The tranquil town of Gainsborough hides an exciting past. At the heart of the early history of England, it acted first as a capital of King Alfred's Mercia, and then as a stronghold of Viking conquerors Sweyn Forkbeard and Canute. It became the centre of turbulence once again as a Royalist garrison during the Civil War. The town's religious heritage is equally unconventional. Originally under the control of enigmatic Knights Templar, later the Mayflower pilgrims would secretly worship here before departing for the New World. Gainsborough is sited on the River Trent. Originally a small agricultural settlement, it grew to become an important port - the most inland in Britain - and a centre of diverse industry, producing everything from boilers to fancy dress. Modern Gainsborough is renovating many of these industrial sites to great acclaim. This volume, comprising stunning old images and modern colour photographs, takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of Gainsborough's eclectic past and present.