Lincolnshire Towns


  • Britains most inland port with Population of 18,000

  • TIC information Centre. Tel 01427 676666

  • Market Days Tuesday and Saturday with early closing Wednesday 


Henry VIII came to Gainsborough in 1541 while on his way to York. Accompanying him was his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, along with some 5000 soldiers and 200 tents! At this time his future sixth wife, Katherine Parr, was married to Lord Latimer, having been previously married to Lord Burgh's eldest son, Edward. The Lord Burghs were owners of Gainsborough Old Hall between 1460 and 1596.

Another royal connection is King Alfred the Great who married Elswitha, a Gainsborough girl.

Today this red brick market town and river port has retained some of its 18th century buildings, but its jewel is Gainsborough Old Hall where kings have dined. Medieval Magnificence, reputedly the best Baronial hall in the land, owned by only three families right up to the 1970s (Lord Burghs from 1460 to 1596, Hickmans from 1596 to 1826 and Bacons from 1826 to 1970) and now preserved by English Heritage. Richard III and Henry VIII dined here, John Wesley preached here, the Pilgrims met secretly here. It was a factory, a store, a market, a pub. Walk inside this awesome past.  Take in the wonderful view of the Trent Valley, almost to the Humber, from the top of the tower in the Old Hall.

The town has origins as a river crossing place, and later an inland port, miles from the sea, but on the River Trent which runs through the west of the city marking the border with Nottinghamshire. It flourished in the Middle Ages and in the Civil War was a frontier town. Industry helped it prosper. Wool was exported whilst machinery and even submarines were built here.

Enjoy the town, take in the markets, stroll along the river where George Eliot was inspired to write 'The Mill on the Floss', enjoy the Bend in the River Gallery.

Places to visit - The Old Hall Gainsborough and  don't miss Hemswell Antique centre

Places to Eat and Drink

  • Half Moon

  • Horse & Jockey

  • New Inn

  • Rose & Crown

  • Stags Head

  • White Hart

For details of other towns in Lincolnshire click here