Lincolnshire gets lots of mentions here on Splodz Blogz. No surprise really, as it’s where I live. I moved here back in 1997 with my parents when they relocated for work. We’ve done a lot of relocating over the years and this is where we ended up when I was at that moving-out age, so this is where I stayed. I also met LincsGeek here, and we have made our home in this county.
I often complain about how far we are away from places like London with poor public transport links with the rest of the country. I miss out on lots of opportunities as a result. But when I consider the benefits of living in a rural county with its relaxed attitude and low house prices I remember the quality of life I get here is so much nicer than being stuck in a tiny flat in a grey and polluted big city feeling rushed all the time. And the big skies here in Lincolnshire are second to none!
Lincolnshire has the largest living Oak Tree in England. The Bowthorpe Oak is at Manthorpe, just south of Bourne. It has a circumference of 40 feet and is over 1,000 years old. Though still living it is hollow. It is so big it has been used as a living room annex for the farmhouse behind it – and 39 people could fit inside.
Lincolnshire is RAF county, and bomber county. Just one example is that The Dambusters (617 Squadron) were based here back in 1942. The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) is based here, at RAF Coningsby, and we regularly see the Spitfire, Hurricane, Lancaster, Chipmunk and Dakota aircraft in our skies. We are also the home of the RAF Red Arrows, and so get to see them practice; we even get a heart on Valentine’s Day.
It was in Lincolnshire – at Woolsthorpe, near Grantham – that Isaac Newton watched an apple fall to the ground and began to formulate the laws of gravity. A lot of his experiments were done at home. He returned to Woolsthorpe Manor, where he was born, to continue his work when Cambridge University was closed by the Great Plague.
Lincoln itself was an old Roman trading town. The Fosse Dyke canal, which runs from the Brayford pool (our inland Marina) to join the river Trent at Torksey, was reputedly built by the Romans to improve trading links and is believed to be the oldest working canal in the country. We still have the only Roman arch (Newport arch) being used by traffic. There is also a lot of Viking history in Lincoln, and lots of our streets carry Viking names. Oh, and once upon a time Lincoln was the third largest city in England (after London and York).
Lincoln Cathedral was built (well, started) 1072 and completed in 1311. The central tower was once topped with a spire, taking the total height to 525 feet (160 meters) – it was the world’s tallest building! Unfortunately the spire collapsed during a storm in 1549. Oops.
Those who are born and bred in Lincolnshire are known as “Yellowbellies”. The reason? No-one really knows for sure.
Lincolnshire farmers apparently produce a fifth of all the food eaten in the UK. The county has excellent growing soil, and so we are surrounded by fields of potatoes, leeks, cabbages, cauliflowers and everything else. And you wouldn’t have tomatoes if it wasn’t for Lincolnshire! The first tomatoes grown in the UK were raised at Burgley House near Stamford. But they were never eaten; the British considered tomatoes to be poisonous until perhaps the 18th century.
We have a varied bunch of ‘celebrities’ to call our own. Margaret Thatcher, Isaac Newton, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Geoff Capes (World’s Strongest Man!), Jim Broadbent, John Wesley and Jennifer Saunders were all born in Lincolnshire.
Where do you live? Do you like it? Wish you lived somewhere else?
Photos taken on my walk along the new Stephen Langton Trail from Langton-by-Wragby to Lincoln. Blog post coming soon.