In the medieval age Lincoln had more gates than many other towns or cities of a similar size.
The West Gate
The Roman West Gate of the upper city lies below the west wall of the castle. It was discovered in 1836 when the west side of the Castle Dykings were excavated. It was in almost perfect condition but had to be covered up because the weight of the Norman castle wall was causing it to collapse.
The Exchequer Gate, at the west front of the Cathedral, was the main entrance to the Cathedral Close. Built mid 14th century. It was originally a double gate with a courtyard between the gates. The western gate had fallen into disrepair and was pulled down in 1800, the stones were used to build the previous St Swithin's Church, a replacement for the church destroyed by the Royalists during the Civil War, The Great Tom Inn was on the southside of the courtyard, the inn closed in 1822.
The South Gate
The Roman South Gate (Porta Principalis Dextra) stood near the top of Steep Hill. Parts of this gate were still standing in 1788 when Gough visited the city, but the arch was demolished in the early 1700s by a householder on the east side of the gate. According to Thomas Sympson writing in the early 18th century: (the arch was knocked down) "though not without much difficulty, as I have been informed by an eye-witness; for when the workmen, with a great deal of labour and pains, had battered one of the stones in the crown of the arch in pieces, rest being laid without mortar, sunk so equally on both sides that the hung as firm as ever, and their work was to begin anew". The position of the gate is marked by foundation stones on the side of the road
The Old Registry or North Gate of the Close
This double gate stood over the road on the east side of the Cathedral, the south gate on the site of the present Priory Gate the north gate next to "The Rest".
Both gates were pulled down in 1815 and the present Priory Gate was built in 1825.
The Bail Gate
Further down Steep Hill, near the junction with Michaelgate/Wordsworth Street/Christ's Hospital Terrace stood the Bail Gate, a medieval arch that was demolished in 1775. Separated the Bail from the city. Thought to be a similar design to Newland Gate.
White Hart Gate
"A gateway near the White Hart Inn, and another opposite are of a workman ship very different from the rest of the erections on the wall of the Close: they possess little beauty and afford still less interest to the beholder. The appearance of that nearest the White Hart, is little superior to that of a country barn; is entirely without battlements, and the upper part projects considerable over the lower, and is supported by props resembling inverted buttresses." - Adam Stark (1815).
Pottergate Arch stands at the south east corner of the Cathedral Close. One of the only two ancient gates of the Close still standing. It is a very good example of a gateway of the time of Edward II. Above the arch was accommodation for the gate-keeper. In 1884 a cottage on the south side of the arch was pulled down and a new road built. A further road was opened on the the north side of the arch in 1938 to allow the Corporation's double decker buses to pass the arch on the correct side of the road.
Clax le Gate
Clax le Gate or Clask Gate was situated at the junction of what is now Broadgate and Clasketgate. It is said the Knights Templars were confined there. It was pulled down in 1785 when New (Later Lindum) Road was constructed.
The name Stonebow is from the Norse Steinbue meaning stone arch. Many streets that run nearby end in -gate which is Norse for street.
The Stonebow lies at the southern end of the Roman city of Lindum Colonia and stands on the site of the southern gate of the lower Roman town spanning Lincoln’s High Street, known as Ermine Street in Roman times. The Roman gateway existed into the mediaeval period but it was demolished in the 14th Century because it was unsafe.
In 1390 Richard II ordered a new gate be built to replace the demolished one. There were many delays in building the new arch, mainly that Lincoln was no longer the prosperous city it once was and could not afford the expense of a new gateway. The Stonebow, was eventually completed by William Spencer, a freeman of the city, in 1520 and is now a Grade 1 listed building. Read more about the Stonebow and Guildhall here
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