A Guide to Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

Gainsborough is a small market town on the eastern bank of the River Trent in the North West of  Lincolnshire, England. The West Lindsey Council headquarters are based in Gainsborough. The town's main tourist attraction is Gainsborough Old Hall.

General Information

Tourist Information








  Gainsborough was once Britain's most inland port.

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. Today this red brick market town and river port has retained some of its 18th century buildings, but its jewel is Gainsborough Old Hall

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 built here.

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 Art Gallery or get some retail therapy at Marshall's Yard.