Work is underway on the restoration of Lincoln Cathedral’s 14th century Excherquergate Arch, which frames the walkway leading to the Cathedral’s West Front.
Forming part of Lincoln Cathedral Connected, a major National Lottery Heritage Fund project, the works will include re-roofing, repointing and structural repairs to correct settlement cracks in the Grade I listed structure. The masonry will also be cleaned, and conservation work will be carried out to the stone carvings. This will be the first time the Arch has undergone work since the late 1800s.
Exchequergate Arch is what remains from two gatehouses – a west gatehouse which was later demolished circa 1796, and the surviving east gatehouse – originally constructed during King Edward I’s reign to protect the precinct surrounding the church of St Mary Magdalene.
The gatehouses were designed to house four small shops in the ground floor of its bastions. Entrances to the shops were through doorways at the east end of the posterns, of which all but the most southerly doorways remain in use. Each shop had a pair of windows, which are now infilled, and access to the upper floors was via spiral staircases made from stone.
Exchequergate Arch is the only triple-arched gateway leading into cathedral grounds in the country and possibly the only one in Europe. Although a gatehouse which incorporated small shops was a common feature during the Medieval period, Exchequergate Arch remains the only surviving such example in the UK.
Lincoln Cathedral Connected is a £16m project aiming to radically improve the Cathedral’s setting and visitor experience – offering more engaging and dynamic spaces for a wider number of visitors to enjoy.
Buttress is engaged to oversee the conservation elements of the project, which is being led by Director, Nicholas Rank, who has been Architect and Surveyor of the Fabric to Lincoln Cathedral since 1996.
Alongside work to the Arch, significant conservation work is also being undertaken to 14th century carving, the ‘Gallery of Kings’ and the 12th century Romanesque Frieze on the Cathedral’s West Front.