincoln Cathedral.}

The University of Lincoln seen from The Swan (pub) balcony Rightacrossthebrayford.jpg
The University of Lincoln seen from The Swan (pub) balcony

The larger University of Lincoln started as the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside in 1996, when the University of Humberside opened a Lincoln campus next to Brayford Pool. [61] Lincoln School of Art and Design (which was Lincolnshire's main outlet for higher education) and Riseholme Agricultural College, previously been part of De Montfort University in Leicester, were absorbed into the University of Lincoln in 2001, and subsequently the Lincoln campus took priority[ clarification needed ] over the Hull campus. [61]

The name changed to the University of Lincoln in September 2002. In the 2021–2022 academic year, a total of 18,705 university students studied in the city. [62]

Further education

Further education in Lincoln is provided by Lincoln College, Lincolnshire's largest education institution with 18,500 students, 2,300 of them full-time. [63] There is a specialist creative college, Access Creative, offering courses in music, media and games design to some 180 students, all full-time. [64]


Former Lincoln Christ's Hospital Girls' High School, now occupied by Lincoln University Technical College Girl's High School - - 153918.jpg
Former Lincoln Christ's Hospital Girls' High School, now occupied by Lincoln University Technical College

The school system in Lincoln is anomalous within Lincolnshire despite being part of the same local education authority (LEA), as most of the county retained the grammar-school system.

In 1952, William Farr School was founded in Welton, a nearby village. Lincoln itself had four single-sex grammar schools until September 1974.

The Priory Academy LSST converted to academy status in 2008, in turn establishing The Priory Federation of Academies. The Priory Witham Academy was formed when the federation absorbed Moorlands Infant School, Usher Junior School and Ancaster High School. The Priory City of Lincoln Academy was formed when the City of Lincoln Community College merged into the federation. Both schools were rebuilt after substantial investment by the federation. Cherry Willingham School joined the federation in 2017, becoming The Priory Pembroke Academy.

The Lincolnshire LEA was ranked 32nd in the country based on its proportion of pupils attaining at least 5 A–C grades at GCSE including maths and English (62.2% compared with a national average of 58.2%). [65]

There are four special-needs schools in Lincoln: Fortuna Primary School (5–11 year olds), Sincil Sports College (11–16), St Christopher's School (3–16) and St Francis Community Special School (2–18).


The local newspaper, the Lincolnshire Echo , was founded in 1894. Local radio stations are BBC Radio Lincolnshire on 94.9 FM, its commercial rival Lincs FM on 102.2FM and Lincoln City Radio on 103.6 FM a community radio station catering mainly for listeners over 50. [66] The Lincolnite is an online mobile publication covering the greater-Lincoln area. [67] Local listeners can also receive Siren FM, on 107.3 FM from the University of Lincoln.

The student publication The Linc [68] is available online and in print and targets the University of Lincoln's student population.

BBC Look North has a bureau in Lincoln as part of its coverage of Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire. The three TV reporters based in Lincoln serve both BBC Look North and East Midlands Today. ITV News also hold a newsroom in Lincoln.


Sincil Bank, home of Lincoln City F.C. Sincil Bank - geograph-507434.jpg
Sincil Bank, home of Lincoln City F.C.

Lincoln's professional football team is Lincoln City FC, nicknamed "The Imps", which plays at the Sincil Bank stadium on the southern edge of the city. The collapse of ITV Digital, which owed Lincoln City FC more than £100,000, in 2002 saw the team faced with bankruptcy, but it was saved by a fund-raising venture among fans, which returned ownership of the club to them, where it has remained since. The club was the first to be relegated from the English Football League, when automatic relegation to the Football Conference was introduced from the 1986–87 season. Lincoln City regained its league place at the first attempt and held onto it until the 2010–11 season, when it was again relegated to the Football Conference.

Lincoln City was the first club managed by Graham Taylor, who went on to manage the England national football team from 1990 to 1993. He was at Lincoln City from 1972 to 1977, during which time the club won promotion from the Fourth Division as champions in 1976. The club also won the Football League Division Three North title on three separate occasions, a joint record. Its most successful era was in the early 1980s, winning promotion from the Fourth Division in 1981 and narrowly missing promotion to the Second Division in the two years that followed. [69] It reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup in 2017, beating several teams in the top two tiers of English football before being defeated by Arsenal. [70] More recently Lincoln City won Football League Two in the 2018–2019 season and the EFL Trophy in 2018. It is currently managed by Michael Appleton.

Lincoln is also home to Lincoln United FC, Lincoln Moorlands Railway FC and Lincoln Griffins Ladies FC.

Lincoln hosts upcoming sports facilities such American football's Lincolnshire Bombers, which plays in the BAFA National Leagues, the Lincolnshire Bombers Roller Girls, the Imposters Rollergirls, and hosts Lincoln Rowing centre on the River Witham. Lindum Hockey Club plays in the north of the city. Since 1956 the city has played host to the Lincoln Grand Prix one-day cycle race, which for some 30 years has used a city-centre finishing circuit incorporating the challenging 1-in-6 cobbled ascent of Michaelgate. [71] Since 2013 the city has had a professional wrestling promotion and training academy, Lincoln Fight Factory Wrestling. The Lincoln Lions rugby union team has been playing since 1902.

Two short-lived greyhound racing tracks were opened by Lincolnshire Greyhound Racing Association. One was the Highfield track in Hykeham Road, which opened on 13 September 1931, and the second the Lincoln Speedway on the Rope Walk, which opened on 4 June 1932. [72] Racing at both was independent, as they were "flapping" tracks unaffiliated to the sport's governing body, the National Greyhound Racing Club. [73] [74]

Notable people

In alphabetical order:

International relations

Twin towns

Lincoln is twinned with: [85]

Freedom of the city

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the City of Lincoln.


Military units


Lincoln has a typical East Midland maritime climate of warm summers and mild winters. The nearest Met Office weather station is at RAF Waddington, 4 miles (6 kilometres) to the south. Temperature extremes since 1948 have ranged between 40.3 °C (104.5 °F) on 19 July 2022, [93] and −15.6 °C (3.9 °F) in February 1956. [94] A former weather station holds the record for the lowest daytime maximum temperature recorded in England in the month of December: −9.0 °C (15.8 °F) on 17 December 1981. [95] The coldest recent temperature was −10.4 °C (13.3 °F) in December 2010, [96] although another weather station at Scampton, a similar distance north of the city centre, fell to −15.6 °C (3.9 °F), so equalling Waddington's record low set in 1956. [97]

Climate data for Waddington, [lower-alpha 1] elevation: 68 m (223 ft), 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1948–present
Record high °C (°F)14.2
Average high °C (°F)7.0
Daily mean °C (°F)4.3
Average low °C (°F)1.6
Record low °C (°F)−13.8
Average precipitation mm (inches)47.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)86848079777777798084858781
Mean monthly sunshine hours 62.286.0125.6168.2211.6190.8206.3192.0146.7109.371.361.31,631.2
Source 1: Met Office [98] NOAA (Relative humidity 1961–1990) [99]
Source 2: KNMI [100]
Climate data for Scampton, [lower-alpha 2] elevation: 57 m (187 ft), 1991–2020 normals
Average high °C (°F)6.9
Daily mean °C (°F)4.0
Average low °C (°F)1.1
Average precipitation mm (inches)48.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Source: Met Office [101]

See also




Societies and groups


Coat of arms of Lincoln, England
Argent on a cross Gules a fleur-de-lis Or
Civitas Lincolnia, or Floreat Lindum [102]


  1. Weather station is located 4 miles (6 km) from the Lincoln city centre.
  2. Weather station is located 5 miles (8 km) from the Lincoln city centre.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lincolnshire</span> County of England

Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England, with a long coastline on the North Sea. It is divided between the East Midlands and the Yorkshire and Humber regions. It borders Norfolk to the south-east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south-west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north-west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders Northamptonshire in the south for just 20 yards (19 m), England's shortest county boundary. The county town is Lincoln, where the county council is also based.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lincoln Cathedral</span> Church in Lincolnshire, England

Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Minster, or the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln and sometimes St Mary's Cathedral, in Lincoln, England, is a Grade I listed cathedral and is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Lincoln. Construction commenced in 1072 and continued in several phases throughout the High Middle Ages. Like many of the medieval cathedrals of England, it was built in the Early Gothic style.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">River Witham</span> River in eastern England

The River Witham is a river almost entirely in the county of Lincolnshire in the east of England. It rises south of Grantham close to South Witham at SK8818, passes through the centre of Grantham, passes Lincoln at SK9771 and at Boston, TF3244, flows into The Haven, a tidal arm of The Wash, near RSPB Frampton Marsh. The name "Witham" seems to be extremely old and of unknown origin. Archaeological and documentary evidence shows the importance of the Witham as a navigable river from the Iron Age onwards. From Roman times it was navigable to Lincoln, from where the Fossdyke was constructed to link it to the River Trent. The mouth of the river moved in 1014 following severe flooding, and Boston became important as a port.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ermine Street</span> Ancient trackway, one of the "Four Highways" of medieval England

Ermine Street is a major Roman road in England that ran from London (Londinium) to Lincoln and York (Eboracum). The Old English name was Earninga Strǣt (1012), named after a tribe called the Earningas, who inhabited a district later known as Armingford Hundred, around Arrington, Cambridgeshire, and Royston, Hertfordshire. "Armingford", and "Arrington" share the same Old English origin. The original Celtic and Roman names for the route remain unknown. It is also known as the Old North Road from London to where it joins the A1 Great North Road near Godmanchester.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Foss Dyke</span> Canal that connects the River Trent to Lincoln

The Foss Dyke, or Fossdyke, connects the River Trent at Torksey to Lincoln, the county town of Lincolnshire, and may be the oldest canal in England that is still in use. It is usually thought to have been built around AD 120 by the Romans, but there is no consensus among authors. It was refurbished in 1121, during the reign of King Henry I, and responsibility for its maintenance was transferred to the city of Lincoln by King James I. Improvements made in 1671 included a navigable sluice or lock at Torksey, and warehousing and wharves were built at Brayford Pool in the centre of Lincoln.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Haddington, Lincolnshire</span> Hamlet in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England

Haddington is a hamlet in the North Kesteven district of Lincolnshire, England. It is situated just off the Fosse Way Roman road, now the A46, 7 miles (11 km) south-west from Lincoln and 1 mile (1.6 km) west from Aubourn. It is in the civil parish of Aubourn with Haddington.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Kesteven</span> District in England

North Kesteven is a local government district in Lincolnshire, England. The district is located to the east of Nottinghamshire, north-east of Leicestershire and south of the city of Lincoln. Its council, North Kesteven District Council, is based in Sleaford in the former offices of Kesteven County Council. Notable towns and villages in the district include Cranwell, Metheringham, North Hykeham, Sleaford and Waddington.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lincoln College, Lincolnshire</span> College of further and higher education school in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England

Lincoln College is a predominantly further education college based in the City of Lincoln, England.

Lincolnshire, England derived from the merging of the territory of the ancient Kingdom of Lindsey with that controlled by the Danelaw borough Stamford. For some time the entire county was called 'Lindsey', and it is recorded as such in the Domesday Book. Later, Lindsey was applied to only the northern core, around Lincoln; it was defined as one of the three 'Parts of Lincolnshire', along with Holland in the south-east and Kesteven in the south west.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sleaford and North Hykeham (UK Parliament constituency)</span> Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom, 1997 onwards

Sleaford and North Hykeham is a parliamentary constituency in Lincolnshire, England which elects a single Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. It has been represented since 2016 by Dr Caroline Johnson, who is a member of the Conservative Party. The seat was created in 1997 and has always been represented by Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Conservative Party; like all British constituencies, it elects one candidate by the first-past-the-post voting system. Johnson became the MP for the constituency after a by-election in December 2016, following the resignation of the previous MP for the seat, Stephen Phillips. The constituency is considered a safe seat for the Conservatives.

Lincolnshire is a large county in England with a sparse population distribution, which leads to problems funding all sorts of transport. The transport history is long and varied, with much of the road network still based on the Roman model, and the once extensive rail network a shadow of its former self.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Hykeham</span> Town in North Kesteven, Lincolnshire, England

North Hykeham is a town and civil parish in the North Kesteven district, in the county of Lincolnshire, England. It forms part of the Lincoln Urban Area. The population of the town at the 2011 census was 13,884.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Viking Way</span> 147 mile footpath in England

The Viking Way is a long distance trail in England running 147 miles (237 km) between the Humber Bridge in North Lincolnshire and Oakham in Rutland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lindum Colonia</span> Settlement founded by ancient Romans in eastern England

Lindum Colonia was the Latin name for the settlement which is now the City of Lincoln in Lincolnshire. It was founded as a Roman Legionary Fortress during the reign of the Emperor Nero or possibly later. Evidence from Roman tombstones suggests that Lincoln was first garrisoned by the Ninth Legion Hispana, which probably moved from Lincoln to found the fortress at York around c. 71 AD. Lindum was then garrisoned by the Second Legion Adiutrix, which then went on to Chester in 77–78 AD.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">High Street, Lincoln</span>

The High Street of Lincoln, England, is a long shopping high street. The street runs from the south at the St Catherine's area roundabout and ends approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north at The Strait

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bracebridge, Lincolnshire</span> Suburb of Lincoln, England

Bracebridge is a suburb of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England. It is situated approximately 2 miles (3 km) south from the city centre on the main A1434 Newark Road, stretching approximately from St Catherine's to Swallowbeck alongside the east bank of the River Witham, and the village of Bracebridge Heath.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of Lincoln</span>

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Lincoln, the county town of Lincolnshire in the East Midlands of England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Central Lincolnshire</span>

Central Lincolnshire is the name given to a region of Lincolnshire in the East Midlands, England. The area covers the districts of North Kesteven and West Lindsey as well as the City of Lincoln. The name is used for the planning and development of a part of Lincolnshire surrounding Lincoln, North Hykeham, Sleaford, Market Rasen, Caistor and Gainsborough as well as other outlying villages and hamlets.



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