So, there’s no doubt you know the history behind Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral, but have you ever walked past some of the historical buildings whilst out on a walk and wondered what it represents? For World Heritage Day, I wanted to share with you some of those places and its history behind them!
Lincoln Guildhall and Stonebow
I’m sure you’ve walked through Lincoln high street and wondered what the massive archway was to get to Steep Hill. It’s actually called the Stonebow and is directly linked to the Guildhall (home to the Mayor). The Stonebow replaced the original Roman gateway, but still contains carved statues and carved heads of mythical beasts. How many have you spotted?
Fun fact: The clock bell is still the original one from 1371 and is still used to signal when council meetings are going ahead!
If you’ve ever come from campus to the high street, you might have walked towards the High Bridge. The building has been around since 1160 and is the only medieval bridge in England that still has buildings on it! It’s a grade 1 listed building and is considered a scheduled monument.
The Exchequer Gate
For quite a while the Exchequer Gate has been having work done to it but it’s finally completed! It’s located opposite the entrance of the Cathedral and traditionally was where people would come to pay rent to the church. It was built in the 14th century and over time has had to have support work made for the three arches (as there are actually two floors above the archways).
Contrary to popular belief, the Exchequer Gate was not the original entrance to the Cathedral – Pottergate Arch was! In the 19th century, the road that leads around the Cathedral was built. Originally traffic leading down the hill would travel through the arch itself, but then double-decker buses were invented and that went out the window. However, it’s now just the simple remains of the south-east gateway of the medieval wall that once surrounded the whole of the cathedral.
Located just North of the Pottergate Arch is the Priory Gate. What is currently standing is the Victorian replacement for the medieval gates. There were once a pair but after being torn down in 1815, this single Priory Gate was erected in 1825. It’s a grade 2 listed monument, hence why it stands alone arching over the road leading into the Bailgate.
Jew’s Court and Jew’s House
Jew’s Court and Jew’s House are located next to each other on the left side of Steep Hill. Both date back to the 13th century and are grade I listed buildings! Jew’s Court is now a local history bookshop but back in the medieval period, it was a synagogue. Jew’s House was once the residence of the local rabbi but has since been renovated into a restaurant. There are now just five surviving medieval Jewish houses in England. The upper floor is still used today by the Lincolnshire Jewish Community!
If you fancied checking out other Lincoln-based heritage, the online heritage database is freely available for anyone to use. Find it here