April 15, 2016

Five on Friday: The Romans in Lincoln

For Amy's Five on Friday this week we're going back to Lincoln, this time to look at the Roman remains.  Don't forget after you've looked at this to visit her site Love Made My Home and see what other people have to offer.

I'm not going to write much historical about these photos.  I already did a fuller post on my other blog with more history included. You can see that here if you want to.

We were staying at the Lincoln Hotel, but back in the days when I lived in Lincoln it was called the Eastgate.  That's because the remains of the city's old East Gate can be found right outside it.

Don't ask about the hotel. The term 'spoiled for a ha'porth of tar' comes to mind. However, Here's the old East Gate - or its foundations at least. It was a very impressive two-storey structure in its day, with semicircular towers on each side. These are the remains of one of the towers.

This is rather cool. If you look carefully you can just make out - along the edge of the cars - a row of circles set into the road surface. (The street's called Bailgate.) These circles mark the positions of the pillars across the front of the old Roman Forum. I've seen models and drawings of fora before, but I've never really grasped how big they were until I saw this.  It's a great way of bringing the old town to life.

This was one of my favourite discoveries while we were there. The castle has had a massive makeover since my day. Back when I worked as a journalist on the Lincolnshire Chronicle I used to cover the coroner's court hearings. Imagine my surprise to discover the court room is now the castle gift shop! However, the rest of the building has been updated and now includes a fascinating museum section with artefacts that have been dug up on site.  Here are a couple of them - an antler comb and a couple of bone hair pins.
I love this kind of item when I see them on display. A comb is so personal. I can imagine a Roman lady dressing her hair (or allowing her slave to dress it for her) and laying this down onto a table, or placing it into a box until it was needed again.

Fancy having this in your back garden! It was originally part of a reservoir, or water tank, that's believed to have served the local bath house. It had hefty foundations and was lined with waterproof cement. It's tucked away down a narrow street and I had no idea it existed, even though I lived about 300 yards from it for six months!

And this is possibly Lincoln's Roman pride and joy. It might not look much now, but it was a significant gateway into the town and crossed the old Ermine Street - the York to London route. It's the only Roman arch in the UK that's still open to motor traffic. (All those bits in York are later sections of the city walls.) This is Newport Arch and I think it's wonderful.

The wall in the previous photo is about six houses down on the right of this picture. And I lived a similar distance off to the left. (In Cecil Street, for anyone who knows the area.)

Now visit other people at Amy's Love Made My Home by clicking on the picture below.


  1. It's great that those roman structures have survived. Have a sunny spring weekend!

  2. Oh, those "Ruthless Romans" were so cool. :) (Terry Deary's books have been translated into Italian as well.) Thank you for showing these interesting remains of the Roman times in your old home town!

  3. I love to have a stroll around Lincoln there is so much to see. It is quite a difficult City to get around when my husband needs his wheelchair so we don't go very often these days. Have a great weekend.

  4. Wow, those circles at Bailgate are impressive. Love it when history comes to life like that and you realise something that books cannot really tell you.

  5. I know what you mean about personal items like the comb. They bring you so close to the person who used them and sometimes we learn more from the small everyday items than the larger and more obvious ones:)

  6. Courtroom to gift shop - that's a fun change. It's nice to see the pieces of history present where more modern day life happens.

  7. Such a good idea to have those circles on the street. It's all there isn't it, you just have to keep your eyes open. :-)

  8. Wow, such old stonework and good to remember the old Forum at today's street.
    Have a nice weekend

  9. Thank you so much for sharing such an historical place. I find it fascinating. Especially seeing the bridge still in use! Wishing you a fantastic weekend, Pat xx

  10. I used to be so fascinated by all things Roman, I took Latin for many years and part of the language education was also cultural visits to the many Roman sites in Switzerland (where I grew up). I visited the forum in Rome once, you are right, fora are astonishingly huge. It might be time to rekindle my interest! Thanks for sharing this interesting post.

  11. That's a great idea marking circles where the pillars went. Don't you just wish you could step back in time to see what it was really like. Fabulous Roman arch. Bx

  12. Love all the historical sites shared by bloggers. We're such upstart newcomers here in the USA. We've barely started our history (except for the Native Americans). Probably why we love traveling in Europe, etc. so much.


Leave your mark for future historians.