Coordinates: 53°24′06″N 0°46′24″W / 53.4016°N 0.7732°W / 53.4016; -0.7732
Gainsborough Old Hall - - 72817
Gainsborough Old Hall
Lincolnshire UK location map
Red pog.svg

Red pog.svg Gainsborough shown within Lincolnshire
Population 20,110 
OS grid reference SK815901
District West Lindsey
Shire county Lincolnshire
Region East Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district DN21
Dialling code 01427
Police Lincolnshire
Fire Lincolnshire
Ambulance East Midlands
EU Parliament East Midlands
UK Parliament Gainsborough
List of places: UK • England • Lincolnshire

Gainsborough is a town 15 miles north-west of Lincoln on the River Trent within the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England. At one time it served as an important port with trade downstream to Hull, and was the most inland in England, being more than 55 miles from the North Sea.


Gainsborough Old Hall tower

Gainsborough Old Hall

For History of the town, see Wikipedia:Gainsborough.

New townEdit

There was a proposal after WWII to develop Gainsborough as a new town linked to Sheffield, but the plan was not pursued. New housing estates was instead built to the south east of Sheffield.[1]


Gainsborough Guildhall

The Guildhall, former offices of the West Lindsey District Council

The town was formerly, before 1974, in the county of Lindsey in the Gainsborough Urban District Council. West Lindsey District Council was formed from five former councils.

Gainsborough Town Council was established in 1992, and in the same year Gainsborough's first Mayor was appointed.

Edward Leigh has been Gainsborough's MP since 1983.


In July 1958, BP discovered oil at Corringham, then at Gainsborough in January 1959. To the rear of the former Marshalls factory site just over the railway is Nodding Donkey extracting oil.



Marshall, Sons & Co Office in Gainsborough - 09 - IMG 1160

The main Entrance to Marshall's former Britannia Works

Gainsborough has a long-standing history of industry. The town was the manufacturing base of Marshall, Sons & Co., a major boiler manufacturer founded by William Marshall in 1848. William Marshall died in 1861 (and was buried in the cemetery on Ropery Road). His business became one of the new joint stock companies run by his sons James and Henry. The company occupied Britannia Ironworks, a 16 acre site and the biggest in Europe when built. From Marshall’s Works steam engines went all over the world until it closed in the 1980s.[2] The site has now been split up, with a Tesco on Beaumont Street and Dransfield is remodelling about nine acres (36,000 m²) of the site to include a shopping area now called Marshall's Yard retail park and a proposed new heritage museum. The remainder of the site is occupied by several local companies.

Marshall's Yard - - 688106

Entrance to Marshall's Yard, 2008

Tesco, on the corner of Trinity Street and Colville Terrace, demolished a large section of the works to create its large store . Tesco now intends to replace their current store with a 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m²) Tesco Extra store, on stilts with parking underneath. The Marshall's Yard site opened during Easter 2007, with additional shops opening after that.


Another area of Gainsborough’s industry is Rose Brothers,[3] after William German Rose and Walter Rose, the co-founders. In 1893 William Rose invented the world's first packaging machine, and two years later bought the Trentside Works site and started to rapidly expand his packaging machine business. Rose's diversified into many other areas, and for many years they were associated with many household brands which produced the demand items of the day, including starch, razor blades and sweets. They produced seaside rock-making machines, cigarette-making machines and bread-slicing and wrapping machines. When the company closed, Cadbury bought the packaging side of the business and moved it to Birmingham, but the name lives on in ‘Roses’ chocolates.[2]


By the side of the east bank of the Trent near the railway bridge is a large mill owned by Kerry Ingredients (headquartered in Tralee, Republic of Ireland).

Gainsborough is the home of two of the largest jokes and novelties importers in the UK: Smiffy's (formerly known as RH Smith & Sons, founded in 1894),[4] and Pam's of Gainsborough, a smaller company founded in 1986. Smiffy's were the only wigmaker left in the UK until December 2008, when bulk production was outsourced to the Far East and over 35 staff were made redundant. The company has set its future goals on a more mature fancy dress and party market.

Another local business is the firm of Eminox, founded in 1978. They started by building replacement exhausts for the local bus company. They have expanded into a manufacturing company that specialises in the large stainless steel exhaust systems fitted to buses and commercial vehicles. They are also building low-emission catalytic systems for the London low emission zone.


River Trent, Gainsborough - - 1316171

River Trent in Gainsborough, 2009

Gainsborough is famed as Britain’s most inland port. It has had a long history of river shipping trade. The town’s Trent Bridge prevents larger coastal boats from going beyond it, and so many have to offload their goods at the town. There is one wharf in the town – mainly an importer of wood. Nevertheless, most shipping is now offloaded further down the river, at Flixborough Wharf, which has direct rail links.

At the A631 Trent bridge, there used to be a ferry across the Trent before 1787, a distance of 235 feet across. The bridge, which cost £12,000, was completed in the spring of 1791. Originally a toll bridge, it was bought by the Ministry of Transport, Lindsey County Council, Gainsborough Urban District and Nottinghamshire County Council for £130,000 in 1927, and declared free of tolls on 31 March 1932.[2][page needed]


  1. Clyde Binfield, The History of the City of Sheffield, 1843-1993 p.27 (1993)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Beckwith, Ian S. The Book of Gainsborough (1988)ISBN 0860232697[page needed]

External linksEdit

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