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Lincoln's Exchequer Gate

Lincoln's Exchequer Gate
The Exchequer Gate, at the west front of the Cathedral, was the main entrance to the Cathedral Close. Built mid 14th century. It was originally a double gate with a courtyard between the gates. The western gate had fallen into disrepair and was pulled down in 1800, the stones were used to build the previous St Swithin's Church, a replacement for the church destroyed by the Royalists during the Civil War, ​ The Great Tom Inn was on the southside of the courtyard, the inn closed in 182

Life in Lincoln 727 years ago was, arguably, a much more dangerous place after dusk, than it is today, particularly in the environs of the Minster as cut-purses and vagabonds abounded, attracted by the obvious wealth displayed within the cathedral body and the opportunities of robbing the clergy going about their nightly offices, preparing for and attending the midnight mass.

The then bishop, Oliver Sutton, in despair, appealed to the king, Edward ‘Longshanks’, (he was 6ft. 2ins.), ‘Hammer-of-the-Scots’ and the 1st. of that name. Edward held Lincoln in his favour and granted a licence for the Dean and Chapter to “enclose the precinct of the said church with a wall, twelve feet high, in suitable places” These substantial precinct walls and gates obviously took some time to achieve and finance and so it was, 31 years later, that Edward’s son, the second of that name, when the King and his court were at Lincoln in 1316, confirmed the licence “on account of homicides and other outrages committed in the street and lanes around the precinct and in the precinct of their church“.

Progressive building of the “…….high strong wawle, having divers gates in it, whereof the principal is the excheker gate.” brings us to the focus of this thread.

It is not at all apparent today, that what we know as the ‘Exchequer Gate’ is virtually all that remains of what was, not only the strongest, and the main, entrance to the Minster precinct but a kind of enclosed square with an inner and outer gateway.


Located at the cathedral end of Castle Hill, this is where tenants who rented property from the church came to pay their rents. A chequered cloth was used to aide the counting of the rent monies, and it is from the alternating black and white pattern of the cloth that we get the word 'Exchequer'. The gate was built in the 14th century, and probably acted as the main, ceremonial access point to the Cathedral close.

To call this lovely building a 'gate' does not convey a sense of how grand the structure really is. There are actually three gates, or passages through Exchequer Gate to the cathedral precinct; two smaller postern gates flank a pointed central arch, vaulted with brick. Octagonal turrets flank the central arch, and the whole structure is topped with battlements.

Above the arches are two further floors of rooms, which were at one time let as dwellings. The origin of the building is uncertain, but tradition holds that it was constructed during the reign of Edward I.

Maeluk, Jeff Farley, Martin Humphreys, Rosalyn Hilborne and 4 other people have particularly liked this photo

13 comments - The latest ones
 Andy Rodker
Andy Rodker club
Well, I suppose if they kept all their money here, it needed to be securely defended!
Best wishes,
2 years ago.
S Drury club has replied to Andy Rodker club
Hello Andy yes indeed it appears to have been quite a rough area in the day .. and night :))

best wishes ... Steve
2 years ago.
 S Drury
S Drury club
Thank you for your YS

Nick Weall


rod bally


Best wishes ... Steve
2 years ago. Edited 2 years ago.
 Rosalyn Hilborne
Rosalyn Hilborne club
Hi Steve, a gorgeous golden light on the building and thanks for the info, very interesting.
Best wishes, Rosa.
2 years ago.
S Drury club has replied to Rosalyn Hilborne club
Hello Rosa thank you again here .. i am pleased you like the shot and found the info of interest

Best wishes ... Steve
2 years ago.
 Martin Humphreys
Martin Humphreys
Excellent set again Steve
2 years ago.
S Drury club has replied to Martin Humphreys
Thank you Martin that is very much appreciated :))

Best wishes ... Steve
2 years ago.
HappySnapper club
Lot of History there in Lincoln.
2 years ago.
S Drury club has replied to HappySnapper club
Hello Maurice this building stands around half way between the Castle and Cathedral both around one thousand years old so lots of history indeed :))

Best wishes ... Steve
2 years ago.
 Jeff Farley
Jeff Farley club
A wonderful night shot Steve.
2 years ago.
S Drury club has replied to Jeff Farley club
Hello Jeff thank you i am pleased you like it

Best wishes ... Steve
2 years ago.
Peter_Private_Box club
Hi Steve,

Another very nicely taken night shot!

Great information too. These days they would probably give the cut-purses and vagabonds a council house, and a stack of benefits, then blame 'society' when the crime continued!

Certainly gets a star from me!

Best Wishes
2 years ago.
S Drury club has replied to Peter_Private_Box club
Hello Peter i have no doubt your words here ring true .. i took this shot while alone at just gone 11.00pm so thankfully the modern day cut-purses and vagabonds were home having spent their benifits on cheep booze

Best wishes ... Steve
2 years ago.

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