Historical Accounts - 3
The Stonebow - Lincoln - old postcard
From the Gentleman's Magazine (text only)
[1848, Part I.,pp. 45, 46.]
I send you a sketch of an open fireplace and chimney discovered last
summer in the old Deanery House at Lincoln, which is now being taken down, and near to
the site of which a new residence is to be erected. They were hidden by bricks and plaster,
and had been so probably since the year 1616, when the house was modernized and repaired
during the period Staunton was dean and Parker precentor. The initials of the latter, with
the date of the year, were cut in the front of the parapet over the bow window then
projected from the south side of the building, six years after the famous Tom, the
predecessor of the present bell, was cast in a furnace erected for that purpose in the
minster yard. The fireplace and chimney are, no doubt, a remnant of the old deanery house
which Camden tells us was founded by Dean, afterwards Bishop, Gravesend, in 1254; they
are therefore a very interesting object of antiquity.
The sketch represents one of two chimneys placed back to back on the
first-floor between the late dean's drawing-room and the study, but they were both
concealed until the work of demolition began. The underside of the mantel, which is
composed of one stone 6 feet long by 13 inches high, stands 6 feet from the floor, and
the pyramidal head of the chimney is 9 feet above the three-inch projection over it, and
it is composed of nine courses of tooled masonry, terminating at the ceiling with an
apex one foot wide. The mantel, which has a projection from the wall of 30 inches, is
supported by double corbels, and the whole, after a lapse of nearly six centuries, is
in excellent preservation. The stones on each side are not jointed, so that the walls
of the room were no doubt either plastered or covered with oaken panels. The corbels
are canted, but in other respects quite plain, with the exception of a rude ornament
something like a trefoil on each side of the two lowest. The recess in the wall is only
5 inches deep, and the back of the fireplace is composed of flat tiles placed edgeways.
The gatehouse, built by Dean Flemming, comes down. It is very much to be
regretted it could not have been preserved as it is a fine old tower. ... F. B.
[1839, Part I., pp. 580, 581.]
The front of an old house in the centre of the City of Lincoln has
recently been taken down, and on removing the laths and plaster with which it was
externally covered, some fine old windows were exposed to view, and as they were very
curious and varied in their style, and were probably a fair specimen of the sort of
buildings of which old Lincoln was composed, I made a sketch of them for your magazine.
The windows were boldly carved in oak, and you will perceive they were let into the
braces which were placed to support the timbers. The sketch represents the house just
as it appeared after the roof had been removed, and nothing left over the comparatively
modern shop-windows below, excepting the oaken framework of the front of the old
dwelling. All the lower parts of the front had been modernized, and no part of the ancient
work left in the basement story excepting the doorway, which was composed, like the
windows, of oak, and was quite plain; it was, however, large in its dimensions, being
not less than 9 feet high, by 4 feet wide.
I think I am not far wrong in presuming the work was a specimen of the
domestic architecture of our city, as far back as the early part of the fifteenth century.
[1842, Part II., pp. 350, 351.]
The accompanying drawing of a stone to the memory of a Roman soldier was
brought to light on the building of a new house on the New Road, opposite the gaol
in Lincoln. It appears to have resembled a headstone, and to have been broken off
just by the ground. The Romans first enclosed their camp at the top of the hill, the
south side being at the brow thereof; this was about forty-five years after Christ,
and in the reign of the Emperor Claudius. Afterwards, as the colony increased, the
camp was extended to the bottom of the hill, keeping the east and west walls in a line
with the east and west walls of the old camp. The stone in question was found in the
foundation of the east wall of the new camp, which may be accounted for
in the following way : It is made out of a block of Lincoln stone. ... I conceive it
was erected in the time of the first camp, but that it perished and was broken off
previous to the camp being enlarged, when it was brought down as a building stone,
and laid in the foundations of the new wall in the situation before described.
The areas enclosed by the first and second camps are easily traced at the present day. . . .
The two first lines on the stone are perfectly distinct and legible, and show that it
was erected to the memory of a Roman soldier, Lucius Sempronius Flavinius, of the 9th
legion: but at the beginning of the third line there is a singular letter, like the
letter (q) inverted, which no one yet has satisfactorily deciphered. The inscription was
probably never completed, but the following reading has been suggested:
"Lucii Sempronii Flavini Militis Legionis VIIII. Q. Alaudae Julii
Severi Aerum VII. Annorum xxx. Ispanica Leria Civitas Materna."
"(The tomb) of Lucius Sempronius Flavinius, a soldier of the 9th legion,
Quadrata Alauda, commanded by Julius Severus, of seven
campaigns, and of thirty years of age. Leria, of Spain, was his native city." ...
It may be as well to mention that detached pieces of the Roman wall still
remain in several places.
I also send you a drawing of a Roman lamp found in the same place as the
stone, and at the same time, both of which are now
placed in the Mechanics' Institution of this city.
J. S. PADLEY.
[1866, Part 1.,p. 816.]
At Lincoln last year a Roman tombstone was excavated at the corner of
Salt House Lane in the process of digging for the foundations of a house. Salt
House Lane occupies a portion of the .cemetery of Roman Lincoln, adjoining the
Roman road called Ermine Street, which runs north and south to the west of it.
The stone is 7 feet long, 2 feet 1 inch wide, and 8 inches thick. At the
base is a dowel 6 inches long, proving that the stone was fixed originally in a stone
pediment. The top is cut in a common Roman altar form, with triangular features on
either side, below which are circles containing leaf-like ornaments carved in shallow
relief. Beneath, in a sunk panel, with a moulded border, is inscribed in large, legible
CF. FAB. HER.
In full - "Caio Saufeio, Caii filio, Fabio Herennio, militi legionis
nonae, annorum xxxx., stipendiorum xxii., hie situs est."
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