The Virgin Mary and the Wain Well

Eastgate from Bailgate

Eastgate from Bailgate

The picture to the left shows Eastgate from the Bailgate junction.  Even though this line of Eastgate would go through the Roman gate from which it gets its name, the road would not have been trodden by a Roman citizen of 1,900 years ago.

The present road runs east-north-east from Bailgate to the the site of the Roman east gate.  The junction in Roman times would be somewhere north of Gordon Road and would run directly east to the gate.  The road heading west from the junction is now beneath Lincoln Castle, the west gate of the Roman settlement is somewhere below the Castle’s present day west gate.  The position of the road was probably moved during the medieval period to enable easier access to the east gate of Lincoln castle.

The first building on the right of Eastgate is The White Hart Hotel, a former coaching inn dating from the 14th century.  Further down on the left is an Indian restaurant, this was once was The Black Horse Inn, an inn had been on this site for at least 200 years.  There was once an inn on Eastgate called the Black Harriden, maybe it was on this site.

Across the road, in front of the Cathedral, there is a stone wall  which was once a row of buildings.  To read more about the wall, and the Black Horse Inn, please read my blogpost The Legend of the Head in the Wall.

Eastgate House

Eastgate House

In the grounds of the Lincoln Hotel is the base of the north side of the Roman east gate.  The Lincoln Hotel was built in the early 1960s, previously the Eastgate Hotel, and attached to the former  Eastgate House, which was built for Alfred Shuttleworth, son of one of the founders of Clayton, Shuttleworth & Co, in the 1890s.

Across the road from Eastgate House once stood the Dolphin Inn and other buildings. Alfred bought all the buildings and had them demolished because they spoilt his view of the Cathedral;  he did a great service to the City of Lincoln by doing this.

The Rest

The Rest

On the corner of Eastgate and Priorygate stands “The Rest”.  The Rest is a late 17th century building which was renovated by Alfred Shuttleworth in 1899 with sham timber cladding.  At one time it was available for use by people who had ascended Lindum Road and needed a rest.

St Peter in Eastgate church is on the left side of Eastgate.  In common with many churches in Lincoln, St Peter’s was badly damaged during the Civil War.  The church was demolished in 1776, a new church was built in 1781 but was inadequate for the growing population of the 19th century.  A new church was designed by Sir Arthur

St Peter in Eastgate Church

St Peter in Eastgate Church

Blomfield and completed in 1870.  In 1914 the south aisle, west porch and the choir vestry were added due to the generosity of Alfred Shuttleworth.  At the same time, the Nave ceiling was enclosed as a ‘barrel roof’, the Rood Screen erected and St. Margaret’s Chapel, dedicated.

At the Langworthgate and Greetwellgate fork, there was once a well, the Wain Well, which, on 11th August 1498, Joanna Burton fell in.  The well was about 66 feet deep plus 6 feet of water so her survival of the fall seemed doubtful, “but according to sworn testimony of nine women”, she was in the well for an hour and she was carried from the well in the arms of the Virgin Mary.  It seems strange to me that this wasn’t seen as a miracle after all England was still a Roman Catholic country at that time

Wain Well

The Site of Wain Well


Gallery | This entry was posted in Bailgate, Cathedral, People, Public House, Roman and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to The Virgin Mary and the Wain Well

  1. Michael Cottam says:

    Very informative. I have lived in Lincoln all my life but never questioned why the Roman Eastgate and Westgate were not aligned.

  2. Many thanks for your comment Michael.

  3. John Gleeson says:

    Fascinating-any chance you can supply decent photos of the rest-all four sides? I can then perpare a Sketchup drawing of this unique building-is the interior still benches round the walls?

  4. Alan Askew says:

    I stumbled on this site, and my interest is in ‘The Rest’. I was born in Lincoln, and as I recall The Rest was still open as a public place in the 1950s early 60s. There was a single ground floor room with wooden benches along the walls, as I recall… although my memory may be faulty. Is there any information on the history of the building, who owned it? Any photos from its ‘Rest’ days?


    • Hello Alan,

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      The Rest is a late 17th century building. Alfred Shuttleworth bought Eastgate House in the 1890s: to improve the outlook from his new house he bought the Dolphins Inn and neighbouring buildings and had them demolished giving him an open view of the Cathedral. He also purchased the building on the opposite corner of Eastgate, a run down building, he had it remodelled giving it a half timbered appearance. It was then left open so that those walking up Lindum Hill could have a “rest” and named Shuttleworth’s Rest. It i now office for the Cathedral propertie department. The article below includes a partial image of the “Rest” as it was before being remodelled

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