History of Lincolnshire

History of Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire, England derived from the merging of the territory of the ancient Kingdom of Lindsey with that controlled by the Danelaw borough Stamford. For some time the entire county was called 'Lindsey', and it is recorded as such in the Domesday Book. Later, Lindsey was applied only the northern core, around Lincoln, and emerged as one of the three 'Parts of Lincolnshire', along with the Parts of Holland in the south-east and Kesteven in the south west.

In 1888 when county councils were set up, Lindsey, Holland and Kesteven each received their own separate one. These survived until 1974, when Holland, Kesteven, and most of Lindsey were merged into Lincolnshire, and the northern part, with Scunthorpe and Grimsby, going to the newly formed non-metropolitan county of Humberside, along with most of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

A further local government reform in 1996 abolished Humberside, and the parts south of the Humber became the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. These areas became part of Lincolnshire for ceremonial purposes such as the Lord-Lieutenancy, but are not covered by the Lincolnshire police. These two authorities are in the Yorkshire and the Humber region.

The remaining districts of Lincolnshire are Boston, East Lindsey, Lincoln, South Holland, South Kesteven, North Kesteven and West Lindsey. They are part of the East Midlands region.

Pre-Roman and Roman

Lincolnshire before the Romans was occupied by the Corieltauvi tribe. There have been several small pre-Roman barrows discovered near to Boston and Frampton.

The Romans had established permanent government in Lincolnshire by AD 43, but the tyrannical rule of the Roman sub-prætor Ostorius Scapula so inflamed the Coritani and their neighbours in Yorkshire, the Brigantes, that they conducted a simmering low key rebellion lasting well into AD 70.

Eventually, the Governorship of Britain was given to the Deputy of the Prefect of Gaul and the title Vicar of Britain created. He resided at York, and the sub-district of Flavia Caesaeriensis, which comprised Lincolnshire and parts of the Midlands created.

Once established, the Romans set about improving Lincolnshire. They created the Car Dyke, a series of semi-natural and artificial boundary ditches which run from the River Welland at Market Deeping for 64km to the River Witham at Washingborough. Dug the navigable Foss Dyke, running from the River Witham at Lincoln to the River Trent at Torksey. Constructed hard standings and walkways across the fens and also built inland ports such as the Brayford Pool at Lincoln.

The main Roman forts in Lincolnshire were:

* Alkborough (Aquis)
* Ancaster
* Brant Broughton (Briga)
* Caistor
* Broughton (Pretorium)
* Horncastle (Banovallum)
* Kirton in Lindsey (Inmedio)
* Lincoln (Lindum Colonia)
* Louth (Luda)
* Ludford
* Stow (Sidnacester)
* Tattershall (Drurobrivis)
* Torksey (Tiovulfingacester)
* Wainfleet (Vainona)
* Willoughby (Verometum)
* Winteringham (Ad Abum)

The Romans built three main roads through Lincolnshire:

* Ermine Street (London to York via Stamford, Lincoln and Winteringham)
* Fosse Way (Lincoln to Exeter)
* Tillbridge Lane (Lincoln to York via Marton and Littleborough)

Other roads of Roman origin are the Salters' Way, continuing the line from the Leicestershire border across Ermine Street near Old Somerby, to the then coast at Donington. King Street including The Long Hollow road, joined Ancaster to the fen edge and "Durobrivae" near Peterborough. Two roads linked Lincoln to the coast across the Wolds. This was used as part of the defence system set up to protect the Saxon Shore and re-used by William the Conqueror in conjunction with Lincoln Castle. There are also scores of smaller sections of roads branching off from the three major routes which are certainly Roman as well, linking Ermine Street with the Wolds and King Street with the coast. Also, Mareham Lane continued the fen-edge line of King Street northwards.

When the Romans departed in the fifth century, all these works gradually fell into ruin and disrepair.

Anglo-Saxons and Danes

Incoming groups of Angles settled heavily in the Midland and East Midland areas of what is now England. The Anglian Kingdom of Lindsey was established between the Witham and the Humber, in the northern part of the what is now Lincolnshire, by the 6th century and seems to have maintained its independence until at least the end of the 7th century, but was absorbed into Mercia - a rising power - in the 8th century. [Michael Lapididge (ed.), "The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Englo-Saxon England" (2001) p.289.]

In 865 a formidable Danish raiding army, led by Ivar (spelled Hinguar or Igwar in English sources), one of the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, landed in East Anglia and established winter quarters there. ["Anglo-Saxon Chronicle"; Dorothy Whitelock, [http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/research/rawl/edmund/whitelock.html Fact and Fiction in the Legend of St Edmund] , "Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology" 31 (for 1969), pp. 217-33.] Within a few years this force succeeded in conquering Mercia and all the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms except Wessex.

Scandinavian settlers followed the raiders into the swathe of England under Danish control, which became the Danelaw. They have left a legacy of Scandinavian elements in many Lincolnshire place-names. [Michael Lapididge (ed.), "The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Englo-Saxon England" (2001) pp. 369-371 and map 3.] Lincoln became a Danish borough. In the 10th century it became the head of the new shire of Lincolnshire.

The Norman Conquest

The Anglo-Saxon nobility of Lincolnshire was destroyed by William the Conqueror, and the lands divided amongst his followers. He constructed Lincoln Castle, and another at Tattershall.

The English Civil War

During the war, Lincolnshire was part of the Eastern Association, the Parliamentarian alliance. On its western border lay the Royalist strongholds, of Newark on Trent and Belvoir Castle. Lincolnshire was therefore raided and defended by the respective parties. For a time, Crowland, in the south of the county was fortified for the king.

Lincolnshire was important to the Parliamentarians as it provided access between the great arsenal of Hull and the south and the Eastern Association's heartland in the east of England. It also offered a potential starting line for an advance across the English Midlands, cutting the north of England off from the west.

=World War Two [cite book | last = Halpenny | first = Bruce Barrymore | authorlink = Bruce Barrymore Halpenny | author = Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore | title = Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 | year = 1981 | publisher = PSL | id = ISBN 978-0850594843 ] =


In the late 1930s, despite its coastal holiday industry, distant and near water fishing industries, iron mining and smelting, heavy machinery manufacturing, the country's main road and railway lines and growing number of airfields, Lincolnshire was large enough to give an impression of being a largely unvisited, peaceful agricultural backwater until the Second World War, when its extent, gentle topography and relative proximity to the enemy led to a further expansion in the number of Royal Air Force stations in the county. By 1945 the number of RAF bases exceeded 46. Some of these had by that stage been lent to the Eighth United States Army Air Force. The very first airfields had been built for the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) or the Royal Naval Air Service, the first of them at Skegness, on the coast, in 1912, when the RFC was established.Among the more famous Royal Air Force stations in the county was and is RAF Cranwell. This had begun as The Royal Naval Air Service Central Training Establishment, Cranwell; commonly known as HMS Daedalus, commissioned 1 April 1916. It became the RAF Officer Training College after the formation of the RAF in April 1918. RAF Swinderby was a Polish-manned RAF station and from 1964, the RAF's main Recruit Training Camp. RAF Scampton, was the home base of 617 Squadron.

Lincolnshire still has the strongest claim to being the 'home' of RAF Bomber Command, playing host to many squadrons, including the Lancaster bombers of the famous 617 "Dambusters" squadron who were based at RAF Scampton [http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/chastise1.html] . There were two Bomber Groups based in the county - No. 1 in the north and No. 5 Group in the centre and south. The Battle of Britain memorial flight is still led by a Lancaster named "The City of Lincoln".

Before the war, Sir Frank Whittle had attended RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford, in the late 1920s. Here he formulated his ideas for the jet engine. On May 15 1941, the world's first true jet-engine flight took place at Cranwell, by the Gloster E.28/39.

Most of the airfields were closed after the war and, although most have been built over, disused airfields, abandoned control towers and crumbling concrete bunkers and airfield buildings remain a physical feature of the county in a number of places. Many people in Lincolnshire have learned to drive a car on the disused concrete airstrips of the county.

Cold War history

RAF Waddington and RAF Scampton formed two of the main bases for the V Bomber Force, flying Vulcans, during the Cold War, while Thor missiles were stationed on former wartime air stations at for example, RAF Folkingham.


See also

* History of England

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