A kipper

A kippah

Jews House

Newport Arch

Priory Gate

Steep Hill approaching Castle Hill at the top

Steep Hill

Steep Hill

Brayford Pool & Wharf area

High Bridge

Steep Hill

WEDNESDAY 24-4-19

Again we had a nice peaceful night’s sleep and again awoke to a cloudy sky, though this time they were forecasting rain in the afternoon.

To my surprise there were two men stood in the toilet block talking when I arrived there, though the shower cubicles were dry. I assume they’d had the usual campers wash and shave with a dab of ‘Old Spice’ behind the ears.

We set off for Lincoln later in the morning with the intension of having another look round, a bit of window shopping and a meal in a restaurant somewhere in town before returning ‘home’.

Fortunately as the morning progressed the sun came out and it became another nice sunny day.

First on our ‘to see’ list was High Bridge, the oldest bridge in the country still with buildings on it. The bridge, crossing the River Witham, dates back to 1160, while its buildings, which include a café and a pasty shop, are Tudor in origin. After a couple of photos we went down the steps beside the bridge to the Brayford Pool area.

The first known settlement in Lincoln, dating back to the first century BC, was around the Brayford Pool area, giving the original name for Lincoln, Lindon: 'Lin' meaning pool and 'don' meaning at the foot of the hill. Timber houses and pottery have been found dating back to that time on the east of the pool.  In fact, the famous Witham Shield, belonging to a local tribe's chief, was found in this area which dates back to 300BC and is now housed in the British Museum.

In 48 AD the Romans conquered Lincolnshire and built a fort on the site of Lincoln. Although by the late first century the area was pacified, Lindon grew into a large and prosperous town and reached the peak of prosperity in the early 4th century with a population of between four and six thousand. Lindon was an inland port and so the Romans deepened the River Witham so ships could reach the town from the sea. They also dug the Foss Dyke to link the Witham with the River Trent.

The Romans left Britain in the early 5th century but the importance of the port in Lindon remained as the medieval city of Lincoln was built on the area’s wealth, which came mostly from wool that was traded up and down the River Witham and across the Brayford Pool.

The Brayford's name dates to the 10th century when the city was occupied by Vikings. Their name for the pool, which was much larger in their time, was 'Breit-ford' which means 'where the river is broad and fordable'.

Wandering along the front of Brayford Wharf we came across ‘The Square Sail’, a Wetherspoons pub https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/pubs/all-pubs/england/lincolnshire/the-square-sail-lincoln

As always with Wetherspoons, their menu looked good value for money and so we decided to return there later for our meal.

Then it was another trudge uphill to find Priory Gate located on the east side of the cathedral.

It is a Victorian replacement for the medieval gates on this site, assembled from the original medieval building material. A similar gateway arch stands at the south end of Pottergate, and Exchequer Gate, a true medieval survivor, stands near the cathedral west front. A few short steps away from Priory Gate is a statue of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, a Lincolnshire native.

The Grade II listed gateway has a central pointed arch flanked by a pair of small pedestrian arches. The top of the gateway is crenellated in the fashion of a medieval castle parapet. The original gate was one of a pair over the road on the east side of the Cathedral grounds. Both gates were torn down in 1815, and the solitary Priory Gate erected in 1825 using as many of the original stones as possible.

Referring to our freebie map we noticed that Newport Arch wasn’t far away and so we made for that.

Newport Arch is said to be the oldest archway still used by traffic and dates back to the 3rd century. The arch was nearly destroyed in 1964 after it was hit by a goods lorry, and minor damage occurred in 2004 due to another lorry accident.

As it had turned in to such a lovely warm sunny afternoon we decided to start making our way back downhill for an ice cream. The Chef had spotted a parlour yesterday just around the corner from The Tourist Information Office on Castle Hill.

Having sat on a bench near the castle entrance to enjoy our ice cream we made our way back down Steep Hill stopping firstly at the famous Browns Pie Shop where I treated myself to a Barbecued Pulled Pork, Jack Daniels and Red Pepper pork pie in its own cardboard box to take away, then further down the hill was another famous establishment – Jews House, one of the oldest and most important domestic dwellings in England, located on Steep Hill and below the Jew's Court.

The house has traditionally been associated with the thriving Jewish community in Medieval Lincoln, thought to have last belonged to Belaset, daughter of Solomon of Wallingford, before the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290.

The magnificence of the entry, and its off central position, as well as the lack of an original front entrance to next door, suggest that it was the original entrance to the medieval synagogue thought to have been behind the Court.

It was closed when we passed which is just as well as I probably wouldn’t have gone in.

I once dreamt I had expressed an interest in attending a Jewish Synagogue and was told I would need to wear a kipper on my head. This didn’t surprise me as kippers seem to have played an important part in Jewish history, including the 1973 Yom Kipper War when Israel was attacked by an Arab coalition force lead by Egypt and Syria.

Well a few heads were turned when I arrived at the synagogue I can tell you, I thought perhaps it was my nose that looked a bit out of place. I spent the whole service wondering why nobody sat near me. It wasn’t until I was leaving that they told me I should have been wearing a kippah, a kind of hat, not tomorrow’s breakfast. All very embarrasing.

Today it’s a restaurant with a good reputation www.jewshouserestaurant.co.uk/ .

So now it was back down to ‘New Town’ for another wander around the shops before deciding to make our way to ‘The Square Sail’ for our meal. Very nice it was too and as a bonus we managed to miss the clouding over of the sky and the heavy rain shower which followed.

Once fed and watered we made our way back to the bus station stopping off at ‘Lakeland’ for a couple of bags of their delicious liquorice, then down the road for some small sausage rolls and Lincolnshire sausages to take home.

During our 45 minute bus tour through the city’s social housing estates we were joined by a hoard of rough’s and their feral brat kids, further down the road even more got on. The chap sitting in front of me said he lived in the area and was glad he was getting off at the next stop. He said he thought they were all making for the funfair which was on this week with cheaper rides early evening. I thought they had been to a party as just back down the road I swear I’d seen some balloons hung outside a house with a banner saying ‘Happy 30th Birthday Grandma’

We weren’t sorry when it came to our stop. As well as our getting off it gave the driver the opportunity to ask whoever was responsible for the kid who kept running about while the bus was in motion to get him sat down and stay down.

We spent the evening watching a bit of telly with the fan heater on again. This saved our LPG and gave us a chance to use some of the electricity we were paying for at the campsite.

Before turning in I filled the freshwater tank and emptied the grey water so that we could be away in good time in the morning.