Riseholme has had a place in history for hundreds of years. There are signs of Roman and early English settlements, and the remains of a medieval village, parts of which have been excavated.
Some of the earliest records of the parish are in the Domesday Book of 1086, which mentions three Saxon owners. During the middle ages, parts of it belonged to the abbeys of Barlings and Kirkstead. After the dissolution of the monasteries, it was held by Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, who married Mary, sister of Henry VIII.
The Chaplin family, who purchased the estate in 1721, completed the Riseholme Hall in 1744. The family subsequently sold it to the ecclesiastical commissioners in 1840, and it became the Palace of the Bishop of Lincoln. William Railton – the architect who designed Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square – remodeled the Hall in the mid part of the 19th century. He designed the 86 foot long colonnade built on the south side of the Hall, and the carriage vestibule on the north side. He also added the balustrade around the upper storey, the impressive staircase of fossilised Jurassic limestone from the Cathedral Quarry, Lincoln, and the lantern in the main entrance.
The Bishop of the time, John Kaye, built the present parish church at his own expense. He is buried in the churchyard along with Christopher Wordsworth, nephew of the immortal poet. Bishops continued to live at the Hall until 1877, when Bishop Edward King moved to the Old Palace in Lincoln. The estate was then sold to Captain Thomas Wilson in 1890, whose son sold it to Lindsey County Council for the purpose of establishing a farm institute.
The Education Committee approved the purchase of the estate, comprising some 569 acres, in 1946. It was then sanctioned by the Ministry of Agriculture, which was responsible for agricultural education at the time. It was agreed that the estate would be used for the training of ex-servicemen and be run by the County War Agricultural Executive Committee.
Finding farm institute places for students from the Lindsey area was difficult, so in July 1948 the Education Committee asked the Ministry of Agriculture to terminate its lease, so that the estate could be used for the purpose originally intended. After some negotiations, the transfer was finally arranged to take effect on 1st October 1949, and Riseholme Farm Institute was born. It later became known as Lindsey Farm Institute and then in 1966 the Lindsey College of Agriculture.
When the Farm Institute was founded, students lived in two hostels; one at Riseholme Grange, and the other at Riseholme Hall. As the institute grew, an expansion programme was required. A new hostel to accommodate 50 students was opened in 1961, and a further hostel with 40 single study bedrooms in 1970. In 1980, the Lindsey College of Agriculture, the Kesteven Agricultural College and the Holbeach Agricultural centre merged to become the Lincolnshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture.
In 1987, Riseholme Hall, by now a listed building, was rededicated by the Bishop of Lincoln Robert Hardy, an occasion which marked the completion of a very comprehensive programme of refurbishment.
During 1994, the Lincolnshire College of Agriculture and Horticulture merged with De Montfort University to become its School of Agriculture. In October 2001, the Lincolnshire School of Agriculture transferred to the University of Lincoln. September 2002 marked the closure of the Caythorpe campus, and the relocation of its courses to Riseholme, which entailed building the Rural Science Centre.