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Posterngate, the Roman gateway to southern Lincoln, lies underneath the city’s modern streets

Fifteen feet beneath the hustle and bustle of everyday Lincoln lies a hidden vault - and a gateway to the city’s long-forgotten past.

Once a busy entrance to the ancient Roman city, Posterngate is now separated from view by an unassuming door, fifteen feet of earth and 1,500 years of history, but descend a short flight of stairs and you’ll be treading in the footsteps of the city’s founders.

Built around 100 years before the ancient empire left Britain, the 4th century gateway lay undisturbed until 1973.

Merchants and traders would have used it for easy access to the River Witham, which in Roman times was lapping close to the wall. It would have been a hectic waterway; a major shipping lane to the inland port that’s today called Brayford Pool.

And with the city at the crossroads of Roman Britain’s major highways, Posterngate would have been at the economic heart of Lincoln.

Now, to help protect the rare find, Posterngate is open just a few times a year. But when it is, the site offers visitors a unique glimpse into ancient city life.

Visit and step back in time

Posterngate’s importance puts it high on the list of Lincoln’s finest historical treasures. But it happens to be the hardest to find!

It’s deep below modern ground level, underneath the Royal Bank of Scotland on Bank Street. Inside, you’ll see preserved sections of the Roman walls, the remains of a turret, the gateway itself, and the original flagstone floor, which still bears the scars of use.

The ticket price includes a guided tour by a local expert and the chance to take photographs. There are also information boards and displays for you to find out more about Lincoln during Roman times.

Artists impression of Posterngate

Posterngate: This artist’s impression shows how Posterngate would’ve looked in its Roman heyday

Opening dates for 2017

  • Friday, 10 March
  • Saturday, 29 July

Opening dates for 2018

  • Friday, 9 March
  • Saturday, 28 July

There are half hourly tours with a talk from an expert plus a chance to take pictures and see the displays running from 10am to 3.30pm every half hour. It’s only £2 for adults to enter and £1 for children and concessions (under-fives free). Visits limited to 30 minutes and 20 people per tour. Please note that the entrance is not at The Collection, but on Saltergate where you can buy the ticket on the day. You’ll see a sign on Bank Street pointing the way.

Group tours and school visits are also available. These are priced at £35 per party and are capped at 20 people. Group bookings are subject to availability of staff.

Contact us

Posterngate is underground, accessed via a narrow stairway and has no disabled accessed. For these reasons, we cannot recommend a visit if you do not like enclosed spaces, are unsteady on your feet, or struggle with flights of stairs.

Underneath Royal Bank of Scotland
Bank Street
Lincoln, LN2 1DQ

To make group bookings or other enquiries, call The Collection Museum on 01522 552121 or email

Roman life at Posterngate

Roman life at Posterngate. Source: Erik Grigg.

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Last updated: 13 October 2017

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