Bailgate and Castle Hill

Overview

The Bailgate and Castle Hill Character Area (view detailed map) is located on largely flat land on the top of the north escarpment overlooking the Witham ‘gap’. It has a complex townscape character that has been strongly influenced by nearly 2000 years of historical development, notably during the Roman and High Medieval Eras. This influence is most noticeable in the street layout and building plots as well as surviving buildings. The irregular grid street pattern is largely medieval and the mainly deep building plots running back from the streets with narrow frontages are strongly influenced by surviving medieval burgage plots. The townscape character is also strongly influenced by the nearby ‘iconic’ medieval buildings of the Cathedral and Castle, especially in Castle Hill.  

This Character Area, together with the neighbouring Cathedral and Castle Character Areas, is a key tourist destination in Lincoln and the East Midlands region. Castle Hill is a key public square and in the city. Around Castle Hill the buildings are taller than most of the rest of the Character Area, often three to four storeys high, and provide a good sense of enclosure to the ‘square’.
 
Bailgate and Steep Hill act as a ‘High Street’ in the area with a mix of residential and commercial uses continuing a long tradition of these uses since the medieval era if not before. 18th and 19th century houses and shops on former medieval plots along Bailgate and Steep Hill form a key part of the townscape. 
 
The form, materials and architectural style of the buildings in Bailgate and Castle Hill vary greatly which reflects the complex history of development in the area, mainly carried out on a plot by plot basis. The buildings provide no clear rhythm along the streets due to their varied form and door/window patterns. The building density is high and there is a strong sense of enclosure along relatively narrow streets. 
There are many landmark buildings in a relatively small area, including Newport Arch, Leigh Pemberton House, the Cathedral and Castle, Exchequergate, the Prince of Wales public house. They often terminate views along streets. The medieval buildings in this and neighbouring Character Areas are part of a nationally recognised group of residential and commercial medieval buildings.
 
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View of the west fa├žade of the Cathedral from the Castle walls

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Key Statistics

Latitude/Longitude: (53.23553, -0.53852)
Character Area Type: Commercial
Location: City centre
Predominant Period: Late Victorian/Edwardian (1869 to 1919 AD)
Secondary Period: High Medieval (850 to 1350 AD)
Average Building Type: Attached buildings
Average Building Density: High