Heritage & Culture
If you’re looking for history and heritage, you’ve come to the right place. We’re proud of our links to everything from America’s Founding Fathers to the birth of Methodism. And we’ve got our fair share to tempt culture vultures too. Here are just a few ideas…
1. Magnificent Manor Houses
History, architecture… and scientific graffiti! See where Sir Isaac Newton grew up (and scribbled formulas on walls) at Woolsthorpe Manor, also home to the apple tree. Gainsborough Old Hall is among the nation’s best-preserved medieval manor houses, and Alford Manor House is England’s largest thatched manor house.
2. Stately treasures
We’re rich in treasures when it comes to historic homes, and unusually many are still in the hands of the same families generations after they were built. Doddington Hall is a late Elizabethan mansion with stunning gardens, while Burghley House is regarded as England’s greatest Elizabethan house. Grimsthorpe Castle was built for a King while Belton House is known as the perfect English country house.
3. Museums with a difference
Museums are everywhere, right? But we bet you’ve not visited the Museum of RAF Firefighting, the country’s only museum dedicated to military firefighting. Bringing the life and times of Lincoln past to life is the Museum of Lincolnshire Life, also home to a First World War tank, invented in Lincoln! Ever sat in a wartime bomber? You can at special events at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, where you can experience the sights, sounds, smells of a bomber airfield.
4. Gone with the wind
Wind power has long played a major role in the county. Heckington is the country’s only surviving eight-sailed working windmill; Alford, a five-sailed windmill built in 1837, still produces flour, and Ellis Windmill is a glorious 18th century working mill. Although powered by water rather than wind, Cogglesford Mill, dating back to Saxon times, is thought to be England’s only working ‘Sheriff's’ watermill.
5. Hands of history
Who would have thought that the roots of America stretch back here to Lincolnshire, while the county gave birth to one of the world’s major religions. Follow in the footsteps of the Pilgrim Fathers at Boston Guildhall, a stunning medieval building where they were once imprisoned. Visit the birthplace of John Wesley, founder of Methodism, at Epworth Old Rectory, the family home.
6. Aviation heritage
While many places celebrate Britain’s aviation heritage, we think we do it in a very special way. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Visitor Centre is the RAF's tribute to wartime aviators, while the RAF Digby Operations Room offers a fascinating window on the past. Coming soon is a new International Bomber Command Centre, a tribute to aircrew that lost their lives. You may even spot the RAF Red Arrows practicing daredevil moves above their Lincolnshire base!
7. Church heritage
Of course there is the magnificent Lincoln Cathedral and Boston Stump, with its towering spire, but there are so many more gems to be discovered. Stow Minster is one of the oldest parish churches in England while Long Sutton St Mary’s has the oldest lead spire in England. We’ve even got a church for Ramblers, All Saints' Church, which sits in the glorious Lincolnshire Wolds. Don't miss the ArChWay project either!
8. Cultural hotspots
You can’t go far wrong exploring Lincoln’s Cultural Quarter! Lincoln Drill Hall, originally a military and police training hall, is a thriving venue, while the 19th century Lincoln Theatre Royal is home to everything from family panto to ballet. The Collection is a striking, award winning museum and a top tip for any visitor while The Engine Shed is the region’s largest live music and entertainment venue. Enjoy!
9. After Dark
As the sun sets, there’s a different experience on offer in Lincoln. Floodlit Cathedral and Castle are always a stunning sight, while around the cobbled streets are some of Lincoln's most traditional pubs and restaurants. Down hill in the city centre there’s a thriving night scene with cool bars, and even cooler cocktails, while Brayford Waterfront is a vibrant and colourful mix of waterside cafes and bars.
10. Inspirational Heritage
The Wolds in Lincolnshire has been the inspirational starting point of many historic and artisitic figures including Captain John Smith, Sir Joseph Banks and Sir John Franklin. The Tennyson family has a strong association with the area with Alfred, Lord Tennyson - the Poet Laureate – born here and spending much of his formative years in Somersby, Tealby, Louth and Horncastle.