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Local History

The best known settlement in Lincoln, which dates back to the last century BC, was around the
Brayford Waterfront area and it was called Lindon: ‘Lin’ meaning pool and ‘don’ meaning at the
foot of the hill.

Timber houses and pottery have been found from that time on the east of the pool and the
famous Witham Shield, belonging to a local tribe’s chief, was found in the Brayford area which
dates back to 300BC and is now housed in the British Museum.

The Romans first settled in Lincoln, around AD 50, and built a wooden fortress at the top of
the hill, later turned into a colonia, named the city Lindum Colonia. The Ermine Street, a key
Roman highway connecting London with York, passed though the city of Lincoln. Evidence of
the Roman settlement can still be seen across the city today.

Lincoln had it’s own mint issuing coins in Viking times and the local economy boomed with
the settlement of the Danes – now seen in the street named Danesgate (‘gate’ being the
Scandinavian word for street).

In 1068 William the Conqueror arrived in the ruined city and ordered the building of Lincoln
Castle and later Lincoln Cathedral, all on the site of the Roman settlement. Lincoln Cathedral,
built of Lincolnshire limestone, was consecrated by Remigius de Fécamp, the first Bishop of
Lincoln, in 1092.

King John placed his seal on Magna Carta at Runnymeade in 1215, and a copy was brought
back to Lincoln by then Bishop of Lincoln, Hugh of Wells. Lincoln’s Magna Carta is still owned
by Lincoln Cathedral and remains as one of four surviving copies of the document.

The central tower of Lincoln Cathedral was the tallest building in the world, passing the Great
Pyramid, up to 1549 when the spires collapsed during a storm.

Lincoln was a wealthy town supported by a healthy wool trade through the 17th to 19th
centuries. Lincoln cloth was made famous by Robin Hood who wore garments in Lincoln

Lincoln boomed during the industrial revolution excelling in the engineering industry, in
particular through production of air engines and tanks. During the war years the first ever
tanks were designed and built in Lincoln which was also a centre for the aviation industry. Lincoln is now home to one of the UK’s fastest growing modern universities, is still a world
leader in the engineering industry.