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Sunday, 18 May 2014

Roaming with the Romans.

This weekend there is a big Roman theme in Lincoln. They have just published a new guide and an app. and the weekend was to help publicise it. There was a free walk around the lower area of the city rather than the upper area around the castle and cathedral. About 25 people arrived and the guide was very good and full of facts. We started by St Swithens Church and found a Roman Altar in the Church of that name. We then walked along the line of the southern wall and learned that the Braydon Pool was wider and the River Witham was wide and sluggish with islands and mud flats. I also learned that Lincoln was Lindum in the Roman era. Once the Romans had become established and the frontier had moved north the town of Lindum became very prosperous. Eventually the authorities made it a Colonia. This meant that it had the highest status of city and in England there was Lincoln, Colchester, York and Glouchester. The Colonia is remembered in Lincoln and Colchester. Legioaires who had completed their time in the army were given land in the area and every citizen of the city was a Roman citizen and they governed themselves. The hope was that they would settle down and spread prosperity whilst being a sort of reserve army and a means of better supply for the rest of the standing forces.

Part of West Gate in the Roman wall. It was discovered when the city hall was being built.

We finished the tour at the collections museum and spent an hour looking round there before ascending Steep Hill to the top and round the back of the castle to find a pub that the guide had recommended. The Strugglers Inn. The sign had a man going to the gallows so possibly that is where it was named from. It was a lovely pub and I tried a Decadence by Brewers. We then moved round the corner to the Victoria for something to eat. At the Batemans pub I tried their seasonal Oat Meal Biscuit beer which had Horlicky tinge to it. No unpleasant but not my favourite. I also had a Batemans Yellabelly Gold and was very nice. The pork and apple sandwich was very nice and welcome too.

We had been to Lincoln before but had only really done the hotspots. On this tour and our walkabout we had found that there are several areas of the central city and they all have their character. Up on the hill around the back of the castle it is very quite with varied and interesting buildings. Just near the pubs was The Lawns that used to be a Mental Hospital. It is now a conference Centre etc. There is a conservatory in the grounds that had giant koi swimming about. On a day like this it was very hot in there.

Koi in the Joseph Banks Conservatory. Joseph Banks of the Captain Cook Expedition was a local boy.

The Lawns Mental Hospital.

Interesting house in the shadow of the castle wall on Union Road opposite The Lawns complex.

The view from the top of the hill was spectacular and must have been even better in Roman times.
 From the top of Motherby Hill

We descended back down to the lower city and under the none Roman Gateway that now houses the Guildhall and Stonebow. It has been in use since 1520. Our guide had told us there are tours on Friday and Saturday so we will have to see if we can get on them when we pass by on the way back to the Trent.

The Licoln Guidehall and Stonebow.

We then found a Sargents icecream stall and had to stop. When ever we came south of the Humber we called at Hibaldstowe to get a brillaint Sargents but they closed several years ago. We learned that they are now back and in Barton on Humber which is closer to where we live. It was then back to the boat for a cup of tea and a sit in the sun.

Our moorings in Lincoln.


  1. That's Brewsters (Decadence). Grantham brewery.

    1. Hi Crusty, Thanks for pointing that out. What I should have said was a pint of Decadence brewed by Brewsters Brewery in Grantham but as I was typing thought there were too many Brews.... and got it wrong anyway. What ever it was was very tastey on a warm day.

  2. Good morning, Tony and Helen,
    Your posts, as always, make us very keen to explore the countryside and towns - even if it does mean braving the rivers! But Lincoln is now on the list of places to visit from the water.
    It's now only 5 sleeps till we leave NZ, and we arrive at our boat on Tuesday arvo and will be making our way from Barton in Fabis to Trent Lock that same day. Hopefully we will be lucky enough to see you both around that time or in the days following.
    Cheers, Marilyn and David

    1. 3 sleeps now! We are just heading back to Lincoln as there is a beer festival tomorrow. After that we will head down to Boston and back. I am thinking that we will be in Nottingham area around 10th June so you never know. I'm sure we will catch up somewhere, if not there. Are you staying in the UK for years now? Have a safe flight and happy landings. Tony and Helen

  3. Hi Tony and Helen, Now it's 2 sleeps, and probably a long drive from Wellington to Auckland on Sunday as the forecast here is for gales and it's likely WLG airport will be closed.
    The NZ pension which David has just qualified for (65) requires him to be in NZ for at least 180 days per year, so we will be coming backwards and forwards to the UK each year and avoiding winters.
    Our boat has been moved to Sawley Marina to have new batteries fitted prior to our arrival. Our experienced friends are coming to coach us on the river stuff for a few days, so who knows which way we'll go! We will keep an eye out for you. Cheers, M&D