Lincoln

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Lincoln (/ˈlɪŋkən/) is a cathedral city and county town of Lincolnshire, England.

Lincoln is home to Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle.

The non-metropolitan district of Lincoln has a population of 85,595; the 2001 census gave the entire area of Lincoln a population of 120,779.

The earliest origins of Lincoln can be traced to the remains of an Iron Age settlement of round wooden dwellings (which were discovered by archaeologists in 1972) that have been dated to the 1st century BC. This settlement was built by a deep pool (the modern 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 origins of the name Lincoln may come from this period, when the settlement is thought to have been named in the Brythonic language of Iron Age Britain’s Celtic inhabitants as Lindon “The Pool”, presumably referring to the Brayford Pool (compare the etymology of the name Dublin, from the Gaelic “dubh linn” (“black pool”)). It is not possible to know how big this original settlement was as its remains are now buried deep beneath the later Roman and medieval ruins, as well as the modern Lincoln.

The Romans conquered this part of Britain in AD 48 and shortly afterwards built a legionary fortress high on a hill overlooking the natural lake formed by the widening of the River Witham (the modern day Brayford Pool) and at the northern end of the Fosse Way Roman road (A46). The Celtic name Lindon was subsequently Latinized to Lindum and given the title Colonia when it was converted into a settlement for army veterans.

The conversion to a colonia was made when the legion moved on to York (Eboracum) in AD 71. Lindum colonia or more fully, Colonia Domitiana Lindensium, after its founder Domitian, was established within the walls of the hilltop fortress with the addition of an extension of about equal area, down the hillside to the waterside below.

It became a major flourishing settlement, accessible from the sea both through the River Trent and through the River Witham, and was even the provincial capital of Flavia Caesariensis when the province of Britannia Inferior was subdivided in the early 4th century, but then it and its waterways fell into decline. By the close of the 5th century the city was largely deserted, although some occupation continued under a Praefectus Civitatis, for Saint Paulinus visited a man of this office in Lincoln in AD 629.

During this period the Latin name Lindum Colonia was shortened in Old English to become ‘Lincylene’.

After the first destructive Viking raids, the city once again rose to some importance, with oversea trading connections. In Viking times Lincoln was a trading centre that issued coins from its own mint, by far the most important in Lincolnshire and by the end of the 10th century, comparable in output to the mint at York. After the establishment of Dane Law in 886, Lincoln became one of The Five Boroughs in the East Midlands. Excavations at Flaxengate reveal that this area, deserted since Roman times, received new timber-framed buildings fronting a new street system, ca 900. Lincoln experienced an unprecedented explosion in its economy with the settlement of the Danes. Like York, the Upper City seems to have been given over to purely administrative functions up to 850 or so, while the Lower City, running down the hill towards the River Witham, may have been largely deserted. By 950, however, the banks of the Witham were newly developed with the Lower City being resettled and the suburb of Wigford quickly emerging as a major trading centre.. In 1068, two years after the Norman conquest, William I ordered Lincoln Castle to be built on the site of the former Roman settlement, for the same strategic reasons and controlling the same road.

Lincoln has several twin towns: Port Lincoln, South Australia; Radomsko, Poland; Tangshan, China; and Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany.

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