For other places with the same name, see Lincolnshire (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 53°4′N 0°11′W / 53.067°N 0.183°W / 53.067; -0.183

Motto: Land and God

Lincolnshire in England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region East Midlands
Yorkshire and the Humber (North Lincolnshire and
North East Lincolnshire)
Ceremonial county
Area 6,959 km2 (2,687 sq mi)
  Ranked 2nd of 48
Population (mid-2014 est.) 1,042,000
  Ranked 18th of 48
Density 150/km2 (390/sq mi)
Ethnicity 98.5% White
Non-metropolitan county
County council
Lincolnshire County Council
Executive Conservative
Admin HQ Lincoln
Area 5,921 km2 (2,286 sq mi)
  Ranked 4th of 27
Population 714,800
  Ranked 14th of 27
Density 121/km2 (310/sq mi)
ISO 3166-2 GB-LIN
ONS code 32

Districts of Lincolnshire
  1. City of Lincoln
  2. North Kesteven
  3. South Kesteven
  4. South Holland
  5. Boston
  6. East Lindsey
  7. West Lindsey
  8. North Lincolnshire (Unitary)
  9. North East Lincolnshire (Unitary)
Members of Parliament
Time zone GMT (UTC)
  Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)

Lincolnshire (/ˈlɪŋkənʃər/ or /ˈlɪŋkənʃɪər/; abbreviated Lincs) is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the northwest, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders Northamptonshire in the south for just 20 yards (18 m), England's shortest county boundary.[1] The county town is Lincoln, where the county council has its headquarters.

The ceremonial county of Lincolnshire is composed of the non-metropolitan county of Lincolnshire and the area covered by the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. Therefore, part of the ceremonial county is in the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England, and most is in the East Midlands region. The county is the second-largest of the English ceremonial counties and one that is predominantly agricultural in land use. The county is fifth largest of the two-tier counties, as the unitary authorities of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire are not included. The county can be broken down into a number of geographical sub-regions including: The rolling chalk hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds. In the south east are the Lincolnshire Fens (south-east Lincolnshire), the Carrs (similar to the Fens but in north Lincolnshire), the industrial Humber Estuary and North Sea coast around Grimsby and Scunthorpe, and in the south-west of the county, the Kesteven Uplands, comprising rolling limestone hills in the district of South Kesteven.


Part of 'The Bailgate'. The centre of the uphill area of Lincoln.

Lincolnshire derived from the merging of the territory of the ancient 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, and 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.

In 1888 when county councils were set up, Lindsey, Holland and Kesteven each received separate ones. These survived until 1974, when Holland, Kesteven, and most of Lindsey were unified into Lincolnshire. The northern part of Lindsey, including Scunthorpe Municipal Borough and Grimsby County Borough, was incorporated into the newly formed non-metropolitan county of Humberside, along with most of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

County and County Borough areas pre 1965

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

The area was shaken by the 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 and its library has preserved his signature, applied to a window sill when he was a teenager.


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


This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Lincolnshire at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added (millions of GB₤)[a] Agriculture[b] Industry[c] Services[d]
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 Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
b includes hunting and forestry
c includes energy and construction
d 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 approximately one quarter of the population of the county).


Lincolnshire farmland near Burton Coggles

Lincolnshire is an agricultural area, growing 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. South Lincolnshire is also home to one of the UK's leading agricultural experiment stations located in Sutton Bridge operated by the Potato Council, Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research engages in research for the British potato industry.[2]

Mechanisation 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. Several major engineering companies developed in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Grantham to support those changes, perhaps most famously Fosters of Lincoln, who built the first tank, and Richard Hornsby & Sons of Grantham. Most such companies are long gone, and Lincolnshire is no longer an engineering centre.

Today, immigrant workers mainly from new member states of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe comprise a very large component of the seasonal agricultural workforce, particularly in the south of the county where more labour-intensive crops such as small vegetables and cut flowers are typically grown. This seasonal influx of migrant labour occasionally causes tension between the migrant workforce and local people, in a county which is still relatively unaccustomed to the large-scale immigration experienced by other parts of the United Kingdom. However, as a result of the current economic climate some food production facilities have closed down, this has caused some reduction in the levels of migrant workers. The large number of people from Portugal is still very obvious in the town of Boston, and in Grantham the large number of Polish workers is still very apparent.[3][4]


Westminster Parliamentary constituencies

General Election 2015 : Lincolnshire
Conservative Labour UKIP Liberal Democrats Green Others Turnout
Overall Number of seats as of 2015
Conservative Labour Liberal Democrats UKIP Green
9 2 0 0 0
Lincolnshire's non-metropolitan county Parliamentary constituency results map from the 2015 UK General Election with all seven constituencies held by the Conservative Party
Humberside Parliamentary constituency results map from the 2015 UK General Election showing results from both North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire with the Conservatives holding two seats and Labour also holding two seats

The Conservative Party won nine seats in the 2010 United Kingdom general election in Lincolnshire, considerably increasing their vote share at the expense of Labour, taking Gillian Merron's Lincoln constituency.

Parliamentary Constituencies
Constituency District MP Party
Boston and Skegness Boston, East Lindsey Matt Warman Conservative
Brigg and Goole North Lincolnshire (plus part in East Riding of Yorkshire) Andrew Percy Conservative
Cleethorpes North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire Martin Vickers Conservative
Gainsborough West Lindsey, East Lindsey Edward Leigh Conservative
Grantham and Stamford South Kesteven Nicholas Boles Conservative
Great Grimsby North East Lincolnshire Melanie Onn Labour
Lincoln Lincoln, North Kesteven Karl McCartney Conservative
Louth and Horncastle East Lindsey Victoria Atkins Conservative
Scunthorpe North Lincolnshire Nic Dakin Labour
Sleaford and North Hykeham North Kesteven, South Kesteven Stephen Phillips Conservative
South Holland and The Deepings South Holland, South Kesteven John Henry Hayes Conservative

Lincolnshire County Council

2013 Lincolnshire County Council Election Results Map. The Conservatives remained as the largest party, but lost their majority, mainly due to gains from the UK Independence Party. North Lincolnshire & North East Lincolnshire are unitary authorities and do not form part of the non-metropolitan Lincolnshire)

A coalition of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Independents currently controls Lincolnshire County Council, with Labour as the opposition party.[5]

2009 election

The Conservative Party comfortably controlled the County Council following the 2009 local elections, in which they increased their majority to 43 seats. The Labour Party lost a total of 15 seats including 7 in Lincoln, whilst the Liberal Democrats lost three. The Lincolnshire Independents gained a total of four seats, although one of their number moved to the Conservative group during 2010, increasing the number of Conservative seats to 61. The collective group of the Lincolnshire Independents, the Boston Bypass Party and other independent councillors formed the opposition for the four-year term.

2013 election

In the 2013 County Council elections, the Conservatives lost their majority and formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats and independents. The UK Independence Party made significant gains from the Conservatives, particularly around the town of Boston, due to opposition to Eastern European immigration.[6]

UKIP were initially the main opposition party with 16 councillors, but now have only 10 after the others broke away to form a new party, UKIP Lincolnshire. The latter group are currently looking at changing their name to remove the "UKIP" reference altogether.[7]

Lincolnshire County Council election, 2013
Party Seats Gains Losses Net gain/loss Seats % Votes % Votes +/−
  Conservative 36 1 26 −25 46.75 35.75 58,119 −29,645
  UKIP 16 16 0 +16 20.78 24.17 39,289 +33,681
  Labour 12 7 0 +7 15.58 18.40 29,919 +9,720
  Lincolnshire Independents 8 5 0 +5 10.39 11.34 18,428 +794
  Liberal Democrat 3 0 2 −2 3.90 4.36 7,093 −29,392
  Independent 2 1 0 +1 2.60 5.43 8,831 −1,110
  BNP 0 0 0 0 0 0.27 435 −6,109
  TUSC 0 0 0 0 0 0.20 323 N/A
  Green 0 0 0 0 0 0.08 136 −974


1975 EEC Referendum

The EEC referendum was the first major referendum ever to be held within the historic county, and saw a large majority of voters approve continued membership of the then European Economic Community within non-metropolitan Lincolnshire and also Humberside, which included northern parts of historic Lincolnshire. The referendum was held on Thursday 5 June 1975.

County Yes votes No votes Yes % No % Turnout %
Lincolnshire 180,603 61,011 74.7 25.3 63.7
Humberside 257,826 122,199 67.8 32.2 62.4

2011 AV Referendum

The United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011 was the first to be held within Lincolnshire since the 1975 EEC membership referendum and was only the second time that the people of Lincolnshire have been asked to vote in a referendum. The referendum asked voters whether to replace the present "first-past-the-post" (simple plurality) system with the "alternative vote" (AV) method for electing MPs to the House of Commons in future general elections. The proposal to introduce AV was overwhelmingly rejected by voters with all eight counting areas within Lincolnshire returning significant "no" votes.

County No votes Yes votes No % Yes %
Lincolnshire 232,034 76,570 75.19 24.81

The seven shire-districts, and two unitary authorities within Lincolnshire were used as the Counting Areas.

Counting Areas Turnout % No votes Yes votes No % Yes %
Boston 39.58 13,337 3,958 77.11 22.89
East Lindsey 42.60 34,045 10,571 76.31 23.69
Lincoln 36.68 16,099 6,951 69.84 30.16
North East Lincolnshire 34.23 29,484 9,549 75.54 24.46
North Lincolnshire 39.57 36,031 12,542 74.18 25.82
North Kesteven 42.95 27,397 7,926 77.56 22.44
South Holland 39.83 20,542 5,603 78.57 21.43
South Kesteven 42.63 32,217 11,247 74.12 25.88
West Lindsey 43.70 22,882 8,223 73.56 26.44

2016 EU Referendum

On Thursday 23 June 2016, in the EU referendum, the people of Lincolnshire voted for the second time on the issue of the UK's continued membership of the European Union . Currently of the ten MPs which represent the historic county six MPs are advocating a "Leave" vote with four MPs supporting a "Remain" vote.


County Remain votes Leave votes Remain % Leave %
Lincolnshire 221,180 374,466 36.4% 63.7%
Voting areas Turnout % Remain votes Leave votes Remain % Leave %
Boston 77.2% 7,430 22,97424.4%75.6%
East Lindsey 74.9%23,51556,61329.3%70.7%
Lincoln 69.3%18,90224,99243.1%57.0%
North East Lincolnshire 67.9% 23,79755,185 30.1% 69.9%
North Lincolnshire 71.9% 29,947 58,915 33.7% 66.3%
North Kesteven 78.4% 25,570 42,183 37.7% 62.3%
South Holland 75.3% 13,074 36,423 26.4% 73.6%
South Kesteven 78.2% 33,047 49,424 40.1% 60.0%
West Lindsey 74.5% 20,906 33,847 38.2% 61.8%

Police and Crime Commissioners

On 15 November 2012 the people of Lincolnshire voted for the first time to elect Police and Crime Commissioners. Two commissioners were elected within Lincolnshire, one to cover the Lincolnshire Police Force Area whilst voters in North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire voted for a commissioner within the Humberside Police Force Area. As was the case in other parts of the country the elections were marked by extremely low turnouts: in the Lincolnshire Police Force Area the turnout was 15.35% and in the Humberside Police Force Area 19.15%.

Lincolnshire Police

Lincolnshire Commissioner election, 2012 (The Lincolnite)
Party Candidate 1st Round % 2nd Round Total  First Round Votes  Transfer Votes 
Independent Alan Hardwick 26,272 31% 12,949 39,221
Campaign to Stop Politicians Running Policing David Bowles 27,345 33% 7,741 35,086
Conservative Richard Davies 19,872 24%
Labour Paul Gleeson 10,847 12%
Majority 11,876
Turnout 85,626 15.35%
Independent win

Humberside Police

Humberside Commissioner election, 2012
Party Candidate 1st Round % 2nd Round Total  First Round Votes  Transfer Votes 
Conservative Matthew Grove 29,440 22.01% 12,724 42,164
Labour John Prescott 33,282 24.88% 6,651 39,933
Independent Paul Davison 28,807 21.54%
UKIP Godfrey Bloom 21,484 16.06%
Liberal Democrat Simone Butterworth 11,655 8.71%
Independent Walter Sweeney 5,118 3.83%
Independent Neil Eyre 3,976 2.97%
Majority 2,231
Turnout 133,762 19.15%
Conservative win

Services and retail

According to an IGGI study in 2000,[9] the town centres were ranked by area thus (including North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire areas):

Public services


Lincolnshire is one of the few counties within 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. Within 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.


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 within 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 within the county were long ago lifted and much of the trackbed has returned to agricultural use.

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 a HST125 unit, but was discontinued following the electrification of the East Coast Main Line. Passengers now have to change trains at Newark when travelling to and from London. However, the East Coast Main Line passes through the county and one can catch direct trains to London.

A rural road in Lincolnshire
The rural B1397 in Gosberton Fen heading out towards the Bourne area

A proposed 2 hourly service promised by National Express East Coast (who lost the franchise on 13 November 2009) between Lincoln and King's Cross has yet to start running, though was promised to start running by 2010.

Most rail services are currently provided by East Midlands Trains and Northern. Virgin Trains East Coast and CrossCountry have services which pass through the county, with Virgin Trains East Coast frequently passing and stopping at Grantham on the East Coast Main Line and a daily return train to Lincoln which is at the end of the branch line, 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. One train travels both ways each day, and there is a northbound service on a Sunday. East Midlands Trains also run a daily (Mon-Sat) service each way between Lincoln and London St Pancras, though this is a stopping service which takes around 3 hours via Nottingham, compared to Virgin Trains East Coast's service to London King's Cross which takes around 1h 50 minutes.

The only airport in Lincolnshire is Humberside Airport, near Brigg. While small, it serves all of Lincolnshire. Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster is within travelling distance of much of Lincolnshire and provide a wider range of flights.

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 of Bourne and Hornsby's of Scunthorpe'[10]

A Sustrans cycle route runs from Lincoln to Boston in the south of the county.[11]

Health care

The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust[12] 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.

Lincolnshire shares the problems of elsewhere in the country when it comes to finding an NHS dentist, with waiting lists of eight months not uncommon.

Some of the larger hospitals in the county include:

Since April 1994, Lincolnshire has had an Air Ambulance service.[13] 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, or the Welland and Deepings Internal Drainage Board.[14]


Lincolnshire is now the second fastest growing county in the UK with thousands of people moving here every year. Over the next two decades Lincolnshire is set to grow both in population and economy with the help of the Government’s Growth Points strategy. Lincolnshire has been awarded £13 million in funding to deliver sustainable development and intensive growth through sites of key regional significance. In essence, the target for Lincoln is 14,000 new homes and 12,000 new jobs by 2026 whilst the target for Grantham is an additional 3,200 homes by 2016 and at least 6,200 by 2026. This housing growth will be supported by the provision for 4,800 jobs by 2016. [15]

Towns and villages

The non-metropolitan county of Lincolnshire has no major urban areas, apart from the areas in and around Lincoln and Boston. However, the Skegness, Ingoldmells and Chapel St Leonards areas (and to a lesser extent the Sutton-on-Sea and Mablethorpe areas) along the Lincolnshire coast are becoming increasingly urbanised, as people holiday at large caravan sites during the summer. These holidaymakers are not reflected in census or local population figures, though it is estimated that at the height of the summer months there are over 100,000 such residents in these coastal areas. This has an appreciable impact on the local infrastructure and amenities.

Map of civil parishes within Lincolnshire
Largest settlements in Lincolnshire by population
Rank City/ Town District/Unitary Authority Population
(2011 est.)
1 Lincoln Lincoln 119,541
2 Grimsby North East Lincolnshire 88,243
3 Scunthorpe North Lincolnshire 79,977
4 Grantham South Kesteven 41,998
5 Boston Boston 41,340
6 Cleethorpes North East Lincolnshire 39,505
7 Spalding South Holland 31,588
8 Skegness East Lindsey 24,876
9 Gainsborough West Lindsey 20,842
10 Stamford South Kesteven 19,701

For a more detailed list of the largest populated towns see the List of settlements in Lincolnshire by population page.

For a full list of Lincolnshire towns and villages see the List of places in Lincolnshire page.

Coastal tourism

The centre of Skegness, showing the clock tower and the "Jolly Fisherman" sculpture/fountain.
Seafront and beach at Cleethorpes
Skegness seafront and Pier
Beach Huts and Padding Pool at Sutton-on-Sea

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.

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 small 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 rail service to these towns was axed in the Beeching cuts.

The third group of resorts includes the seaside town of Cleethorpes and the large village resort of Humberston within North East Lincolnshire. It has Pleasure Island Family Theme Park, Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway and Cleethorpes Pier along with its local golf courses and caravan and holiday sites. 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 nature reserves at Gibraltar Point, Saltfleetby and Theddlethorpe. The reserve at Donna Nook also has a native seal colony popular with nature lovers.

The market towns of the Lincolnshire Wolds (Louth, Alford, Horncastle, Caistor and Spilsby) are also attractive, with several having historic links. The Wolds are quite popular for cycling and walking, with regular events such as the Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival.


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.[16]

Lincolnshire is a rural area where the pace of life is generally much slower than in much of the United Kingdom. Sunday is still largely a day of rest, with only shops in Lincoln, larger market towns, and resorts and industrial towns of the North Sea coast generally remaining open. Some towns and villages in the county still observe half-day closing on Thursdays. 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 galley 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.[17]


Lincolnshire is relatively unusual in the composition of its population, being one of the least ethnically diverse counties of the United Kingdom (98.5% of the population describe themselves as "white"). Over recent years inward migration by people from ethnic minority communities has increased (particularly to population centres such as Lincoln and Boston) but the absolute number of non-white Lincolnshire residents remains very low.

Recently, the county has also witnessed a growing trend towards immigration of retired people from other parts of the United Kingdom, particularly those from the southern counties of England attracted by the generally lower property prices and the slower and more relaxed pace of life. The relatively high proportion of elderly and retired people is reflected in many of the services, activities and events. Sleaford is considered one of the fastest-growing towns in the East Midlands, with many professional people moving there to benefit from the (relatively) low house prices and crime rate, and the selective education.

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.[18]

Notable people

Lincolnshire has many notable people associated with it, such as:

Present day figures include


In common with most other Northern and Midlands dialects in England, "flat" a is preferred, i.e. /ˈbæθ/ over /ˈbɑːθ/, 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, and who has a regular slot on BBC Radio Lincolnshire. A resident of Woodhall Spa, ironically one of the Lincolnshire settlements least aligned to the county's architectural style, has published a dictionary of words once prevalent in parts of the county.[19]


Lincolnshire was historically associated with the Lincolnshire bagpipe, an instrument derided as a coarse and unpleasant instrument in contemporary literature, but noted as very popular in the county. The last player, John Hunsley of Middle Manton,[20] died in 1851,[21] and since then the instrument has been extinct.

In 1937, Percy Grainger wrote his Lincolnshire Posy for wind band. The piece is a compilation of folk songs "musical wildflowers" collected by the composer in and around the county of Lincolnshire.

The Lincolnshire Poacher is a traditional English folk song associated with the county of Lincolnshire, and deals with the joys of poaching. It is considered to be the unofficial county anthem of Lincolnshire.


Lincolnshire has a number of local dishes:

Craft Chocolatiers can be found throughout[24][25][26] the county, such as Hansens[27] in Folkingham.[28] In 2013 Redstar Chocolate's Duffy's Venezuela Ocumare Milk won a Gold medal as best bean-to-bar.[29][30] The factory is in Cleethorpes.[31]


Every year the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, founded in 1869, stages the Lincolnshire Agricultural Show.[32] 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[33] can still be found. Corby Glen sheep fair[34] has been held since 1238.

The Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton near Lincoln[35] 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.

On the Monday before Easter, an unusual auction takes place in Bourne to let the grazing rights of the Whitebread Meadow.[36] 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 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.

In recent years Lincoln Christmas Market, a street market throughout historic area of the city, has been held at the start of December. Around the same time Christmas lights are turned on in Bourne, Sleaford, Skegness, and other towns.

Throughout the summer the Stamford Shakespeare Company[37] presents the Bard's plays in the open-air theatre at Tolethorpe Hall, which is actually in Rutland.

The Spalding Flower Parade is held in late spring every year. Colourful floats decorated with tulip heads compete for a cup. The tradition was started in 1959 and draws coach tours from across Britain.


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 within 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 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 to 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 to represent the county. Six competing designs were voted upon by locals. The winning submission was unveiled in October 2005.[40][41] 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.[42][43] In 2006 it was replaced as the brand of Lincolnshire County Council by the stylised version seen on the header here 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 the Daily Mail and General Trust.

There are also a number of weekly papers serving individual towns published in the county by Johnston Press. 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,[44] Lincolnshire is served from the Belmont transmitter,[45] 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.[46] 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[47] 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:


Typhoon FGR.4 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 RAF built prolifically in the county, which has hosted nearly seventy separate bases. With the drawdown of the RAF, most stations have closed, but the RAF retains a significant footprint. For more information on former bases, see here.

Lincolnshire is currently home to a number of RAF Stations, including two major front-line bases, RAF Coningsby, which houses Typhoon jet fighters, and RAF Waddington, where most of the RAF's Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance aircraft are based. Other stations in Lincolnshire include RAF Cranwell, home of all basic Officer training for the Royal Air Force, RAF Scampton, home of the Red Arrows, RAF Barkston Heath, a training airfield, and minor bases such as RAF Kirton in Lindsey, RAF Holbeach, RAF Donna Nook and RAF Digby.

The Army runs Sobraon Barracks, home of 160 (Lincoln) Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps.

Places of interest

Accessible open space
Amusement/Theme Park
Country Park
English Heritage
Forestry Commission
Heritage railway
Historic House

Museum (free/not free)
National Trust

Lincolnshire's Coastal Grazing Marshes

See also


  1. "Lincolnshire County Council". 24 October 2005. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  2. "Potato Council Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research (CSR) facility". 12 September 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  3. "Grantham Journal".
  4. "UPDATED: Fenland Foods workers to protest – Features". Grantham Journal. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  5. "Your Councillors".
  6. Why did voters turn to Ukip in parts of true blue Lincolnshire?. Telegraph. Retrieved on 17 July 2013.
  7. "What's next for 'UKIP Lincolnshire' after name change debacle...". Lincolnshire Echo.
  8. "EU referendum results". The Electoral Commission. The Electoral Commission. 24 June 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  9. "Town centres data from 2000". Archived from the original on 9 March 2005. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  10. "Home". Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  11. "Sustrans Lincolnshire". Archived from the original on 8 March 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  12. "United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Website – Home". Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  13. Map of Lincolnshire IDBs Archived 22 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  14. "Lincolnshire By Numbers". Lincolnshire. The Elms. Retrieved 2016-06-14.
  15. "Mobile Libraries". Lincolnshire County Council. 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.
  16. "Lincolnshire Sayings and Traditions". Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  17. "Civic Heraldry visited 22 December 2006". Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  18. Binnall, P.B.B., "A Man of Might" in FOLKLORE Vol.52, p.73, 1941
  19. Binnall, P.B.G. "A Man of Might", in FOLKLORE Vol.52, p.74, 1941
  20. 1 2 3 4 "Lincolnshire's Dishes". Portsmouth Evening News. 5 November 1937. Retrieved 15 February 2015 via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)).
  21. Elliott, Valerie (17 November 2009). "Traditional Grimsby Smoked Fish is granted European PGI status". The Times. London.
  22. "Chocolatier in Louth". Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  23. Bingham, Caroline (November 2012). "Chocolatier in Willingham". Lincolnshire Life. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  24. "chocolatier in Skegness". Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  25. "Hansen's chocolate house". Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  26. "Hansen's Chocolate House, Folkingham, Lincolnshire". Explore Lincolnshire. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  27. "Best Milk Chocolate Bean-To-Bar". 2013 awards. Academy of Chocolate. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  28. Williams, Holly (7 July 2013). "Best of British". Independent. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  29. "Red Star Chocolate". Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  30. "Lincolnshire Events Centre". Lincolnshire Showground. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  31. "The Largest Village Show in England". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  32. "Corby Glen Sheep Fair Gallery". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  33. "RAF Red Arrows – Home". 11 January 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  34. "The White Bread Meadow". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  35. "Stamford Shakespeare Company". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  36. Play-Sport New Media (13 June 2002). "Play-Cricket the ECB Cricket Network". Retrieved 29 June 2010.
  37. "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.
  38. "New county flag design unveiled". BBC News. 24 October 2005. Retrieved 15 February 2010.
  39. "Lincolnshire flag at the self-appointed flag registry".
  40. Santos, Cory (19 April 2013). "Tracking the mysterious origins of the Lincoln Imp". The Lincolnite. Retrieved 7 July 2013. the imp has come to represent Lincoln as its mischievous mascot.
  41. Williams, Phil (16 December 2011). "A History of the Lincoln Imp". Lincoln Cathedral. 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
  42. Map of area served by the Waltham UHF analogue TV transmitter Archived 11 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  43. Map of area served by the Belmont UHF TV transmitter Archived 9 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  44. ITV 1968 – A Guide to Independent Television, Independent Television Authority, London, 1967, page 175
  45. Map of area served by the Sandy Heath UHF analogue TV transmitter Archived 4 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  • Foster, C. W.; Longley, Thomas, eds. (1924). The Lincolnshire Domesday and Lindsey Survey. Annual works of the society. 19. Horncastle: Lincoln Record Society. 

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lincolnshire.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lincolnshire.
Wikisource has the text of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (9th ed.) article Lincoln.
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