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.