Collingham is close to the old Roman Fort at Brough and there have been several local finds of Roman coins, jewellery and villa remains. It lies close to the Fosse Way on its way to Lincoln. The village name suggests a fairly early Saxon foundation, preceding the occupation of eastern England by the Danes and it is naturally mentioned in the Domesday Book. It is thought that the Great North Road crossed the Trent here before Newark was founded; prior to the river's change of channel westwards it ran close to the village and was the cause of much flooding. Many of the other villages close by have names which suggest that they were later daughter settlements. It possessed two churches in North and South Collingham from before the Norman Conquest. The parishes extended from the river floodplain onto the uncultivated moorland on the higher ground between Trent and Witham, allowing for good grazing and meadowland throughout the year.
In medieval and early modern times Collingham operated an openfield system and enclosure did not take place until the turn of the 18th/19th centuries, changing much local farming from a small holding of strips and the right to extensive grazing, to individual small cottage holdings or a precarious existence as a landless agricultural labourer. During the siege of Newark in the Civil War, the countryside was subject to deprivation from the opposing armies wanting food and fresh horses and the village suffered. The wide square fields and relatively few isolated farms are the result. One field was set aside in the enclosure award of 1790 for lease every year with the revenues being put to the use of the poor of the parish.
In the nineteenth century Collingham was fairly self-sufficient with its own watchmaker, shoemakers, blacksmiths, dressmakers, schools, grocers and carriers. There were many local societies and the Nonconformist Churches had their own congregations. At one point there was considerable enmity between the Vicar of North Collingham and the Rector of South Collingham with many disputes about the schools in the village.
Local amenities include the Co-op and One-Stop convenience stores, butchers, general store, newsagent, post office, and police contact point. There is a medical centre/dentist/pharmacy complex which serves much of the surrounding area, plus a library in the same building.
There are some sporting facilities in Collingham, notably Collingham Football Club and Collingham Cricket Club. There are also facilities for tennis, bowling and croquet while the nearby River Trent seems very popular with anglers.
Collingham is fairly easy to get to by road or railway, being very close to the A46 and 5.5 miles from the A1/A46 junction at Newark-on-Trent. Collingham is served by the Nottingham-Lincoln railway line used by East Midlands Trains and you can reach most parts of the Midlands. There is a National Express East Coast station at Newark Northgate from which London can be reached as well as all locations on the East Coast mainline. A bus service to Newark operates each hour (6am-11pm), with two daily buses running to Lincoln on a daily basis.
The composer John Blow was born in the village and two villagers, John and William Bacon were in the Charge of the Light Brigade (under the assumed name of Baker). William was killed and John returned but later left the Army and both are buried in North Collingham churchyard.
Drummer William Bowerman, formerly of 'I Was A Cub Scout' is from Collingham. He is now living in Brighton and playing with experimental band 'Brontide'.