"Land and God"
Lincolnshire within England
Lincolnshire within England
Coordinates: 53°06′N 0°12′W / 53.1°N 0.2°W / 53.1; -0.2
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionDivided between East Midlands & Yorkshire and the Humber
EstablishedApril 1996
Established by1990s local government reform
Preceded byHumberside (North East Lincolnshire & North Lincolnshire) & Lincolnshire (Lincolnshire County Council)
OriginParts of Lincolnshire (Grimsby County Borough, Holland, Kesteven, Lincoln County Borough & Lindsey)
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
UK Parliament11 MPs
PoliceHumberside Police (North East Lincolnshire & North Lincolnshire Areas) & Lincolnshire Police (Lincolnshire County Council Area)
Ceremonial county
Lord LieutenantToby Dennis
High SheriffMichael Scott[1] (2020–21)
Area6,977 km2 (2,694 sq mi)
 • Rank2nd of 48
 • Rank19th of 48
Density158/km2 (410/sq mi)
Non-metropolitan county
County councilLincolnshire County Council
Admin HQLincoln
Area5,937 km2 (2,292 sq mi)
 • Rank2nd of 21
 • Rank13th of 21
Density131/km2 (340/sq mi)
ISO 3166-2GB-LIN
GSS codeE10000019

Districts of Lincolnshire
Unitary County council area
  1. Lincoln
  2. North Kesteven
  3. South Kesteven
  4. South Holland
  5. Boston
  6. East Lindsey
  7. West Lindsey
  8. North Lincolnshire
  9. North East Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire (/ˈlɪŋkənʃər, -ʃɪər/), abbreviated Lincs, is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber regions of England. It is bordered by the East Riding of Yorkshire across the Humber estuary to the north, the North Sea to the east, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland to the south, and Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire to the west. The county town is the city of Lincoln. Lincolnshire is the second largest county in England after North Yorkshire.

The county is predominantly rural, with an area of 6,959 km2 (2,687 sq mi) and a population of 1,095,010. After Lincoln (104,565), the largest towns are Grimsby (85,911) and Scunthorpe (81,286).[4] For local government purposes Lincolnshire comprises a non-metropolitan county, with seven districts, and the unitary authority areas of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. The last two areas are part of the Yorkshire and the Humber region, and the rest of the county is in the East Midlands.

Lincolnshire is the second-largest ceremonial county and has a varied geography, including the chalk hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB, the wetlands of the Lincolnshire Fens, the Lincoln Cliff escarpment, and the Lincolnshire Marsh.

Lincolnshire has had a comparatively quiet history, being a rural county which was not heavily industrialised and faced little threat of invasion. In the Roman era Lincoln was a major settlement, called Lindum Colonia. In the fifth century what would become the county was settled by the invading Angles, who established the Kingdom of Lindsey in the north of the region. Lincoln became the centre of a diocese in 1072, and Lincoln Cathedral was built over the following centuries. The late Middle Ages were a particularly prosperous period, when wealth from wool trade facilitated the building of grand churches such as St Botolph's Church, Boston. During the Second World War the relatively flat topography of the county made it an important base for the Royal Air Force, which built several airfields and based two bomber squadrons in the area.


Main article: History of Lincolnshire

Hand-drawn map of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire from 1576.

During pre-Roman times, most of Lincolnshire was inhabited by the Corieltauvi people.[citation needed] The language of the area at that time would have been Common Brittonic, the precursor to modern Welsh. The name Lincoln was derived from Lindum Colonia.[citation needed]

Large numbers of Germanic speakers from continental Europe settled in the region following the withdrawal of the Romans. Though these were later identified as Angles, it is unlikely that they migrated as part of an organized tribal group.[5][6] Thus, the main language of the region quickly became Old English. However, it is possible that Brittonic continued to be spoken in some communities as late as the eighth century.[7]

Modern-day Lincolnshire is derived from the merging of the territory of the Kingdom of Lindsey with that controlled by the Danelaw borough of Stamford. For some time the entire county was called "Lindsey", and it is recorded as such in the 11th-century Domesday Book. Later, the name Lindsey was applied to the northern core, around Lincoln. This emerged as one of the three Parts of Lincolnshire, along with the Parts of Holland in the south-east, and the Parts of Kesteven in the south-west, which each had separate Quarter Sessions as their county administrations. Lindsay was traditionally split between the North, South and West Ridings of Lindsey.

The area was shaken by 27 February 2008 Lincolnshire earthquake, reaching between 4.7 and 5.3 on the Richter magnitude scale; it was one of the largest earthquakes to affect Britain in recent years.

Lincolnshire is home to Woolsthorpe Manor, birthplace and home of Sir Isaac Newton. He attended The King's School, Grantham. Its library has preserved his signature, carved into a window sill when he was a youth.


The historic county boundaries of Lincolnshire in 1832
County and County Borough areas pre 1965
Until the early 19th Century there was no fixed land border between Lincolnshire and Norfolk as the two counties were separated by the former “Cross Keys Wash” which could only be crossed at low tide by a causeway.

The geographical layout of Lincolnshire is quite extensive and mostly separated by many rivers and rolling countryside. The north of the county begins from where the Isle of Axholme is located near the meeting points of the rivers Ouse and Trent near to the Humber. From there, the southside of the Humber estuary forms the border between Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire. From there, the south bank of the Humber Estuary where the Humber Bridge crosses the estuary at Barton upon Humber, is used primarily for the shipping ports at Immingham, New Holland and Grimsby. From there, the rest of the southern bank forms the Lincolnshire Coast from Cleethorpes to Mablethorpe and then onto Skegness. From Skegness, the rest of the Lincolnshire Coastline forms the sea boundary and border with Norfolk at the Wash. The coast then at Boston becomes the meeting point of the rivers Welland and Haven in a area known as the "Fosdyke Wash".

The rest of the sea boundary runs from Fosdyke to the east of Sutton Bridge, where the current land boundary with Norfolk is located in a narrow area of reclaimed farmland just to the east of the River Nene but until as recently as the early 19th century there was no land border between Lincolnshire and Norfolk as it was separated from each other by the "Cross Keys Wash" a former area of estuary and marshland where the River Nene used to flow out into the Wash and could only be crossed at low tide by a causeway or ferry and was the natural boundary between the two counties. The causeway known at the time as the "Wash Way" was renowned as being particularly treacherous and the safer route was to go into Norfolk from Lincolnshire via the Cambridgeshire town of Wisbech and this element remains to the present day as the Cross Keys Bridge at Sutton Bridge provides the only direct access point to Norfolk from Lincolnshire over the River Nene some nine miles north of Wisbech. The border with Lincolnshire to Cambridgeshire begins at Crowland, Market Deeping and Stamford which form the southern boundary of the county with both Peterborough, Rutland and briefly Northamptonshire; the county's border with Northamptonshire is just 20 yards (19 m) long, England's shortest county boundary.[8] From there, the border with Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire begins at Sleaford, Grantham, Lincoln and Gainsborough. From Gainsborough, the border with South Yorkshire begins at Haxey and Epworth before looping back to the original north of the county near Scunthorpe with East Riding of Yorkshire at the Isle of Axholme and Goole.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Bedrock in Lincolnshire features Jurassic limestone (near Lincoln) and Cretaceous chalk (north-east). The area around Woodhall Spa and Kirkby on Bain is dominated by gravel and sand.[20] For much of prehistory, Lincolnshire was under tropical seas, and most fossils found in the county are marine invertebrates. Marine vertebrates have also been found including ichthyosaurus and plesiosaur.[21][22]

The highest point in Lincolnshire is Wolds Top (168 m, 551 ft), at Normanby le Wold.[23] Some parts of the Fens may be below sea level. The nearest mountains are in Derbyshire.

The biggest rivers in Lincolnshire are the Trent, running northwards from Staffordshire up the western edge of the county to the Humber estuary, and the Witham, which begins in Lincolnshire at South Witham and runs for 132 km (82 miles) through the middle of the county, eventually emptying into the North Sea at The Wash. The Humber estuary, on Lincolnshire's northern border, is also fed by the River Ouse. The Wash is also the mouth of the Welland, the Nene and the Great Ouse.

Lincolnshire's geography is fairly varied, but consists of several distinct areas:

Lincolnshire's most well-known nature reserves include Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve, Whisby Nature Park Local Nature Reserve, Donna Nook National Nature Reserve, RSPB Frampton Marsh and the Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve. Although the Lincolnshire countryside is intensively farmed, there are many biodiverse wetland areas[citation needed], as well as rare limewood forests. Much of the county was once wet fenland (see The Fens).

From bones, we can tell that animal species formerly found in Lincolnshire include woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, wild horse, wolf, wild boar and beaver.[24][25] Species which have recently returned to Lincolnshire after extirpation include little egret, Eurasian spoonbill, European otter and red kite.[26][27]


Main article: Politics of Lincolnshire

Map of civil parishes within Lincolnshire

Local government history

The Local Government Act 1888 established county councils for each of the parts of Lincolnshire – Lindsey, Holland and Kesteven – and came into effect on 1 April 1889. Lincoln was made an independent county borough on the same date, with Grimsby following in 1891.[28]

The Local Government Act 1972 abolished the three county councils and the two county boroughs, effective 1 April 1974. On this date, Grimsby and the northern part of Lindsey (including Scunthorpe) were amalgamated with most of the East Riding of Yorkshire and a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire to form the new non-metropolitan county of Humberside. The rest of Lindsey, along with Holland, Kesteven and Lincoln, came under the governance of the new Lincolnshire County Council.

A local government reform in 1996 abolished Humberside. The land south of the Humber Estuary was allocated to the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire which became part of Lincolnshire for ceremonial purposes, such as the Lord-Lieutenancy, but are not covered by the Lincolnshire police; they are in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. The remaining districts of Lincolnshire are Boston, East Lindsey, Lincoln, North Kesteven, South Holland, South Kesteven, and West Lindsey. They are part of the East Midlands region.

North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire are unitary authorities. They were districts of Humberside county from 1974.[29] In 1996, Humberside was abolished along with its county council.[30] Some services in those districts are shared with the East Riding of Yorkshire ceremonial county, rather than the rest of Lincolnshire including Humberside Police, Humberside Airport, Humberside Fire Service, and BBC Radio Humberside.

Current governance

Since the 2024 general election and the constituency reorganisation by the 2023 Periodic Review, Lincolnshire is represented by ten Members of Parliament (MPs) whose constituencies fall entirely within the county. Small areas of Lincolnshire form constituencies with parts of neighbouring counties, namely the Isle of Axholme (part of Doncaster East and the Isle of Axholme) and the town of Stamford and its surroundings (part of Rutland and Stamford). Of the ten constituencies entirely within Lincolnshire, six are represented by the Conservative Party, three by the Labour Party and one by Reform UK.

Lincolnshire County Council is majority controlled by the Conservative Party, and consists of 54 Conservative councillors, four Labour, four South Holland Independents, four independents, three Liberal Democrats and one Lincolnshire Independent.[31] The county is made up of seven local borough and district councils and two unitary authority areas independent of the county council. The City of Lincoln Council is Labour-controlled. North Kesteven, South Holland and East Lindsey are administered by the Conservatives. South Kesteven is controlled by a coalition of independent, Labour Party, Green Party and Liberal Democrat councillors. West Lindsey is controlled by a coalition of Liberal Democrats and independents. The Borough of Boston is controlled by the local Boston Independent party. The unitary authority North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire councils are administered by the Conservative Party.


The following tables show the ethnic and religious composition of Lincolnshire in 2021:

Ethnicity (2021)[32]
White Asian Black Mixed and other
96% 2% 1% 1%
Religion (2021)[33]
Christianity Islam Other No religion
52.2% 1.1% 7.2% 39.5%


Gross value added of Lincolnshire (£ millions)[34]
Year County-wide Agriculture[a] Industry[b] Services[c]
1995 5,719 657 1,769 3,292
2000 6,512 452 2,046 4,013
2003 8,419 518 2,518 5,383
a includes hunting and forestry
b includes energy and construction
c includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured

Notable businesses based in Lincolnshire include the Lincs FM Group, Young's Seafood, Openfield and the Lincolnshire Co-operative (whose membership includes about one quarter of the population of the county).[citation needed]


Lincolnshire farmland near Burton Coggles

Lincolnshire has long been a primarily agricultural area, and it continues to grow large amounts of wheat, barley, sugar beet, and oilseed rape. In south Lincolnshire, where the soil is particularly rich in nutrients, some of the most common crops include potatoes, cabbages, cauliflowers, and onions. Lincolnshire farmers often break world records for crop yields.[35][36] South Lincolnshire is also home to one of the UK's leading agricultural experiment stations, located in Sutton Bridge and operated by the Potato Council; Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research engages in research for the British potato industry.[37]

The Lincoln Longwool is a rare breed of sheep, named after the region, which was developed both for wool and mutton, at least 500 years ago, and has the longest fleece of any sheep breed.[38] The Lincoln Red is an old breed of beef cattle, originating from the county. In the mid 20th century most farms in Lincolnshire moved away from mixed farming to specialise in arable cropping, partly due to cheap wool imports, partly to take advantage of efficiencies of scale and partly because the drier land on the eastern side of England is particularly suitable for arable cropping.[citation needed]

Mechanization around 1900 greatly diminished the number of workers required to operate the county's relatively large farms, and the proportion of workers in the agricultural sector dropped substantially during this period.[citation needed] Several major engineering companies developed in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Grantham to support those changes. Among these was Fosters of Lincoln, which built the first tank, and Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham. Most such industrial companies left during late 20th-century restructuring.[citation needed]

Today, immigrant workers, mainly from new member states of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe, form a large component of the seasonal agricultural workforce, particularly in the south of the county. Here more labour-intensive crops are produced, such as small vegetables and cut flowers. This seasonal influx of migrant labour occasionally causes tension between the migrant workforce and local people, in a county which had been relatively unaccustomed to large-scale immigration.[citation needed] Agricultural training is provided at Riseholme College and in 2016 the University of Lincoln opened the Lincoln Institute for Agri-Food Technology.

Central Lincolnshire

This area covers North Kesteven, Lincoln and West Lindsey. It helps with development and economic planning around the three districts.

Services and retail

According to an Intra-governmental Group on Geographic Information (IGGI) study in 2000,[39] the town centres were ranked by area thus (including North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire areas):

Public services


Main article: Education in Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire is one of the few counties in the UK that still uses the 11-plus to decide who may attend grammar school. As a result, many towns in Lincolnshire have both a grammar school and a secondary modern school. Lincolnshire's rural character means that some larger villages also have primary schools and are served by buses to nearby high schools.

Lincoln itself, however, is primarily non-selective, as is the area within a radius of about seven miles. In this area, almost all children attend comprehensive schools, though it is still possible to opt into the 11-plus system. This gives rise to the unusual result that those who pass the Eleven plus can attend a Grammar School outside the Lincoln Comprehensive area, but those who do not pass still attend a (partly non-selective) Comprehensive school.

Health care

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust[40] is one of the largest trusts in the country, employing almost 4,000 staff and with an annual budget of over £200 million. The north of the county is served by the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Some of the larger hospitals in the county include:

Since April 1994, Lincolnshire has had an Air Ambulance service.[41] The air ambulance is stationed at RAF Waddington near Lincoln and can reach emergencies in Lincolnshire within 25 minutes. An A&E hospital is only 10 minutes away by helicopter from any accident in Lincolnshire.


Separately to the commercial water companies the low-lying parts of the county are drained by various internal drainage boards, such as the Black Sluice Internal Drainage Board,Witham 4th District IDB, Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board Archived 18 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine,[42] or the Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board.[43]


Main article: Transport in Lincolnshire

The Humber Bridge connecting North Lincolnshire to the East Riding of Yorkshire

Being on the economic periphery of England, Lincolnshire's transport links are poorly developed compared with many other parts of the United Kingdom. The road network in the county is dominated by single carriageway A roads and local roads (B roads) as opposed to motorways and dual carriageways – the administrative county of Lincolnshire is one of the few UK counties without a motorway, and until several years ago, it was said that there was only about 35 km (22 mi) of dual carriageway in the whole of Lincolnshire. The M180 motorway passes through North Lincolnshire, splitting into two dual carriageway trunk roads to the Humber Bridge and Grimsby, and the A46 is now dual carriageway between Newark-on-Trent and Lincoln.

The low population density of the county means that the number of railway stations and train services is very low considering the county's large area. Many of the county's railway stations were permanently closed following the Beeching Report of 1963. The most notable reopening has been the line and two stations between Lincoln and Sleaford, which reopened within months of the Beeching closure. Most other closed lines in the county were lifted long ago and much of the trackbed has returned to agricultural use.

Prior to 1970, a through train service operated between Cleethorpes and London King's Cross via Louth, Boston and Peterborough. The part of this line in Grimsby is now the A16 road, preventing reinstatement as a railway line, and a small section of the line is now the Lincolnshire Wolds Railway, with an extension towards Louth in progress.

A daily through train service operated between Cleethorpes and London King's Cross via Grimsby, Market Rasen and Lincoln Central until the late 1980s. The Humberlincs Executive, as the service was known, was operated by an InterCity 125, but was discontinued following the electrification of the East Coast Main Line. Passengers now have to change trains at Newark North Gate when travelling to and from London. However, the East Coast Main Line passes through the western edge of the county and one can catch direct trains to London from Grantham.

A rural road in Lincolnshire

Most rail services are currently operated by East Midlands Railway and Northern Trains. London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and CrossCountry have services which pass through the county, with LNER trains frequently passing and stopping at Grantham on the East Coast Main Line and a service every other hour to Lincoln, while CrossCountry trains stop at Stamford on their way between Birmingham and Stansted Airport. Stations along the Humber are served by TransPennine Express services between Manchester Airport and Cleethorpes. One of the most infrequent services in the UK is in Lincolnshire: the Sheffield-Gainsborough Central-Cleethorpes line has passenger trains only on a Saturday, with three trains in both directions. This line is, however, used for freight.

On 22 May 2011, East Coast started a Lincoln-London service, initially one train a day each way, and there is a northbound service on a Sunday. This was increased in 2019 to a service every two hours. East Midlands Railway also run a daily (Mon-Sat) service each way between Lincoln and London St Pancras, though this is a stopping service which takes around three hours via Nottingham, compared to LNER's service to London King's Cross which takes around 1 hour 50 minutes.

The only airport in Lincolnshire is Humberside Airport, near Brigg. East Midlands Airport, the main airport servicing the East Midlands, is within travelling distance of the county. Until its closure in 2022, Doncaster Sheffield Airport near Doncaster was within travelling distance of much of Lincolnshire.

The county's biggest bus companies are Stagecoach Grimsby-Cleethorpes (formerly Grimsby-Cleethorpes Transport) and Stagecoach in Lincolnshire (formerly Lincolnshire Road Car). There are several smaller bus companies, including Brylaine of Boston, Delaine Buses and Hornsby's of Scunthorpe.[44]

A Sustrans cycle route runs from Lincoln to Boston in the south of the county.[45]

Towns and villages


In terms of population, the 12 biggest settlements in the county by population are:

A small part of the Thorne Waste area of the town of Thorne in South Yorkshire, known as the Yorkshire Triangle, currently falls under North Lincolnshire.[46][47]


The majority of tourism in Lincolnshire relies on the coastal resorts and towns to the east of the Lincolnshire Wolds. The county has some of the best-known seaside resorts in the United Kingdom, which are a major attraction to visitors from across England, especially the East Midlands and parts of Yorkshire. There are three main coastal resorts in Lincolnshire and several smaller village resorts.

Skegness town centre, showing the clock tower and the "Jolly Fisherman" sculpture/fountain

The main county seaside resort of Skegness with its famous Jolly Fisherman mascot and famous slogan "Skegness is so bracing", together with its neighbouring large village coastal resorts of Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards, provides the biggest concentration of resorts along the Lincolnshire Coast, with many large caravan and holiday sites. The resort offers many amusements, beaches, leisure activities and shops, as well as Butlins Skegness, Fantasy Island, Church Farm Museum, Natureland Seal Sanctuary, Skegness Stadium, Skegness Pier and several well-known local golf courses. There are good road, bus and rail links to the rest of the county.

The second largest group of resorts along the coast is the seaside town of Mablethorpe, famous for its golden sands, and the neighbouring village resorts of Trusthorpe and Sutton-on-Sea. This area also offers leisure activities and has large caravan and holiday sites. But the area is less developed, with fewer amusement arcades and nightclubs, and poorer road links to the rest of the county; but the area offers a more traditional seaside setting.

The third group of resorts includes the seaside town of Cleethorpes and the large village resort of Humberston within North East Lincolnshire. It has the Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway and Cleethorpes Pier along with its local golf courses and caravan and holiday sites, whilst it is also the former site of Pleasure Island Family Theme Park. Cleethorpes is well-served by road and rail; it is easily accessible from the M180 and the TransPennine Express route to Manchester.

Nature is an attraction for many tourists: the south-east of the county is mainly fenland that attracts many species of birds, as do the national nature reserves at Gibraltar Point, Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe and Donna Nook, which also contains a large grey seal colony which is popular with visitors.

The market towns of the Lincolnshire Wolds Louth, Alford, Horncastle, Caistor and Spilsby are also attractive, with several having historically important buildings, such as Alford Manor House, St James' Church and Bolingbroke Castle. The Wolds are popular for cycling and walking, with regular events such as the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival.

The city of Lincoln is home to many tourist attractions including Lincoln Castle, Lincoln Cathedral, The Engine Shed, Steep Hill, International Bomber Command Centre and Guildhall and Stonebow among other historical landmarks and listed buildings. The city acts as one of the many tourist centres in the East Midlands Region.


A view up 'Steep Hill' towards the historic quarter of Bailgate in Lincoln
Lincolnshire mobile library at Pode Hole. Lincolnshire County Council operate five routes, covering small villages in this large, sparse, county. Each location is visited once a month.[48]

Lincolnshire has a rustic culture. Due to the large distances between the towns, many villages have remained very self-contained, with many still having shops, pubs, local halls and local chapels and churches, offering a variety of social activities for residents. Fishing (in the extensive river and drainage system in the fens) and shooting are popular activities. A lot of the culture in Lincoln itself is based upon its history. The Collection is an archaeological museum and art gallery in Lincoln. Lincoln Cathedral also plays a large part in Lincoln's culture, playing host to many events throughout the year, from concert recitals to indoor food markets.

A Lincolnshire tradition was that front doors were used for only three things: a new baby, a bride, and a coffin.[49]


See also: List of people from Lincolnshire

Those born in Lincolnshire are sometimes given the nickname of Yellowbellies (often spelt "Yeller Bellies", to reflect the pronunciation of the phrase by the typical Lincolnshire farmer). The origin of this term is debated, but is most commonly believed to derive from the uniform of the 10th Regiment of Foot (later the Lincolnshire Regiment) which featured yellow facings. For this reason, the coat of arms of Lincolnshire County Council is supported by two officers of the regiment.[50]

Local dialect

In common with most other Northern and Midlands dialects in England, "flat" a is preferred, i.e. /bæθ/ over /bɑːθ/, and also traditionally in words like 'water', pronounced /ˈwætər/ watter (though such a pronunciation is rarely heard nowadays). Similarly, /ʌ/ is usually replaced by /ʊ/. Features rather more confined to Lincolnshire include:

Lincolnshire has its own dialect "champion", a farmer from the village of Minting called Farmer Wink (real name Robert Carlton), who has produced videos about rural life, narrated in his broad Lincolnshire accent. A resident of Woodhall Spa has published a dictionary of words once prevalent in parts of the county.[51]


"The Lincolnshire Poacher", a folksong, is the country's best-known melody and almost its unofficial anthem. It describes the delights of nocturnal poaching. It was the regimental quick march of the 10th Regiment of Foot and its successors the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment and the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment,[52] who are known as "the Poachers".[53]

Lincolnshire was historically associated with the Lincolnshire bagpipes, instruments derided as coarse and unpleasant in contemporary literature, but noted as very popular in the county. The last player, John Hunsley of Middle Manton,[54] died in 1851,[55] and since then the instrument has been extinct.

The Australian composer Percy Grainger made what are thought to be the first recordings of British Folksongs between 1906 and 1908 in Lincolnshire using a wax Phonograph Cylinder. These are now housed in the British Library.[56][57] They included songs sung by Joseph Taylor of Saxby-All-Saints who became the first folk singer to be commercially recorded and whose rendition of Brigg Fair inspired classical works by Grainger and Frederick Delius. In 1937, Grainger wrote his Lincolnshire Posy for wind band. The piece is a compilation of folk songs ("bunch of wildflowers") collected by the composer in and around the county of Lincolnshire.[58] Ralph Vaughan Williams was a frequent guest at Gunby Hall and the manuscript of his collected folksong "Daffodils" is in their collection.[59]

A number of composers have lived and worked in the county. William Byrd was organist and master of the choristers at Lincoln Cathedral from 1563 to 1572. John Taverner was listed as a lay clerk at Tattershall Collegiate Church in 1525 and also sang at St Botolph's Church, Boston under whose famous "stump" he is presumed to be buried.[60] Thomas Linley, composer, a friend of Mozart, drowned in the lake at Grimsthorpe Castle near Bourne in 1778.[61] Nicholas Maw was born in Grantham and Peter Seabourne lives in East Kirkby.


Lincolnshire sausages

Lincolnshire has a number of local dishes:

Craft Chocolatiers can be found throughout[64][65][66] the county, such as Hansens[67] in Folkingham.[68] In 2013 Redstar Chocolate's Duffy's Venezuela Ocumare Milk won a gold medal as best bean-to-bar.[69][70] The factory is in Cleethorpes.[71]


Every year the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, founded in 1869, stages the Lincolnshire Agricultural Show.[72] It is held on the Wednesday and Thursday of the last whole week of June at its showground at Grange de Lings, a few miles north of Lincoln on the A15. The show was first held here in 1958. First held around the year 1884, it is one of the largest agricultural shows in the country, and is attended by around 100,000 people over its two days. The showground is in regular use throughout the year for a wide range of other events and functions.

Smaller local agricultural shows, such as the Heckington Show[73] can still be found. Corby Glen sheep fair[74] has been held since 1238.

The Red Arrows, based at RAF Waddington near Lincoln[75] are a popular attraction at the Waddington Air Show

Each year RAF Waddington is the home to the RAF International Waddington Air Show. The two-day event attracts around 150,000 people and usually takes place during the first weekend of July. Since its inception over 35 countries have participated, with aircraft from around the globe attending the Lincolnshire Base. Beginning 2017, the event will be held at nearby RAF Scampton.

On the Monday before Easter, an unusual auction takes place in Bourne to let the grazing rights of the Whitebread Meadow.[76] Bidding takes place while two boys race toward the Queen's Bridge in Eastgate, the end of which dash is equivalent to the falling of the gavel. The whole affair dates back to the 1742 will of William Clay.

The Haxey Hood village competition takes place every January, as it has for over 700 years.

Stamford's Mid-Lent fair sees showmen converge on the town the week after Mothering Sunday, with rides and sideshows filling Broad Street, the Sheepmarket and the Meadows for a week. Stalls selling Grantham gingerbread and nougat are a traditional feature. The following week sees them in Grantham, on the way north for the Summer. Roger Tuby brings a small funfair to Bourne and then to Spalding in Spring and returns in Autumn at the end of the season.

The villages of Tetford and Salmonby hold an annual Scarecrow Festival in May every year.

The Belchford Downhill Challenge which is held every two years: soapbox racers race down the hill at up to 30 km/h. The turnout has been up to 1,000.

Lincoln Christmas Market, was a street market held throughout the historic area of the city at the start of December, it was one of the largest Christmas markets in Europe, attracting over 250,000 people [77] over the four-day event. Around the same time, Christmas lights are turned on in Bourne, Sleaford, Skegness, and other towns.

Throughout the summer the Stamford Shakespeare Company[78] presents the Bard's plays in the open-air theatre at Tolethorpe Hall, which is actually in Rutland.

The Spalding Flower Parade was held in late spring every year between 1959 and 2013. Colourful floats decorated with tulip heads competed for a cup.[79]


The Gold Victorian-style Penfold post box in Lincoln painted in recognition of Paralympian Sophie Wells who won the gold medal in the team Equestrian event at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. It is the only post box painted gold in the county

The main sports played in the county are football, cricket and rugby union. Lincolnshire does not have a high sporting profile, mainly due to the lack of facilities and high-profile football teams. Probably the most well-known sporting venues in Lincolnshire are Cadwell Park near Louth, where a round of the British Motorbike Championship is held on the last Monday of August every year and the racecourse at Market Rasen


The flag of the historic county of Lincolnshire
The Lincoln Imp high above the choir on the southern side of Lincoln Cathedral

The unofficial anthem of the county is the traditional folk song, "The Lincolnshire Poacher", which dates from around 1776. A version of the song was the theme for BBC Radio Lincolnshire for many years.

According to a 2002 marketing campaign by the charity Plantlife, the county flower of Lincolnshire is the common dog-violet.

In August 2005, BBC Radio Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire Life magazine launched a vote for a flag of Lincolnshire to represent the county. Six competing designs were voted upon by locals and the winning submission was unveiled in October 2005.[82][83] Lincoln has its own flag – St George's flag with a Fleur-de-Lys.

The Lincoln Imp has symbolised cathedral, city and county for many years.[84][85] In 2006 it was replaced as the brand of Lincolnshire County Council by the stylised version seen on the header here [1] which has lost even the unique pose of the carving.



The county is home to one daily newspaper, the Grimsby Telegraph which as the name suggests, is published in the town and whose circulation area ostensibly covers North East Lincolnshire, although it reaches as far south as Louth and Alford and as west as Brigg.

There are two further weekly papers which used to be published daily until 2011; the Lincolnshire Echo is published weekly from Lincoln and covers the majority of the county reaching as far north as Louth, and the Scunthorpe Telegraph which covers northern Lincolnshire. All three are ultimately owned by Reach plc.

There are also a number of weekly papers serving individual towns published in the county by Iliffe Media. One of these, the Stamford Mercury, claims to be Britain's oldest newspaper, although it is now a typical local weekly and no longer covers stories from the whole East Midlands as the archived copies did.


With the exception of a small area to the south-west of the county,[86] Lincolnshire is served from the Belmont transmitter,[87] receiving programmes from ITV Yorkshire and BBC One Yorkshire and Lincolnshire regions.

The BBC has, since 2003, provided the area with its twelfth regional service: BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, carrying a local "Look North" news programme from the main studio in Hull, with input from other studios in Lincoln and Grimsby.

ITV Yorkshire provides coverage through its evening news programme "Calendar". Until late 2008 the station provided a separate edition for the Belmont transmitter (although it was still broadcast from Leeds). From January 2009 the area is now covered by a programme that covers the entire ITV Yorkshire region.

From 1959 to July 1974 ITV programmes were provided by Anglia Television (although some coverage could be received from the Manchester-based Granada and ABC Weekend). Based in Norwich the company had news offices in Grimsby.[88] Following a transmitter change ITV services were provided by Yorkshire Television. This company kept open the offices in Grimsby and opened further facilities in Lincoln, although both of these closed in the mid-1990s.

South-west Lincolnshire receives BBC East Midlands and ITV Central which are broadcast from the Waltham-on-the-Wolds Transmitting Station. Although subject to co-channel interference from the Waltham transmitter, a small number of households in the southern tip of the county[89] are able to receive regional programming from BBC East and ITV Anglia.

Many villages just west of the Lincoln Edge cannot get a signal from Belmont due to shadowing and instead get their TV from Emley Moor near Huddersfield.


The area is covered by several local radio stations including: [90]

BBC Local Radio

Independent Local Radio

Community radio


Typhoon FGR4 aircraft, based at RAF Coningsby


Main article: Royal Air Force

Because of its flat geography and low population density, Lincolnshire is an ideal place for airfields, and the Air Ministry built prolifically with the county hosting nearly seventy separate air bases. It became known as "bomber county".[91] Since the end of the Second World War most of these airfields or stations were decommissioned, but the RAF retains a significant footprint in Lincolnshire for the air defence of the United Kingdom and aircrew training. For more information on former bases, see List of former RAF stations.

Two major front-line bases located in Lincolnshire are RAF Coningsby, which is one of only two RAF Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) Stations in the United Kingdom and home to the Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighters, and RAF Waddington, where most of the RAF's Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance aircraft are based. The Red Arrows Aerobatic Team has also been based at Waddington since October 2022 after their previous base, RAF Scampton, was closed down.[92] Other stations in Lincolnshire include RAF Cranwell, home to all Air Force Basic Officer Training for the Royal Air Force; RAF Barkston Heath, a training airfield; and minor bases such as RAF Donna Nook and RAF Digby.

Lincolnshire is also home to two active RAF and NATO-allied air weapons training bombing ranges, located along The Wash and north Lincolnshire coastline—RAF Holbeach active since 1926 (originally part of the former RAF Sutton Bridge station) and Donna Nook. The RAF Wainfleet range was decommissioned in 2010.


The Army runs Sobraon Barracks, home of 160 (Lincoln) Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), as well as Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, Grantham, home to the national specialist logistics units. In November 2016 the Ministry of Defence announced that the Grantham site would close in 2020[93] but the timescale has twice been extended, latterly to 2028.[94]

See also


  1. ^ "No. 62943". The London Gazette. 13 March 2020. p. 5161.
  2. ^ "Mid-2022 population estimates by Lieutenancy areas (as at 1997) for England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. 24 June 2024. Retrieved 26 June 2024.
  3. ^ "Mid-Year Population Estimates, UK, June 2022". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2024. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  4. ^ "Towns and cities, characteristics of built-up areas, England and Wales - Office for National Statistics". Retrieved 10 December 2023.
  5. ^ Toby F. Martin, The Cruciform Brooch and Anglo-Saxon England, Boydell and Brewer Press (2015), pp. 174–178
  6. ^ Catherine Hills, The Anglo-Saxon migration to Britain: an archaeological perspective (2016)
  7. ^ Caitlin Green, The Origins of Louth: Archaeology and History in East Lincolnshire, 400,000 BC–AD 1086 (2014), pp. 66–67
  8. ^ "Lincolnshire County Council". 24 October 2005. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  9. ^ "County Map Of Lincolnshire - Information About Lincolnshire". Visit North West. Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Famous". Archived from the original on 19 October 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  11. ^ "Tier limbo at Lincolnshire's northern border". The Lincolnite. 31 December 2020. Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  12. ^ Edward, Olivia. "The Lincolnshire Wolds - Geographical Magazine". Archived from the original on 16 May 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  13. ^ "How many borders does Northamptonshire have? – SidmartinBio". Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  14. ^ "Norfolk and Lincolnshire Border". 1 March 1865. Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  15. ^ Bird, Dan (18 March 2018). "This map apparently shows where the north begins". LeicestershireLive. Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  16. ^ "BBC - Nottingham 360 - The Nottinghamshire border". Archived from the original on 3 March 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  17. ^ says, Diane (13 February 2011). "Lincolnshire County". Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  18. ^ "About the Isle of Axholme". Archived from the original on 5 February 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  19. ^ "Lincolnshire Coast". Archived from the original on 6 July 2022. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  20. ^ "Lincolnshire Biodiversity Action Plan" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 June 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  21. ^ UKGE (3 December 2015). "A rare Cretaceous ichthyosaur from Lincolnshire". Deposits Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 November 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  22. ^ "The Lincoln Plesiosaur – The Collection". Archived from the original on 29 November 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  23. ^ Franklin, Ashley (22 June 2017). "Man climbs Lincolnshire's highest point – but where is it?". Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ Sympson, E. Mansel (22 November 2012). Lincolnshire. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781107612648. Archived from the original on 16 March 2023. Retrieved 14 December 2018 – via Google Books.
  26. ^ "Conservationists and anglers clash over otters' return". Grantham Journal. 1 January 2018. Archived from the original on 3 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Red kites at Belton House". National Trust. Archived from the original on 9 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  28. ^ "At Grimsby: The County Borough Celebrations". Hull Daily Mail. 8 April 1891. p. 4. From now until the end of the week Grimsby will be en fête, celebrating its constitution as a county borough.
  29. ^ "Local Government Reorganisation (Humberside)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 26 May 1994. col. 491–498. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  30. ^ "Humberside (Structural Change) Order 1995". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Lords. 6 March 1995. col. 74–79. Archived from the original on 10 April 2022. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  31. ^ "Lincolnshire County Council: Conservatives win 54 out of 70 seats". BBC News. 7 May 2021. Archived from the original on 10 April 2022. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  32. ^ Association, Local Government. "Demographic Report for Lincolnshire". Retrieved 15 February 2024.
  33. ^ UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Derby Local Authority (E06000015)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  34. ^ John Marais; Eddie Holmes; David Woolverton; Rob Betts (December 2004), "Lincolnshire" (PDF), Regional Gross Value Added, Office for National Statistics, pp. 240–253, archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2005
  35. ^ "Wheat yield world record shattered in Lincolnshire". Farmers Weekly. 24 August 2015. Archived from the original on 7 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  36. ^ "New world record for combined peas set in Lincs – Agronomist & Arable Farmer". 30 August 2017. Archived from the original on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  37. ^ "Potato Council Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (CSR) facility". 12 September 2012. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  38. ^ "History of the Breed — National Lincoln Sheep Breeders Association". Archived from the original on 6 December 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Town centres data from 2000". Archived from the original on 9 March 2005. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  40. ^ "United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Website – Home". Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  41. ^ "Air Ambulance Lincs & Nott: Home Page". Archived from the original on 20 May 2004. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  42. ^ "Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board". Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  43. ^ "Map of Lincolnshire IDBs". Archived from the original on 22 June 2009.
  44. ^ "Home". Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  45. ^ "Sustrans Lincolnshire". Archived from the original on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  46. ^ "2006 Thorne Moors Vertebrate Report – "Thorne Waste (except now the Yorkshire Triangle) lies in South Yorkshire, and the other parishes lie in East Yorkshire, except Crowle Moor and the Yorkshire Triangle, which are in North Lincolnshire". Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  47. ^ "Humberhead Peatlands – Map of Thorne Moors". Humberhead Peatlands Website. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  48. ^ "Mobile Libraries". Lincolnshire County Council. Archived from the original on 11 November 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2013. Wherever you live in Lincolnshire, whether in the countryside of the Wolds or Fens, the Coastal area or even on the edge of a town, a Mobile Library will stop nearby.
  49. ^ "Lincolnshire Sayings and Traditions". Archived from the original on 20 May 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  50. ^ "Civic Heraldry visited 22 December 2006". Archived from the original on 23 May 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  51. ^ [dead link]
  52. ^ "The Royal Anglian and Royal Lincolnshire Regimental Association". Archived from the original on 7 March 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  53. ^ "Lincolnshire Regiment". Retrieved 11 December 2014.
  54. ^ Binnall, P.B.G., "A Man of Might" in FOLKLORE Vol.52, p.73, 1941
  55. ^ Binnall, P.B.G. "A Man of Might", in FOLKLORE Vol.52, p.74, 1941
  56. ^ "Percy Grainger ethnographic wax cylinders - World and traditional music | British Library - Sounds". Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  57. ^ Yates, Michael. Percy Grainger and the Impact of the Phonograph, Folk Music Journal Vol. 4, No. 3 (1982), pp. 265-275
  58. ^ Bird, John (1999). Percy Grainger. Oxford University Press. p. 127. ISBN 0-19-816652-4.
  59. ^ "To daffodils / R. Vaughan-Williams 3098577".
  60. ^ Tudor Church Music, ed. Buck, P. C., Fellowes, E. H., Ramsbotham, A., Terry, R. R. and Warner, S. T., 10 vols. Oxford University Press, 1923–1929 I: John Taverner, c. 1495–1545
  61. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 August 2023. Retrieved 18 August 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  62. ^ a b c d "Lincolnshire's Dishes". Portsmouth Evening News. 5 November 1937. Retrieved 15 February 2015 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  63. ^ Elliott, Valerie (17 November 2009). "Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish is granted European PGI status". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  64. ^ "Chocolatier in Louth". Archived from the original on 27 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  65. ^ Bingham, Caroline (November 2012). "Chocolatier in Willingham". Lincolnshire Life. Archived from the original on 26 February 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  66. ^ "Chocolatier in Skegness". Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  67. ^ "Hansen's chocolate house". Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  68. ^ "Hansen's Chocolate House, Folkingham, Lincolnshire". Explore Lincolnshire. Archived from the original on 25 January 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  69. ^ "Best Milk Chocolate Bean-To-Bar". 2013 awards. Academy of Chocolate. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  70. ^ Williams, Holly (7 July 2013). "Best of British". The Independent. Archived from the original on 8 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  71. ^ "Red Star Chocolate". Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  72. ^ "Lincolnshire Events Centre". Lincolnshire Showground. Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  73. ^ "The Largest Village Show in England". Archived from the original on 5 May 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  74. ^ "Corby Glen Sheep Fair Gallery". Archived from the original on 21 July 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  75. ^ "RAF Red Arrows – Home". 11 January 2010. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  76. ^ "The White Bread Meadow". Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  77. ^ Crafts at Lincoln Christmas Market Archived 3 January 2013 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 31 March 2013
  78. ^ "Stamford Shakespeare Company". Archived from the original on 10 June 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  79. ^ "Spalding Flower Parade". Archived from the original on 30 April 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  80. ^ Play-Sport New Media (13 June 2002). "Play-Cricket the ECB Cricket Network". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  81. ^ "Now sponsored by MOTÖRHEAD! – Lincolnshire Bombers". Lincolnshire Bombers' News forum. 1 April 2009. Archived from the original on 14 May 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
  82. ^ "New county flag design unveiled". BBC News. 24 October 2005. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  83. ^ "Lincolnshire flag at the self-appointed flag registry". Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  84. ^ Santos, Cory (19 April 2013). "Tracking the mysterious origins of the Lincoln Imp". The Lincolnite. Archived from the original on 24 May 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013. the imp has come to represent Lincoln as its mischievous mascot.
  85. ^ Williams, Phil (16 December 2011). "A History of the Lincoln Imp". Lincoln Cathedral. Archived from the original on 28 May 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2013. Lincoln's imp is a well known emblem of the Cathedral and the city, to the extent it has been adopted as the symbol of Lincoln
  86. ^ "mb21 – Transmitter Information – Waltham". 11 June 2009. Archived from the original on 11 June 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  87. ^ "mb21 – Transmitter Information – Belmont". 9 June 2009. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  88. ^ ITV 1968 – A Guide to Independent Television, Independent Television Authority, London, 1967, page 175
  89. ^ "mb21 – Transmitter Information – Sandy Heath". 4 June 2009. Archived from the original on 4 June 2009. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  90. ^ "Radio Lincolnshire – Find Your Local Station". Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  91. ^ "'Bomber County' past and present". BBC News. 18 May 2012. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  92. ^ "Final flight of Red Arrows jet from RAF Scampton". Royal Air Force. 21 October 2022. Retrieved 15 January 2024.
  93. ^ "A Better Defence Estate" (PDF). Ministry of Defence. November 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 November 2016. Retrieved 8 November 2016.
  94. ^ "Disposal database: House of Commons report". Retrieved 26 November 2021.


  • Foster, C. W.; Longley, Thomas, eds. (1924). The Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. Annual works of the society. Vol. 19. Horncastle: Lincoln Record Society.