Lincoln has a number of major tourist attractions, the main one being that Lincoln is the capital of Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire is one the biggest counties in England and is a key shire county. Despite the impression that most people have Lincolnshire is far from flat. True, out towards the east coast and the Wash, the county is flat due to the land being reclaimed from the sea. However as you go inland towards Stamford and Grantham the county becomes underrating. The further north of the county you go the hillier it becomes. Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle are high on a hill overlooking the City of Lincoln.
To the north and North West of Lincoln you enter the famous Lincolnshire Wolds and the long hills and shallow valleys before eventually meeting the river Humber.
Back in Lincoln on the hill overlooking the old city is Lincoln Castle.
William the Conqueror’s Castle & The Observatory Tower.
When William the Conqueror defeated King Harold at The Battle of Hastings on the 14 October 1066 he still faced resistance to his rule in the north of England. For a number of years William’s position was very insecure and in order to project his influence over the people, he felt it necessary to construct a number of castles in the north and midlands of England. It was at this time that the new King built major castles at Warwick, Nottingham and York. Once in control of York, the Conqueror turned southwards and arrived at the Roman and Viking city of Lincoln.
When William reached Lincoln he found a Viking trading centre with a population of 8,000. The remains of the old Roman walled fortress located some 200 ft above the countryside to the south and west, proved a strategic position to construct a new castle. Also, Lincoln represented a vital crossroads of the following Roman routes, The Ermine Street, a major Roman road and very important north-south route connecting London and York.
The Fosse Way – another important Roman route connecting Lincoln with the city of Leicester and the south-west of England. The Valley of the River Trent – a major river giving access to the River Ouse, and thus the major city of York. The River Witham – a waterway that afforded access to both the Rivers Trent and the North Sea via The Wash. The Lincolnshire Wolds – an upland area to the northeast, which overlooks the Lincolnshire Marsh.
William saw how a castle here could guard several of the main strategic routes and form part of a network of strongholds of the Norman Kingdom, roughly the area of the country that is today referred to as the East Midlands. It could also form a center from which troops could be sent to repel Scandinavian landings anywhere on the coast from the Trent to the Welland.
The castle was built in the south-west corner of the upper walled town, the remainder of which was occupied by the town. The Doomsday Book entry for Lincoln records how 166 residences were knocked down to make way for the castle. Of the original 1164 residences, 600 will have been in the upper town.
Work on the new fortification was completed in 1068. It is probable that at first a wooden keep was constructed which was later replaced with a much stronger stone one. Lincoln castle has two motes. To the south, where the Roman wall stands on the edge of a steep slope, it was retained partially as a curtain wall and partially as a revetment retaining the motes. In the west, where the ground is more level, the Roman wall was buried within an earth rampart and extended upward to form the Norman castle wall.
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