|Old photo of Steep Hill in |
Widow Cullen's Well
Excavations at the castle have revealed remains of several houses on the site, including a beautiful mosaic that was wrecked by Victorian workmen during demolition of the old gaol. Other Roman artefacts are on show at the newly refurbished castle museum.
You can encounter bits of Roman Lincoln all over the city and according to a photo on show in Widow Cullen's Well (It's a pub!) there's part of an old gateway set into the wall of two shops on Steep Hill.
Other remains are quite well hidden. Down a very narrow street called East Bight are the remains of a water reservoir, built on the inside of the northern defensive wall. One wall of the tank still exists in a back garden. Its foundations are about 16 feet deep and it was lined with waterproof cement. Its capacity has been estimated at 2,660 gallons, so was probably one of several around the town. This reservoir probably helped serve the baths complex, which was nearby.
|The remains of the water tank|
|Newport Arch - still in use today|
It is believed to have been built when the northern defensive wall was strengthened in the 4th century, by which time Lindum Colonia had grown in importance and served as a provincial capital. Originally the gate would have had a pedestrian arch at both sides and would have been two storeys high.
Lincoln's Roman remains are not as complete as those of York or Chester, but somehow they are more personal, more relevant to a modern observer. Well that's how I feel about them anyway. Of course I'm biased. Years ago I used to live just beyond Newport Arch and walked under it every day on my way to work. I also drove under it on my driving test. Makes me wonder now how I passed.