King and Castle: Lincoln Castle

A century’s worth of development transformed the site from the earth-and-timber castle that was founded by William the Conqueror into the substantial stone fortress seen here.

This 3D reconstruction of Lincoln Castle shows how it may have looked in the late 12th century, when it was frequently visited by Henry II (r. 1154-1189). The virtual image was created by Peter Lorimer of Pighill Illustration, in collaboration with FAS Heritage and funded by the Castle Studies Trust, using details found by Lincoln Castle Revealed, the 15-year archaeological research project at the site (see CA 317).

The results of the project had shown that the late 12th century was a particularly productive period in the castle’s history, after a century’s worth of development transformed the site from the earth-and-timber castle that was founded by William the Conqueror into the substantial stone fortress seen here.

This 3D model was particularly helpful to the researchers as, during its creation, previously unnoticed anomalies in the castle layout were revealed, most notably regarding the exact size and position of the original south wall. Little was known about this wall when the reconstruction began other than that it may have followed the line of a Roman wall in this location, but the placing seemed off as this orientation would have sliced through the Lucy Tower motte. This led the team to carry out some more work in the area and recently, during a programme of bank stabilisation, a substantial medieval stone wall measuring 3m wide was revealed. It was found traversing the Lucy Tower motte, instead of cutting through it, which suggests that the southern wall was probably founded on the original Roman one and that the motte may have been built up against it, flattening its southern side.

Text K Krakowka
Image Lincoln Castle recontruction
Credit Pighill Illustrations, FAS Heritage
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