When the Romans arrived in Lincoln in 48 AD they found an Iron Age settlement by the river Witham known by the Celtic name Lindon, meaning ‘place by the pool’.
Initially a legionary fortress was built on the site of Roman Lindum, though the legion moved on to York in 71 AD, and subsequently a colonia was created – a town for retired Roman soldiers and their families. It was known as Lindum Colonia, from which the name Lincoln ultimately derives.
The Roman settlers improved access to Lincoln via roads and waterways and the town became a major settlement boasting a forum (public square or marketplace), a basilica (public court) and public baths which were erected in the second century.
In the late fourth century the prosperity of the town declined as Roman civilisation in Britain broke down; the last Roman soldiers left the country in 407 AD and the Roman infrastructure began to dissolve.
The Romans themselves may be long gone but many fragments of their town can still be seen today. Newport Arch was the northern gate to the upper city and is now the only Roman archway still standing in Britain; fragments of East Gate can be seen in the grounds of the Lincoln Hotel; the Mint Wall is believed t0 be the rear wall of the Roman basilica; while fragments of Roman wall survive on the site of Lincoln Castle.