Lincoln Knights’ Trail and The Lincoln Knights’ Education Trail at The Collection and Usher Gallery

Take part in The Lincoln Knights' quest and The Lincoln Knights' Education Trail around the historic streets of Lincoln!

The trail celebrates the 800th anniversary of the Battle of Lincoln and the sealing of the Charter of the Forest


After agreeing the Magna Carta in 1215, King John went back on his promise which led the country to fall into a civil war.  This divided the barons between supporting the crown and rebel barons who invited Prince Louis, the son of the French King, to take the English throne.
In October 1216, King John died and his son, Henry III, was only a child so William Marshal, a famous medieval knight and the King’s champion, acted as regent. By May 1217, much of the country had been taken by the combined French and rebel English forces, but Lincoln Castle held out for the royalist cause under the command of a formidable lady constable, Nicola de la Haye.
On the morning of 20 May 1217, the Royalist army set out from Stowe or Torksey (the sources disagree) to help Nicola and raise the siege. The Royalists broke into the city and in the fighting that followed between the castle’s East Gate and Lincoln Cathedral, the siege of the Castle was lifted and the French commander was killed. The rebels then either surrendered or fled down the hill and towards London. The Royalists claimed victory and then sacked the city. One chronicler ironically nicknamed the battle the 'Nine-day' of Lincoln (a Nine-day was either a fair or a tournament) as a battle in the city in 1141 had already been given the title of The Battle of Lincoln.
This battle was of national significance. If the Royalists had lost, England would have become part of France and our King Louis VIII, instead the Plantagenet dynasty ruled for another 250 years.
You can visit key locations in the Battle of Lincoln by using Visit Lincoln's digital trail.


The 1217 battle and the subsequent defeat of a French naval force at the Battle of Sandwich in August meant Louis' attempt to become King of England was over. On the 6th of November 1217 Marshal, in the name of the young Henry, reissued Magna Carta in an attempt to reunite the country and with it a companion document called the Charter of the Forest. In contrast to Magna Carta, which mainly dealt with the rights of barons, it confirmed rights of access to royal forests for all men and was not superseded until 1971.
You can see both the 1215 Magna Carta and the 1217 Charter of the Forest today in Lincoln Castle. Lincoln is the only place in the world where original copies of both iconic documents are on permanent exhibition.
Credit: Dr Erik Grigg

Download your map here! Or collect your guide from the reception desk for free and start the quest today!

Each knight has a green shield with a symbol. Visit each knight and find the hidden shield. Use the key in the guide to identify the word linked to the shield symbol (some words are duplicated). Use the number of the knight to write your word in the correct space. The phrase spelled out once complete is the answer to the quest.
You can exchange your entry form for a certificate and badge with a voucher to buy the '1217 The Battle of Lincoln' children's book written by Erik Grigg and illustrated by Laura Nickson for £1.50 here at The Collection


Now EBP have organised The Lincoln Knights' Education trail.

There have been over 40 primary, secondary and special schools from Lincolnshire involved in this programme which showcases half-size knights decorated by schools which have joined the Lincoln Knights' trail. Throughout the programme the children have been learning about the Battle of Lincoln and the famous characters involved and how they have help impact history and the world we live in today.

We have four of them here at The Collection and Usher Gallery, download your copy of the Education Trail map here.

There is plenty of time to complete both the Knights' and Education trail as it is open until 3rd September.

Come and see them here today and don't forget to use the hashtags: #lincolnknights #knightstrail #Knightstrail17 in your photographs.

The main Lincoln Knights’ Trail is a Wild in Art trail brought to you by Lincoln BIG in support of the Nomad Trust.

Find out more about the Lincoln Knights' Trail 2017.