The History of Lincoln

Early Beginnings

Lincoln is a multicultural city steeped in history and its earliest origins can be traced back to the Iron Age. Housing and dwellings have been found dating back to this period in what is now the Brayford Pool. Since then, Romans, Vikings, Normans and other civilisations have altered the landscape and the culture of Lincoln resulting in much of what we see today.

The Romans

The Romans first settled in Lincoln or as they called it Lindum Colonia in around 50AD. At the top of the hill they built a wooden fortress and a wall around the town. Evidence of the Roman settlement and way of life is still visible today from Newport Arch in the Bail to pieces of the remaining wall throughout uphill Lincoln.

The Castle and Cathedral

After the Norman invasion of 1066, William the Conqueror soon arrived in Lincoln and ordered the building of Lincoln Castle and later Lincoln Cathedral, all of which completed on the site of the original Roman settlement. Lincoln Cathedral, built of Lincolnshire limestone, was consecrated by Remigius de Fécamp, the first Bishop of Lincoln, in 1092. It has been damaged and rebuilt several times due to natural disasters and fires before finally resulting in the splendid building you see before you.

The Magna Carta

In 1215, King John I signed the Magna Carta in Runnymede. The symbolism of this act was huge as it was the first charter specifically designed to limit the power of the King and uphold the rights of the individual citizen. The Bishop of Lincoln, Hugh of Wells, was present during the signing and brought a copy back the Lincoln Cathedral. One of only 4 surviving copies resides right here in the recently refurbished and rejuvenated Lincoln Castle. The Magna Carta reached its 800th Year in  2015 and numerous festivities, exhibitions and events took place around the city to commemorate and celebrate such a historic moment.

The Industrial Revolution and Modern Day

During the Industrial Revolution (1760 – 1840) Lincoln was prosperous and began to excel in the engineering industry. Due to this growth, Lincoln became a centre for the aviation industry and designed and built the first tanks to be used during WWI. A memorial to the men and women who helped during the war effort to create the tanks has recently been unveiled.

Lincoln is still one of the great pioneers in the engineering industries and now along with two modern, developing universities and over 2000 years of history to explore, you can see why it is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities.

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Staff Profile

Dr Robert v. Friedeburg

Reader, History, School of Humanities Dr Robert von Friedeburg is Reader in History in the School of Humanities, focusing on......