Lincolnshire: Local History Resources

Lincolnshire is a predominantly rural English county famous for its flavoursome sausages, the flat, low-lying Fenland landscape, and its historic seaside towns along the North Sea coastline.

What Counties Border Lincolnshire?

Lincolnshire is in a region of central England called the East Midlands, and shares borders with the following counties:

  • Norfolk to the south east
  • Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire to the south
  • Rutland to the south west
  • Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west
  • South Yorkshire to the north west
  • East Riding of Yorkshire to the north

All along Lincolnshire’s east border is its coastline against the North Sea. The many sandy beaches allowed big holiday towns to spring up and grow during the Victorian era.

Lincolnshire’s border with Northamptonshire is the shortest county boundary in England, being just 19 metres long!

Somewhat confusingly, the ceremonial county of Lincolnshire has a larger area than the non-metropolitan county area which determines local authority services. So the ceremonial county also includes some portion of the East Riding of Yorkshire.

How Big Is Lincolnshire? 

Lincolnshire is 6,959 km², making it the second biggest English ceremonial county after Yorkshire. 

Because of its size, Lincolnshire was traditionally divided into the three areas of 

  • Lindsey in the north (further divided into North, South and West)
  • Kesteven in the south-west
  • Holland in the south-east

More recently the county has been divided into 7 districts:

  • West Lindsey
  • East Lindsey
  • South Kesteven
  • North Kesteven
  • South Holland
  • Boston Borough
  • Lincoln

The Cities Of Lincolnshire

The only city in Lincolnshire is the ancient cathedral city of Lincoln, which was an important regional centre as far back as the Roman occupation which ended in 410AD.

Lincoln is a city based in the county of Lincolnshire, whereas Lincolnshire is a large area consisting of Lincoln, a number of large and small towns, villages and rural areas.

In addition to being a city, Lincoln is also a county town. This means it is where the county’s local authority services and management are based, so the county council have their headquarters here.

In 2001, the University of Lincoln was founded, leading to an increase in the city’s population.

What Is The Biggest Town In Lincolnshire?

After the city of Lincoln, which has a population of roughly 130,000 residents, the biggest town in Lincolnshire is Grimsby, which is home to more than 88,000 people.

The towns in Lincolnshire are:

  • Alford
  • Barton-upon-Humber
  • Boston
  • Bourne
  • Brigg
  • Burgh le Marsh
  • Caistor
  • Cleethorpes
  • Crowland
  • Epworth
  • Gainsborough
  • Grantham
  • Grimsby
  • Holbeach
  • Horncastle
  • Immingham
  • Kirton in Lindsey
  • Long Sutton
  • Louth
  • Mablethorpe
  • Market Deeping
  • Market Rasen
  • North Hykeham
  • Scunthorpe
  • Skegness
  • Sleaford
  • Spalding
  • Spilsby
  • Stamford
  • Wainfleet All Saints
  • Winterton

Being a predominantly rural county, there are a lot of villages in Lincolnshire. The Lincolnshire village with the largest population is Ruskington, where almost 5,000 people live.

Lincolnshire Local History On Facebook

Facebook Groups are a great way for anyone with an interest in local history to share photos, videos, memories and new discoveries. The Facebook Groups set up to discuss the local history of Lincolnshire communities include:

  • Scunthorpe Historical Society

Local History Resources

There is a very long list of UK national resources available to local history and family history enthusiasts which holds information about Lincolnshire. The societies and resources which exist with a primary focus on Lincolnshire or the Fenland of which Lincolnshire forms a part include:

  • 50 and 61 Squadron Museum
  • Alford Manor House
  • Anderby Drainage Museum
  • Ayscoughfee Hall Museum
  • Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre
  • Baysgarth House Museum
  • Belton House
  • Boston Guildhall
  • Bourne Heritage Centre
  • Browne’s Hospital
  • Burgh le Marsh Heritage Centre
  • Burgh Museum
  • Burton Fen Collection
  • Caistor Arts & Heritage Centre
  • Chain Bridge Forge
  • Cleethorpes Discovery Centre
  • Cogglesford Mill
  • The Collection, Lincoln
  • Cottage Museum
  • Cranwell Aviation Heritage Centre
  • Discover Stamford
  • Doddington Hall & Gardens
  • Dogdyke Steam Drainage Station
  • Epworth Old Rectory
  • Fenland Family History Society
  • Gainsborough Old Hall
  • Gayton Engine Pumping Station
  • Gordon Boswell Romany Museum
  • Grantham House
  • Grantham Museum
  • Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre
  • Grimsby Town Hall Time Trap Museum
  • Grimsthorpe Castle
  • Haywain Farm Museum
  • Heckington Railway and Heritage Museum
  • Heckington Windmill
  • Immingham Museum
  • Isle of Axholme Family History Society
  • Lincoln Castle
  • Lincoln Central Library
  • Lincoln Medieval Bishop’s Palace
  • Lincolnshire Archives
  • Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre
  • Lincolnshire Family History Society
  • Lincolnshire Record Office
  • Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum
  • Lincolnshire Wolds Railway
  • Long Bennington Local History Society
  • Louth Museum
  • Magdalen College Museum
  • Maud Foster Windmill
  • Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre
  • Moulton Windmill
  • Mrs Smith’s Cottage
  • Museum of Lincolnshire Life
  • Museum of RAF Firefighting
  • Museum of Technology
  • National Centre for Craft & Design
  • Natural World Centre
  • Navigation House, Sleaford
  • Normanby Hall Museum and Country Park
  • North Ings Farm Museum
  • North Lincolnshire Museum, Scunthorpe 
  • Owston Ferry Smithy
  • Pinchbeck Engine
  • RAF Digby Sector Ops Room Museum
  • RAF Scampton Museum
  • RAF Skellingthorpe Heritage Room
  • RAF Waddington Heritage Centre
  • RAF Wickenby Memorial Collection
  • The Ropewalk
  • Scawby Hall
  • Sibsey Trader Mill
  • South Lincolnshire Military Museum
  • Spalding Flower Bulb Museum
  • Spalding Library
  • St Katherine’s Heritage and Cultural Centre
  • St Peter’s Church
  • Tattershall Castle
  • Thornton Abbey
  • Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre
  • Trolleybus Museum at Sandtoft
  • The Village Church Farm
  • Waltham Windmill
  • Welbourn Forge
  • Wilderspin National School
  • Wisbech and Fenland Museum (based in Cambridgeshire)
  • Woolsthorpe Manor
  • Wrawby Windmill
  • Ye Olde Curiosity Museum

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Thanks to Ron Porter for use of the image shown at the top of this page.