Battle of Lincoln 800th Anniversary: What’s On?

The 20th May is the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln. Deemed by historians to be one of the most significant conflicts in Medieval England, there is so much going on across the city to mark the occasion.

A little bit of history

Let’s start by looking at just why the Battle of Lincoln was so important. Back in 1215, the Magna Carta was sealed, yet just 10 weeks later, King John began to rebel against the promises made. This resulted in a division between English royalists and the rebels who called for Prince Louis (the son of the French king) to take to the throne. The divide led the country into civil war and when King John died in 1216, his nine-year-old son Henry III took on the reign of a divided and hostile country.

It was in 1217 that these hostilities came to a head. Aside from Lincoln Castle, the whole city of Lincoln had been invaded by the French. William Marshal (Henry III’s protector) led a troop of royalist knights to the castle, where they resisted the invasion. The royalists were victorious, leading Prince Louis to return to France – saving Lincoln, and England, from French rule.

What’s On? 

To commemorate, there’s a whole host of events and activities taking place all over the city…

BGU Annual History Lecture – 17th May 2017
Learn all about the circumstances that led to the conflict and the details of the Battle from Dr. Sean McGlynn. Bishop Grosseteste University is less than a 15 minute walk (or four minute drive) from our hotel. Why not join us for a relaxing drink after exercising those brain cells?

Lincoln Knights Trail – 20th May – 4th September 2017
Follow the trail of 36 knight sculptures across Lincoln. The sculptures depict two of the central figures of the Battle of Lincoln: William Marshal and Nichola de la Haye (custodian of Lincoln Castle).

Preparing for Battle (Lincoln Castle) – 20th – 21st May 2017
Head to the royalist hub at Lincoln Castle to watch the king’s army get ready for battle. From the preparation of bows and arrows to King Henry III’s arrival, you’ll be right at the heart of the action.

Procession – 20th May 2017
At 1.30pm on the anniversary, you can join the procession of flags and shields through the streets of Lincoln. Starting at Stonebow & Guildhall, you’ll proceed up Steep Hill to Lincoln Cathedral, arriving in time for the re-enactment.

(There’s also the opportunity to make your own shield at workshops across the city in the morning. See workshops here.)

Family Cycle Ride – 20th May 2017 
A team of riders will be cycling from William Marshal’s grave in London to Newark on 17-19th May.

On Battle Day, they’ll cycle the route of Marshal’s knights from Newark to Lincoln – you can join them on the final stretch on a family-friendly bike ride.

Re-enactment – 20th May 2017
The day’s events culminate in a re-enactment of the Battle of Lincoln. Gather on Castle Hill from 2pm to see the events unfold.

Special Discounts 

To commemorate 800 years since the Battle of Lincoln, we’ll be offering the first 800 lunchtime diners 10% off their final bill when they dine at The White Hart Hotel. See full details on our offers page.

(For more information on the history of the Battle of Lincoln, read the Visit Lincoln blog.) 

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