Brigg has been a thriving market town for centuries, serving the largely rural villages on both sides of the river with a corn exchange. Road communications were good with the old Roman road Ermine Street passing not far away. There are many old coaching inns, most notably "The Angel" on the route from Lincoln via Caenby Corner to the Humber. The Ancholme also gave access to the River Humber and the port of Kingston upon Hull.
Brigg became the administrative centre for local area with a grammar school established in 1680. With the coming of the railways the town grew rapidly. Indeed it could have been still more important had Brigg been selected as junction for North-South lines with the East-West link to Grimsby. However, local opposition from the influential Carey family pushed much of the traffic through the nearby village of Barnetby.
Today with the building of a motorway bypass, Brigg has regained some of the relaxed qualities of a country market town with a small market square at its heart.