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
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
Horse & Jockey
Rose & Crown
For details of other towns in Lincolnshire click