In AD43 the Roman Emperor Claudius and an army of 40,000 soldiers arrived on the south coast of Britain. Between AD50-60 the Ninth Legion Hispana had arrived in Lincoln.
The Romans built a legionary fortress at the top of the hill. The fortress was defended by a deep ditch with an earth bank held in place with timber revetments and with wooden towers at intervals along the wall. Four gateways were built; North, South, East and West.
From about AD90 the site became a colonia, a self-governing town for retired legionaries, named Lindum Colonia. This important Roman city was built of large stone buildings reflecting its status as a model of Roman urbanism. The interior of the city was full of houses, shops, workshops, temples and bath houses. Many of these structures were decorated with painted wall plaster and floored with high quality mosaics over underfloor heating.
The central site of the former legionary headquarters became the forum and basilica, which was the very centre of Roman public life. It contained law courts, civic offices, markets and workshops. The city expanded and spread down the hill.
The original wooden defences of the upper city were fronted in stone during the early 2nd century. The new walls were later extended to include the lower part of city; new stone gates were also built. These are the substantial structures that you can still see parts of today.
Follow the trail and explore Roman Lincoln for yourself.
A cobbled street that leads from Lincoln Castle into the heart of the Cathedral Quarter.
As you follow Bailgate you are walking along the Roman Colonnade with the Forum to your left.
This area was the courtyard of a legionary building in the centre of the main fortress with a well dug by the ninth Hispanic legion in the middle of the 1st Century. The well was later incorporated into the Forum when Lincoln became a Colonia.
This is the site of one of Lincoln’s earliest churches possibly dating back to the end of the Roman occupation in the 4th century.
Behind the Castle Hotel you will see a rare and unique survival in Britain of a non-defensive Roman wall. This was the north outer wall of the basilica, the Roman town hall.
One of the surviving jewels of Roman Britain, Newport Arch is the oldest arch in the UK still actively used by traffic.
A short distance along East Bight you will be able to see part of the Roman city north wall and ditch.
The north tower of the Roman East Gate and adjacent city wall of the upper Roman city can be seen in the forecourt of the Lincoln Hotel.
One of Europe’s finest Gothic buildings, Lincoln Cathedral - open virtually with live-streamed online services, with home worship resources and virtual tours available.
Inside Number 44, a shop on Steep Hill, you can see remains of the South Gate to the upper city.
The main Roman road was very steep and has large stone steps along part of its route. The street now called Danesgate was part of an easier route up and down the hill, probably used by carts.
Award-winning archaeology museum located in the heart of historic Lincoln, with interactive exhibitions, events and talks, and guided tours. Pre-book your tickets online.
An early 16th-century town building which forms an archway over the main High Street. Home to City Council meetings and the heritage of Lincoln's local politics. Temporarily closed for guided tours.
Part of Lincoln's Roman South Wall, now hidden under a bank, can be seen during guided tours on selected dates through the year.
The West Gate of the Lower Roman City, dating back to the 4th century, to defend the settlement in the Upper City.
This unique building was a major residence in Lincoln, possibly the property of Henry II constructed for the crown-wearing ceremonies of Christmas 1157.