Lincoln Cathedral Close Wall

Has been described as a Certain Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameLincoln Cathedral Close Wall
Alternative Names
Historic CountryLincolnshire
Modern AuthorityLincolnshire
1974 AuthorityLincolnshire
Civil ParishLincoln

The Dean and Chapter received licenses to crenellate the Cathedral. The first for a 12 foot wall (issued 1285 and repeated 1316) the second to raise the wall and add turrets (issued 1318). Defences to protect the clergy from night attacks and the licences required the gates to open during the day. The boundaries of the Close at Lincoln can still be traced and, in many places, the wall is extant. The building is of a 12ft high stone wall with gates was permitted by royal licence in 1285. Licence to crenellate was given in 1308 or 1316. The monument consists of parts of wall constructed in the late C13 or early C14, forming a polygonal bay jutting from the enciente of the colonia, to enclose land around the westward extension of the cathedral within the colonia. Apparently intact in 1722 with three of four towers. The scheduled parts of the close wall are: a) South of the cathedral, North of the Old Palace, much patched. b) Off Winnowsty Lane, a ruined square tower and a small section of wall. c) In gardens between Eastgate and Pottergate including a fairly well preserved tower. d) This section of wall is 15-18ft high, rubble built with a line of four corbels for a lean-to structure at the west end. There is a forced opening blocked with bricks. e) Priory Gate, a single pointed arch without flanking towers c. 1330. There was an elevation survey done of part of the wall in 1995. (Lincolnshire HER)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSK980716
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Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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  • Osborne, Mike, 2010, Defending Lincolnshire: A Military History from Conquest to Cold War (The History Press) p. 55, 62, 63-4, 64, 65, 66
  • Salter, Mike, 2002, The Castles of the East Midlands (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 53
  • Thompson, M.W., 1998, Medieval bishops' houses in England and Wales (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing) p. 167
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 143-4
  • Jones, Michael J., 1993, 'Medieval Lincoln' in Bennett, S. and Bennett, N. (eds), An Historical Atlas of Lincolnshire (University of Hull Press) p. 32-3
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 1
  • Hill, J.W.F., 1948, Medieval Lincoln p. 115-6, 121-3


  • Coulson, C., 1982, 'Hierarchism in Conventual Crenellation: An Essay in the Sociology and Metaphysics of Medieval Fortification' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 69-100 see online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1893, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward I (1281-91) Vol. 2 p. 161 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1898, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1313-17) Vol. 2 p. 436 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1903, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1317-21) Vol. 3 p. 257 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1891, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1327-30) Vol. 1 p. 219 (Commission to survey walls in 1327) online copy


  • Mouraille, R. and Trimble, D., 1998, Structural Survey of Cathedral Close Wall Pottergate Lincoln (A.P.A. Report No. 44.98) online copy
  • Brann, M., 1995, Lincoln Cathedral Close Wall Survey (Phase 3) (City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit 221) online copy
  • HBMC, 1988, Scheduling record: AM 107. SAM 114