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Thorngate, Lincoln

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;

In the civil parish of Lincoln.
In the historic county of Lincolnshire.
Modern Authority of Lincolnshire.
1974 county of Lincolnshire.
Medieval County of Lincolnshire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SK977711
Latitude 53.22851° Longitude -0.53706°

Thorngate, Lincoln has been described as a probable Timber Castle, and also as a Masonry Castle although is doubtful that it was such.

There are no visible remains.


The mysterious "castellum ... de Tornegat" occurs just twice in documents; once certainly in a document of 1141 (ed. Foster 1931, 61, RA99) and then, perhaps, in a document of 1151 (Ibid., 287-9). Foster thought that it was located just outside the south-east corner of the lower city, but Sir Francis Hill made a case that the site was represented by the later Manor House of the Kyme family, Kyme Hall (Hill 1948, 159-60). Professor Cameron prefers to locate Kyme Hall in Hungate, thereby distinguishing it from Thorngate Castle (1985, 150). Dr Vince makes a third proposal (chapter 9a), that the castle might have been on the actual island of Thorngate in the River Witham. Without further excavation, it is hard to see how this issue will be progressed. The date and fleeting references to the castle suggested to Foster that it was a castle of the Anarchy period, but it is not impossible that it was a foundation of more substance, and should be considered similar to establishments like Mountfitchet and Baynard Castles in London (Watson 1992). That is to say it could have been a private castle held by a major noble who was not part of the official power structure in the county. In this case Foster shows that it would have been the holding of the Condet family (ed. Foster 1931, 282-95). These observations merely emphasise what an interesting structure this castle would be, if it could be located. Thorngate Castle is an important component of the townscape which needs to be located and investigated as a matter of urgency. (Heritage Connect Lincoln website accessed 22/7/2013)

The castellum de Tornegat described by King as a second castle close to or, more likely, on the SE corner of city wall of Lincoln. Mentioned about 1141 and 1151 when demolished. Hill suggested that it might be Kyme Hall, north-west of Thorn Bridge (The medieval bridge over the Witham into Lincoln). The loss of the castle and the early date might suggest this was mainly an earthwork and timber affair, although if there were stone elements, which the readily accessed Roman remains makes entirely possible, these would have been robbed out for later building in the city.
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This record last updated 26/07/2017 09:21:02

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