Lincoln, England

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City of Lincoln
Lincoln Cathedral and city skyline from Lincoln Castle
Flag of Lincoln
Coat of arms of Lincoln
Shown within Lincolnshire
Shown within Lincolnshire
Lincoln is located in the East Midlands
Location in the East Midlands
Lincoln is located in the United Kingdom
Location in United Kingdom
Lincoln is located in Europe
Location in Europe
Coordinates: 53°13′42″N 0°32′20″W / 53.22833°N 0.53889°W / 53.22833; -0.53889Coordinates: 53°13′42″N 0°32′20″W / 53.22833°N 0.53889°W / 53.22833; -0.53889
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
RegionEast Midlands
Ceremonial countyLincolnshire
City status1072
Incorporated1 April 1974
Administrative centreGuildhall and Stonebow
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district
 • BodyCity of Lincoln Council
 • LeadershipLeader and cabinet
 • ExecutiveLabour
 • MayorJackie Kirk (Lab)
 • Council LeaderRic Metcalfe (Lab)
 • City and borough13.78 sq mi (35.69 km2)
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • City and borough97,541[1]
 • Rank245th (of 309)
 • Density1,780/sq mi (687/km2)
 • Ethnicity
95.6% White
0.8% Asian
0.8% Irish
0.5% Chinese
0.5% African
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areas
Dialling codes01522
ONS code32UD (ONS)
E07000138 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSK9771
Primary airportsHumberside Airport, East Midlands Airport, Doncaster Sheffield Airport
Member of ParliamentKarl McCartney (Con)
City of Lincoln Council
Founded1 April 1974
Ric Metcalfe
Seats33 councillors
Political groups
  Labour (24)
Other parties
  Conservative (9)
Length of term
4 years
Last election
6 May 2021
Meeting place
Guildhall and Stonebow, Lincoln.jpg
Guildhall and Stonebow

Lincoln (/ˈlɪŋkən/) is a cathedral city and county town of Lincolnshire, England. The non-metropolitan district of Lincoln had a 2012 population of 94,600.[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 CathedralEnglish 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 FC and Lincoln United FC.


Earliest history: Lincoln[edit]

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).

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.

Roman history: Lindum Colonia[edit]

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 and 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.

AD 410–1066[edit]

East Gate, Lincoln Castle

Germanic tribes from the North Sea area settled Lincolnshire in the 5th–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]


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[11] 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.[12][13][14]

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

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.

Medieval town[edit]

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

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.[15][16][17] 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.[17] The Jews were all expelled in 1290.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

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 in its own right: the County of the City of Lincoln. Additional rights were then conferred by successive monarchs, including those of an assay town (controlling metal manufacturing, for example).[20] 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").[21]

16th century[edit]

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.

Civil War[edit]

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.[22] 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.[22]

Georgian age[edit]

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.

Industrial Revolution[edit]

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.[23][24]

20th century[edit]

Westgate water tower
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,[25] 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.[26] Chlorination of the water continued until 1911, when a new supply was implemented.[27] Lincoln's chlorination episode was an early use of chlorine to disinfect a water supply.[28] Westgate Water Tower was built to provide new supplies.[29]

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.[30]

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, which was eventually bought by the German MAN Diesel (now MAN Energy Solutions) in June 2000.[citation needed]

Siemens Pelham Works
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.[31] 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.[32][33]

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. Dawson's became part of the Hull-based Fenner group in the late 1970s.[citation needed]

New suburbs appeared after 1945, but heavy industry declined towards the end of the 20th century. Nevertheless, more people in Lincoln are still employed in building gas turbines than in any other field.[citation needed]

Much development, notably around the Brayford area, has followed the construction of the University of Lincoln's Brayford Campus, which opened in 1996.[34] 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.[35]

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.[36]

County council building on Newland

Extra motorway services are based on Castle Hill; most new UK service areas are built by Swayfields, its parent company. 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;[37] 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 service and employment needs. Added they raise the population to 165,000.[38] 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.[38] 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.[39][40]

Retail parks[edit]

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.[41] The accompanying trading estate still has well-known chain stores.


A view up Steep Hill towards the historic quarter of Bailgate.

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

Waterside Empowerment 2002 sculpture

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 Waddington airfield, Scampton 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.[42][43] It succumbed again in December 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.[44]

Places of worship[edit]

The most notable of the many churches and chapels in the city region is the Anglican Cathedral of St Mary. Also prominent is the Catholic Church of St Hugh's.[45] Among many others are two Baptist churches.[46][47] There are currently two Jewish communities.[48] A purpose-built mosque and cultural centre opened in Lincoln in 2015, becoming the first Islamic centre in the city.[49]

Geography and environment[edit]

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 is 76 miles (123 km) north-east of Birmingham, 32 miles (51 km) north-east of Nottingham, 47 miles (76 km) north of Peterborough and 40 miles (64 km) east south-east of Sheffield.

Uphill and downhill[edit]

The city lies on the River Witham, which flows through this gap. Lincoln is thus divided informally into two zones, known unofficially as uphill and downhill.

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'

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, but uphill housing continues to fetch a premium.[citation needed]


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[edit]

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


Lincoln has a typical East Midland maritime climate of cool 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 35.1 °C (95.2 °F) on 25 July 2019,[59] and −15.6 °C (3.9 °F) in February 1956.[60] 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.[61] The coldest recent temperature was −10.4 °C (13.3 °F) in December 2010,[62] 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.[63]

Climate data for Waddington[a], elevation: 68 m (223 ft), 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1948–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14.2
Average high °C (°F) 6.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.0
Average low °C (°F) 1.3
Record low °C (°F) −13.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50.2
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 11.0 8.5 10.2 9.3 9.1 9.3 9.0 9.2 8.6 9.8 10.9 10.2 115.2
Average relative humidity (%) 86 84 80 79 77 77 77 79 80 84 85 87 81
Mean monthly sunshine hours 61.8 83.2 117.0 159.6 205.6 187.5 206.5 192.7 144.2 113.3 71.5 55.4 1,598.3
Source 1: Met Office[64] NOAA (Relative humidity 1961–1990)[65]
Source 2: KNMI[66]
Climate data for Scampton[b], elevation: 57 m (187 ft), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.8
Average low °C (°F) 0.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10.7 8.5 10.2 9.4 9.4 9.4 8.8 9.2 9.2 9.6 11.4 10.1 115.6
Source: Met Office[67]




Closure of Lincoln St Marks in 1985 left the city with Lincoln Central, soon renamed plain Lincoln, as its one station. Destinations for East Midlands Railway and Northern Trains services from its five platforms include Newark, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham, Grimsby and Peterborough. London North Eastern Railway runs services to London King's Cross, calling at Newark, Peterborough and Stevenage.[68]


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. In 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.[69] 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.[70]

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 the B1226, and the old A46, Nettleham Road, 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. Doncaster Sheffield Airport also serves Lincoln. It mainly caters to low-cost airlines and lies just outside the East Midlands Region in South Yorkshire.


Higher education[edit]

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. Bishop Grosseteste University has not linked with the University of Lincoln.[citation needed]

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.[71] 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.[71]

Most buildings appeared after 2001.[citation needed] The name changed to the University of Lincoln in September 2002. In the 2005–2006 academic year, 8,292 full-time undergraduates were studying there. This rose to 11,900.[72]

Further education[edit]

Further education in Lincoln is provided by Lincoln College, Lincolnshire's largest education institution with 18,500 students, 2,300 of them full-time.[73] There is a specialist creative college, Access Creative, offering courses in music, media and games design to some 180 students, all full-time.[74]


Former Lincoln Christ's Hospital Girls' High School, is 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%).[75]

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 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 .[76] The Lincolnite is an online mobile publication covering the greater-Lincoln area.[77] Local listeners can also receive Siren FM, on 107.3 FM from the University of Lincoln.

The student publication The Linc[78] 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.


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 English 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.[79] 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.[80] 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.[81] 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.[82] Racing at both was independent, as they were "flapping" tracks unaffiliated to the sport's governing body, the National Greyhound Racing Club.[83][84]

Notable people[edit]

In alphabetical order:

International relations[edit]

Twin towns[edit]

Lincoln is twinned with:[94]

See also[edit]




Societies and groups[edit]


Coat of arms of Lincoln, England
Argent on a cross Gules a fleur-de-lis Or
Civitas Lincolnia, or Floreat Lindum[96]


  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.



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  • Francis Hill, 1948. Medieval Lincoln (Cambridge: University Press)
  • Kissane, Alan (2017). Civic Community in Late Medieval Lincoln: Urban Society and Economy in the Age of the Black Death, 1289-1409. Boydell and Brewer. p. 335. ISBN 9781783271634. Archived from the original on 4 January 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  • Wedgwood, C. V. (1970). The King's War: 1641–1647. London: Fontana.


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External links[edit]

Video links[edit]