Fair play

Country Life Every Week - - A Walking Life -

Marked on this mod­ern view of Lin­coln are the medieval for­ti­fi­ca­tions as they ex­isted in 1217. Lin­coln is built across an es­carp­ment that drops sharply to the confluence of the Rivers Witham and Till. The Ro­man walls of the set­tle­ment—rep­re­sented here by dashed lines—de­fined its medieval plan as a long, nar­row rec­tan­gle. This was di­vided in­ter­nally into roughly equal parts by a cross-wall that ran along the edge of the es­carp­ment to cre­ate an up­per and lower city. The in­ter­nal area of the up­per city, home to the cas­tle and cathe­dral is rel­a­tively level, but the lower city in­cor­po­rates a pre­cip­i­tous hill­side (at the bot­tom of this view).

Also in­her­ited from the Ro­man plan are the prin­ci­pal thor­ough­fares of Lin­coln. A sin­gle road runs cen­trally through the full length of the set­tle­ment, en­ter­ing the up­per city through North Gate or New­port Arch pass­ing through the in­ter­nal wall at South Gate and de­scend­ing as the ap­pro­pri­ately named Steep Hill

to­wards the lower city and its river gate, Stonebow.

Cross­ing this road at right an­gles is a net­work of side streets that con­nected with a series of side gates. In the up­per city, there were East Gate

and West Gate The cas­tle had two gates, one fac­ing the coun­try­side

and an­other, re­built af­ter the siege, fac­ing to­wards the town It also has two ar­ti­fi­cial mounds or mottes, one large and one small placed along the line of the in­ter­nal cross-wall of the city.

The ar­rows mark the prob­a­ble points of en­try of the roy­al­ists and the line of their ad­vance down into the lower town to­ward Stonebow.

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