Monday, 14 June 2021

Steep Hill in Lincoln

The doorway to Jews House

On the last leg of my day out in Lincoln, on the 15th of September 2020, having taken 200 photographs of the interior of Lincoln Cathedral – nearly a third of the total for the day - I finished my exploration of its stone built architecture at Steep Hill.
Norman House

Norman House at 46/47 Steep Hill, is a Grade I Listed building, dated c.1170, and was once known as ‘Aaron’s House’, because it was erroneously believed to have been the home of Aaron of Lincoln, a wealthy Jewish moneylender, who advanced large sums to the nobility, including the king of England - Henry II.
The entrance to Norman House

Although it still retains its original doorway, which once had a chimney projecting from the wall above, it has been altered considerably over the years, with the majority of the windows being added much later in the C18 and C19.
The restored double arched window

During its restoration in 1878, a double round headed window was found in pieces in a recess on the ground floor and was reset in its current position, with most of the masonry sections, including the foliate capitals, being renewed in matching Lincoln stone.
Harding House
A little further down Steep Hill, the Grade II Listed Harding House dates to the C16, with a Lincoln stone ground floor and a timber framed upper storey, but it was substantially altered in the C18 and restored in the mid C20.

Jews Court

Continuing down the hill, just before Steep Hill turns into The Strait at Danes Terrace, Jews Court provides another example of a Norman stone built town house. Also dated to c.1170 and Grade I Listed, it lacks the obvious C12 features of Norman House, with it being completely remodelled in the early C18.
Jews House

Next door, there is yet another Norman house of the same date, Jews House, which still possesses many of its original features; however, it was altered in the C18 and refenestrated in the early C19 and the C20, which resulted in the loss of most of the columns and details to the double arched round windows on the first floor.
Altered windows at Jews House

It is still the most impressive of the three Norman houses and the doorway, which still has a chimney above, is richly ornamented with interlacing and foliate capitals, although the latter are very weathered and much of the detail is lost.
A detail of the door arch at Jews House

Although most visitors to Lincoln would probably be attracted to the cathedral and the castle and other ‘uphill’ monuments such as the Roman Newport Arch and east gate, this collection of Norman houses, which also includes St. Mary’s Guildhall, is the richest in Britain – to which can be added Boothby Pagnell manor house in South Kesteven.

The route of my walk around Lincoln

Having spent five hours wandering around this fantastic city and taken over 650 photographs, which has provided plenty of material for my Language of Stone Blog, I now had to make my way back to the railway station and catch my train. Arriving back in Sheffield, I had just enough time for a pint of Thwaites Wainwright at the Old Queens Head before my bus home to Treeton arrived.  
A pint of Thwaites Wainwright

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