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Lincoln is an important cathedral town in the heart of the county of Lincoln, in eastern-central England.
A long-standing regional centre, the location has been occupied since before Roman times (it was a settlement in the Iron Age), rising to prominence from the 10th century onwards - despite a long period of relative decline from the 15th to the 18th centuries. To this day, Lincoln maintains many buildings from its colourful and active history, and there is much to enjoy during a visit -
Your visit to Lincoln will focus around the historical centre (walk up Steep Hill from the more modern part of Lincoln), where the main highlights include Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Castle, the Bishop's Palace, and the streets around Castle Square, Steep Hill and the historical Bailgate region. Be sure to stop in the Lincoln tourist information office for a leaflet highlighting a route that passes the important attractions of the city.
Note particularly the Jew's House and adjacent Jew's Court on Steep Hill - the first is one of the oldest town houses in England (12th century) and the second is the oldest synagogue in Britain. This region of Lincoln city centre includes many fine half-timbered and medieval houses dating from the 14th-15th centuries. There are also various modern works of art scattered through Lincoln, providing an interesting contrast to the historical monuments. the best known of these is a recent installation called Empowerment.
Dominating the Lincoln skyline, the cathedral built around 1300 is impressive even without the central spire that for more than two centuries made it the highest building in the world, and is one of the largest in England. While the ornate facade and entrance portal and the towers are perhaps the highlight, the interior also has several points of interest including the misericords (14th century), the vaults and the Angel Choir.
The well preserved Norman castle in Lincoln dates from the 11th century, when it was built by William the Conqueror. the castle saw 'active service on two occasions - in 1141 and 1216, respectively the 'First Battle of Lincoln' and the 'Second Battle of Lincoln'. it later became a prison, then law courts, and is now a museum and one of the most intact norman castles in Britain - walk around the ramparts to enjoy great views across the castle and the rest of Lincoln centre.
Medieval Bishop's palace
The Bishop's Palace (between the cathedral and castle in Lincoln) dates from the 12th century. The substantial ruins are now set in attractive gardens and managed by English Heritage.
Other Lincoln highlights
- the county museum in Lincoln, called the Collection, features a wide range of exhibits that relate the history of the region, archaeological artefacts, and also an impressive art collection, and the museum is a highlight of a visit to Lincoln.
- The extensive park and garden area called Lincoln Arboretum covers more than 20 acres and includes an arboretum and a couple of small lakes
- Brayford waterfront, where the River Witham meets the River Till, for a peaceful river-cruise
- High Bridge, the oldest bridge built in England to have houses running the length of the bridge