King Henry I is recorded as having deepened the canal in 1121, and it received further work in 1840. Katherine Swynford, who lived in the area, is credited with having organized a protest to repair it, in 1375 (J.W. Hill, Medieval Lincoln, p. 312).
At one time a major waterway for the transport of wool, it is now mostly used by tourists.
The canal lends its name to the Foss Dyke Brass Band of Lincoln. See Foss Dyke Brass Band home page