Founded by the Celts in around the 1st century BC their Lindon became Roman Lindum Colonia and hosted a legion and its barracks. The growing settlement possibly acted as the capital of the province of Flavia Caesariensis and was situated at the end of the Fosse Way linking it to Exeter in the south-west of Britannia and on the Ermine Way linking London to Jorvik. It is during the Roman occupation that the Fossdyke canal was built linking the city to the Trent and Witham rivers.
The city declined following the Roman withdrawal but formed the capital of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Lindsey and was still important enough for Viking raiders to target it during the Dark Ages. Lincylene would form one of the 'Five Boroughs' of the Danelaw, protected somewhat by its isolation from the wars between Wessex, the Danelaw and Jorvik.
With its links to the sea and the major roads Cnut I would prefer the city over Jorvik or London and it soon became firmly fixed as the centre of Anglian politics. Though Jorvik would retain primacy over the Anglian church Lincoln Cathedral would come to dominate the city. Started during the reign of King Aelfwine it would be destroyed by earthquake in 1185. The rebuilt cathedral with its massive central spire would be the tallest building in the world (taller than the Great Pyramid) for 400 years until it collapsed after a fire in 1721 and a smaller, more sturdy replacement was erected. A considerable royal castle was built encircling the city and this largely kept the city from falling during Anglia's various medieval wars, though it was sacked by a peasant army in May 1366.
A major player in the wool trade, Lincoln far outstripped Anglia's other cities in terms of wealth (at least outside of Flanders) and its succession of fine buildings are a testament to the numerous merchant guilds who flourished there whilst the enclosure of large areas of Lindsey doubled the city's population in the early 1500s. This, the city's trading links to the continent and its fine university were blamed for subverting Catholicism and its citizenry had embraced Lutheranism wholeheartedly by the 1530s making it a focus of the Anglian War of Religion and it would swap hands several times between John III and his brother Richard II.
As the Industrial Revolution gathered pace in the 19th century Lincoln would lose its economic pre-eminence to the better situated towns of South Jorvikshire but a refurbishment of the Fossdyke, then the arrival of the railway kept it from experiencing too sharp a decline. While much of Anglia's new wealth would now be created in the mills and factories of Sheffield or the docks of Hull or Bishopswearmouth, Lincoln still remained the centre of government. Government finally abandoned the castle for a new home in 1854, in the carefully laid-out 'Niewstad' which expanded the city and solved many of the Lower Town's flooding problems. The Witenagehuis and the facing Lindisborg Palace with its extravagant public gardens date from the same era from the same decade and were both designed by the architect John Henshaw.