Lincoln, city and district (1991 pop. 79,980), county seat of Lincolnshire, E England, in the Parts of Kesteven, on the Witham River. Located at the junction of the Roman Fosse Way and Ermine Street, the city is a center of road and rail transportation. Manufactures include heavy machinery, light-metal products, automobile and electronic parts, and food products.
Lincoln was an ancient British settlement, the Roman Lindum or Lindum Colonia, and was one of the Five Boroughs of the Danes. Lincoln Castle, begun by William I in 1068, was contested in the civil war between Matilda and Stephen (12th cent.). The town was burned in the 12th cent.; three parliaments were held in Lincoln in the 14th cent. Parliamentarians captured it in 1644.
For centuries horse races and fairs have been held in Lincoln. The Lincoln Cathedral, first built from 1075 to 1501, has a central tower 271 ft (83 m) high, containing the famous bell "Great Tom of Lincoln." One of the few extant copies of the Magna Carta is in the cathedral. In Lincoln are teacher-training, theological, art, and technical colleges.