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Ermine Street in Lincoln



Reference Name MLI70018

Name:
Ermine Street in Lincoln

Summary:
Ermine Street in Lincoln

Location:
ABBEY, LINCOLN, LINCOLNSHIRE
PARK, LINCOLN, LINCOLNSHIRE
LONGDALES, LINCOLN, LINCOLNSHIRE
MINSTER, LINCOLN, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
Next to Watling Street, this road was perhaps the most important Roman thoroughfare in Britain. It was designed to give direct communication to the main centres of military occupation at Lincoln and York. {1}{2}

There have been several excavations which have definitely or possibly identified parts of Ermine Street:
A surface, dated by pottery to the Roman period, was encountered at SK 9733 7047. Its alignment suggests that it is possibly part of Ermine Street. However, it may also be part of a yard or side street associated with either Ermine Street or Fosse Way, or adjacent structures. {3}{4}

The line of Ermine Street was again identified during water mains replacement along Bailgate, and passing through Newport Arch. The remains of structures fronting on to it were also identified. {5}

During works for a traffic calming scheme in Bailgate, possible paving slabs were revealed in the base of a trench. It seems very likely that the surface is associated with either the Roman road, or roadside pavement. As such, this constitutes the first definite evidence that, at one period at least, the main north-south street of the Roman city was formed of paving slabs. {6}{7}

During works carried out on High Street adjacent to the junction with St Marks Street, at the mid point of the northbound carriageway a series of three metalled surfaces were recorded. All three appeared to extend across the width of the northbound carriageway. These surfaces probably represent successive levels of Ermine Street. {8}{9}

A metalled surface was recorded during a watching brief at SK9764 7255. The surface may be either part of Ermine Street or may have belonged to a roadside property. {10}{11}

An earthwork survey of South Common revealed traces of Ermine Street surviving as earthworks. Little of the road itself survives but its course is marked by a series of small quarries which are notably different from the other quarry remains on the common. At the south west corner of the common, close to where the road enters it from the south, a length of bank with ditch is visible which almost certainly represents the road. Much ironstone was seen littering the surface in this area and it is possible that the road was paved with this material (although it may also have originated from later quarrying). A further length of probable roadway consisting of an agger flanked by ditches can be seen approaching the railway. (Note that the route indicated by the earthworks is slightly different from that shown on Mapinfo.) Traces of possible enclosures at right angles to the road were also seen, and these may represent shops or workshops or even cemetery enclosures sited adjacent to the road, although it is also possible that they are field boundaries. {12}

Sources:
1 Bibliographic reference: Margary, I.D.. 1973. Roman Roads in Britain (3rd edition). pp.194-8, 236-8
2 Bibliographic reference: WHITWELL, J.B.. 1992. ROMAN LINCOLNSHIRE. pp.30, 44-50
3 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1994. 382 High Street: Archaeological Recording. ON481
4 Excavation archive: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1994. 382 High Street: Archaeological Recording. LCNCC 66.93
5 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. July 1993. Bailgate area watermains replacement. WEBA93
6 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1998. Rasen Lane/Bailgate, Lincoln - Traffic Calming Scheme: Archaeological Watching Brief. RLB97
7 Excavation archive: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1998. Rasen Lane/Bailgate, Lincoln - Traffic Calming Scheme: Archaeological Watching Brief. LCNCC 54.97
8 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1998. Site of University of Lincoln and Humberside, Lincoln - Phase 1 Combined Report. UCLA95; UCLB95
9 Excavation archive: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1998. Site of University of Lincoln and Humberside, Lincoln - Phase 1 Combined Report. LCNCC 11.95; 49.95
10 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. Nov 2000. Watching brief on gas mains renewal, Newport, Lincoln. NPC00
11 Excavation archive: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. Nov 2000. Watching brief on gas mains renewal, Newport, Lincoln. LCNCC 2000.24
12 Intervention Report: English Heritage. 2005. South Common, Lincoln: An Archaeological Investigation of an Urban Open Space. -

Links:
Lincolnshire County Council is not responsible for the content of external weblinks.
The following reports are available from the ADS digital library.
3 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1994. 382 High Street: Archaeological Recording. ON481
5 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. July 1993. Bailgate area watermains replacement. WEBA93
6 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1998. Rasen Lane/Bailgate, Lincoln - Traffic Calming Scheme: Archaeological Watching Brief. RLB97
8 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. 1998. Site of University of Lincoln and Humberside, Lincoln - Phase 1 Combined Report. UCLA95; UCLB95
10 Intervention Report: City of Lincoln Archaeology Unit. Nov 2000. Watching brief on gas mains renewal, Newport, Lincoln. NPC00

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Last updated: 07-December-2015 13:25:52

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