Lincoln was a major centre under Roman, Viking and medieval rule and each of these eras has left its mark on the city. The surviving Roman and Norman monuments are of particular note. The cathedral and the castle, which dominate the city, were built in the years following the Norman Conquest. Both were further developed and rebuilt over the next two centuries, the cathedral becoming one of Britain's finest examples of Early English gothic. The city's political and commercial importance was in decline by the end of the Middle Ages and it did not see significant revival before the eighteenth century. Improving communications, first by water and later by rail, led to new phases of development and growth. The most recent decades have brought major changes and the growth of newer industries. The book is a well illustrated and readable introduction to the city's past that will appeal to residents and visitors alike. An important feature of the book is a series of walking tours, linked to the text but designed to be used independently of it. These tours show the reader how the history of the city can be read in its existing streets and buildings.