Louth is a market town and civil parish within the East Lindsey District of Lincolnshire, England. The town had a total resident population of 15,930 in the UK census of 2001, rising to 16,419 in 2011. Prior to the creation of the East Lindsey District in 1974, Louth was a municipal borough, a status it had held from 1835.
Louth is situated at the foot of the Lincolnshire Wolds where they meet the Lincolnshire Marsh and is often known as the "capital of the Lincolnshire Wolds". Louth sits to the east of a gorge carved into the Wolds which today forms the Hubbard's Hills natural area, which was formed from a glacial overspill channel during the last glacial period. Today the town's River Lud meanders through the gorge before entering the town. The town developed where the ancient trackway along the Wolds, Barton Street crossed the river Lud.
The Greenwich Meridian passes through the town and is marked on Eastgate with a plaque on the north side of the street, just east of the junction with Northgate.
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Louth from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles of 1887:
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Louth, Lincolnshire.
Lincolnshire is very low-lying and land had to be drained for agriculture to be successful. The larger drainage channels, many of which are parallel to each other, became boundaries between parishes. Many parishes are long and thin for this reason.
There is much fenland in Lincolnshire, particularly in the Boston and Horncastle areas. Fenlands tended to be extraparochial before the mid 1850s, and although many sections were identified with names and given the title "civil parish", little information has been found about them. Many appear to be abolished in 1906, but the parish which adopts them is not given in A Vision of Britain through Time. Note the WR category Lincolnshire Fenland Settlements which is an attempt to organize them into one list.
From 1889 until 1974 Lincolnshire was divided into three administrative counties: Parts of Holland, Parts of Kesteven and Parts of Lindsey. These formal names do not fit with modern grammatical usage, but that is what they were, nonetheless. In 1974 the northern section of Lindsey, along with the East Riding of Yorkshire, became the short-lived county of Humberside. In 1996 Humberside was abolished and the area previously in Lincolnshire was made into the two "unitary authorities" of North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire. The remainder of Lincolnshire was divided into "non-metropolitan districts" or "district municipalities" in 1974. Towns, villages and parishes are all listed under Lincolnshire, but the present-day districts are also given so that places in this large county can more easily be located and linked to their wider neighbourhoods. See the WR placepage Lincolnshire, England and the smaller divisions for further explanation.