I am a huge history buff. I majored in History at university, and I love learning about the past. I especially love going to places rich with antiquity and experiencing it for myself. Some of my favourite places to do so are London and York. But today I want to take you to a lesser known town, found in the East Midlands, called Lincoln.
A Bit About Lincoln
The history of Lincoln can be traced back to 300BC, with the first known settlement along the Brayford Waterfront area. The original name was actually Lindon, which comes from the Celtic world “Lindo” which translates to “The Pool.” The Romans settled in the area, around 50AD, and built a wooden fortress at the top of the hill.
In the 9th and 10th centuries Lincoln was ruled by the Vikings and became a trading town. You can see evidence of this in some of the street names: Bailgate, Danesgate, Wragby, and Skellingthorpe. In 1068 William the Conqueror lead the Norman Invasion into Lincoln and ordered the building of Lincoln Castle, and later Lincoln Cathedral.
By 1300 Lincoln Cathedral was the tallest building in the world, and held the title until 1549, when a storm collapsed the spires on the church. When King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215, a copy was brought back to Lincoln, and remains at Lincoln Castle to this day.
In more modern times, Lincoln thrived during the Industrial Revolution, particularly through the production of air engines and tanks. This gave rise to the nickname of ‘Tank Town.’ In the 21st century, Lincoln is home to two universities and is still a world leader in the engineering industry.
What to Do In Lincoln
- Lincoln Cathedral– you really can’t miss it, literally and figuratively. The cathedral rivals any of the well known greats across the globe-with far less queueing time! Here you can see the famed Lincoln Imp, and amazing views of the whole of Lincoln.
- Lincoln Castle– truly impressive grounds give a glimpse to the past, and offer so much to see. In the castle you can take a look at the Magna Carta, the 1217 Charter of the Forest, and the Georgian and Victorian Prison. Bonus: you’ll get amazing views of the Cathedral from the Medieval Wall Walk.
- Lincoln Roman Trail– the trail takes you around the remains of the Roman City that existed in Lincoln. It’s a great way to experience history and see a great deal of the city. The trail is free and available online as an interactive smartphone app.
- Medieval Bishop’s Palace– this was once one of the most important buildings in the country, the palace was the seat of the largest diocese in England-stretching from the Humber to the Thames. You can explore the remains with a guided audio tour, and relax in the modern Heritage Garden.
- Aviation Museums– if you’re a fan of air crafts and/or military history, don’t miss the Battle of Britain Memorial Visitor Centre and the Cranwell Aviation Heritage Museum. In these you can uncover the history of the Royal Air Force in Lincoln, and see some truly impressive crafts.
- Medieval and Wren Libraries– once described as “the most beautiful room in England,” the libraries now house a selection of rare and precious manuscripts and documents. The library is open to the public and has a wealth of knowledge as well as intricate decor, unique to the room.
Lincoln is an absolutely beautiful place to visit, with so much to offer. If you are looking for history, without all the tourists of big cities, this is the place for you. If you’ve been to Lincoln, let me know your favourite bits below!
As always, thanks for reading & stay golden!
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