Steep Hill and The Strait

Description

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  • Overview
    Steep Hill and The Strait Character Area is a complex townscape, the evolution of which has been influenced by the development of Lincoln since it was first established in the Roman Military Era. Many traces of the area’s development over two thousand years are visible within the current townscape, particularly those associated with growth and expansion during the High Medieval and Post-Railway Expansion Periods. The medieval buildings in this and neighbouring Character Areas are part of a nationally recognised group of residential and commercial medieval buildings.
     
    The Character Area is located on the steepest section of the north escarpment and is an umbilical connecting the lower and upper parts of the city of Lincoln. As well as influencing the built form and layout of the townscape, the steepness of the escarpment slope is a key element of any visit to the Character Area, increasing the depth and complexity of views up the slope, whilst providing more open and long ranging outlooks to the south.
     
    A high density of commercial and residential properties is arranged around an irregular grid of narrow streets, the pattern of which derives from a medieval layout of market streets which converged on the former south gate of the upper Roman Colonia. Strong building lines are composed of rows of small or individual build units. Properties vary in form, style and construction, resulting in a changing character when moving through the area.
     
    The form, style and construction of properties within building lines are variable, illustrating the complex history of the area’s development and redevelopment. However, buildings throughout the area have many broadly consistent characteristics such as scale, decoration, construction materials, solid-to-void ratio, and relationship to the street. There is a high density of buildings in the area, the majority of which are two and a half to three storeys in height and two bays in width. Buildings are set at the back of the footway and have active frontages facing the street leading to a strong sense of enclosure accompanied by a feeling of activity and security. Traditional materials (e.g. stone, brick and wood) are used throughout the vast majority of the townscape, both in buildings as well as in the public realm. The common use of generally small-scale traditional materials is a unifying aspect of the area’s character.
     
    Many buildings along The Strait and Steep Hill have small/narrow shopfronts built of wood in a variety of loosely classical styles, although some simply consist of enlarged or standard windows.
     
    Buildings either side of Steep Hill and The Strait mostly consist of short rows of Late Victorian/Edwardian residential houses constructed in small build units of between one and five properties. Consequently, building lines are varied, although comparably less so than along The Strait and Steep Hill.
     
    Throughout the area there are views of complex roofscapes from the streets. The rise and fall of the slope and the Cathedral exacerbate the vertical emphasis of the townscape. Views of the Cathedral contribute greatly to the townscape character, and serve to reinforce the rich cultural heritage of the area, and the historic context of the largely medieval townscape, emphasising the area’s connection with the townscape to the north. There are distinctive views from the north escarpment towards the south, including views over lower parts of the city, in addition to more long ranging views of South Common and Lincoln’s rural hinterland.
     
    The majority of the buildings appear to be in good condition, although some shops are vacant and occasionally neglected. Although structurally sound, many houses show signs of settlement and repair, emphasising the ancient nature of the townscape
  • Historical Development
    The townscape of Steep Hill and The Strait Character Area has been influenced by nearly 2000 years of development since the foundation of the city during the Roman Military Era [60-90 AD]. Streets and buildings in the Character Area retain much of their medieval character, and include some of Lincoln’s oldest standing buildings.
     
    The Character Area lies on the upper slopes of the north escarpment, the gradient of which dominates the townscape and gives its name to Steep Hill, which runs directly up the steepest part of the slope. Since the Prehistoric Era [10,000 BC-60 AD], natural springs on the escarpment slope may have been a source of water for local populations, as well as having a ritual significance. The springs were also an important source of water during later periods, and the 19th-century cast-iron water pump at the western end of the correspondingly named Well Lane, which is possibly located on the site of an earlier well, is evidence for the extraction of water along the escarpment slope.
     
    During the Roman Military Era [60-90 AD] a fort was established on the top of the north escarpment, the south gate of which lay immediately north of the Character Area on the line of Steep Hill. Ermine Street, which provided southerly access to the city, was constructed during the same era. The line of the street as it neared the south gate is likely to be similar to that of Steep Hill above its junction with Michaelgate. However, it is probable that the direct road was more of a processional way, and that negotiation of the steepest part of the slope was achieved through a series of terraced ramps. Well Street also follows the line of a Roman road, and was possibly one such alternative route for traffic as it climbed the steeper part of the hill slope towards the south gate of the upper city. During the Roman Colonia Era, the defences were extended south to incorporate the lower part of the city, including land within the Character Area.
     
    There is little evidence of settlement during the Early Medieval Era [410-850 AD] as Lincoln experienced a period of decline, and settlement probably retracted within the city walls. However, during the High Medieval Era [850-1350 AD], Lincoln’s prosperity increased, leading to the re-organisation and settlement of central areas of the city, including the layout of new roads, the majority of which are retained in the Character Area. Due to the steep gradient of the escarpment slope, land within the area may have remained relatively unpopulated in comparison to the upper and lower parts of the city. Consequently, it is possible that the area became a focus for markets early on in the High Medieval Era. Danesgate in the east of the area, and the former footpath called Gibraltar Hill to the west of the Character Area probably defined the extents of a funnel shaped zone of markets which converged on the south gate of the upper city.
     
    Christ’s Hospital Terrace was laid out during the High Medieval Era when land, which would later be the site of the Bishop’s Palace, was granted to the Bishop of Lincoln in c.1135. The Cathedral, Bishop’s Palace and associated buildings were enclosed by the Close Wall c.1250, which forms a short length of the eastern Character Area boundary. During the same era, several churches were constructed in, and adjacent to, the Character Area, including St. Michael on the Mount, the churchyard of which forms part of the north-eastern boundary of the area. St. Cuthbert’s Church was founded on the corner of Danes Terrace and Steep Hill during the same era, but was later demolished during the Early Modern Era when many parishes were joined under the Act of Union of Parishes in 1549. The western and southern extents of the former graveyard are preserved in the junction of Steep Hill and Danes Terrace, and the eastern boundary follows the western plot boundary of Kenton House on Danes Terrace.
     
    It is likely that re-organisation of the city subsequent to the arrival of the Normans in the 11th century entailed the consolidation of roads in the Character Area, such as Steep Hill, Danesgate, Michaelgate, St. Martin’s Street, Danes Terrace and The Strait. During the late High Medieval Era and into the Early Modern [1350-1750 AD] Era specialised markets along the streets including a Drapery market on St. Martin’s Street, Corn and Poultry markets on Steep Hill, a Fish market to the west of Steep Hill, and a Skin market at the foot of Michaelgate were located within the Character Area. Once established, market stalls and booths are likely to have become more permanent buildings, and the alleys along which they were aligned may have become consolidated as streets. It is likely that around this time buildings encroached half way across the former Roman road, Ermine Street, to form the current building line up Steep Hill. Several buildings dating to the High Medieval Era survive along the roads, such as Jew’s Court and number 15 (c.1170) on The Strait, and The Norman House (c.1180) at number 46/47 Steep Hill.
     
    During the Early Modern Era many buildings along streets were home to merchants and traders from the markets. Houses were often arranged in rows such as number 49 and 49 Steep Hill, and The Harlequin (c.1170) at the junction of Steep Hill and Michaelgate which appears to be an amalgamation of row-type properties. Several properties within the Character Area incorporate elements of Early Modern buildings, such as number 51-53 Steep Hill, and 8-9 The Strait. Many of the plots to the rear of buildings in the Character Area, particularly along Steep Hill, The Strait and Michealgate were probably laid out during the High Medieval and Early Modern Eras.
     
    Expansion of Lincoln during the Early Industrial Period [1750-1845 AD] led to the construction of housing in the area, including numbers 4-7 Danes Cottages on Well Lane, and Frome Cottages on Michaelgate. Parts of the area were gentrified during the period, with larger houses built within relatively large gardens, such as Waterloo House at 11a Steep Hill and Steep Hill House at number 59/61 Danesgate. The gardens to Steep Hill House remain to the east of Steep Hill, and are partly defined by the tall stone wall running north from Well Lane.
     
    During the Post-Railway Expansion and Late Victorian/Edwardian Periods, many existing houses in the area were converted to shops, such as numbers 17-20, 25-28 Steep Hill and numbers 7, 11, 13, 25-28 The Strait. Many properties were also re-fronted, such as numbers 8 and 9 The Strait. New shops (e.g. numbers 15/16 Steep Hill, and 6 the Strait) and houses (e.g. numbers 60-65 Steep Hill, 1A-1C Danes Terrace, Ventnor Terrace and 45-53 Danesgate) were built in the Character Area as Lincoln continued to expand prior to and after the arrival of the railways in c.1846.
     
    The townscape of Steep Hill and The Strait Character Area changed little during the Inter-War [1920-1945 AD] and Post-War [1946-1967 AD] Periods. The current Reader’s Rest was built as St. Michael’s Parish Hall in 1926, but was converted into an Art School during the Post-War Period. In the south of the area, housing along the north side of Danes Terrace was cleared for car parking and Danes Courtyard lock-up garages were constructed during the Inter-War Period. The outline of the car park and area of garages still follow the former plot of Early Industrial terraced houses. In addition, the northern boundary of the car park follows the route of Danes Passage which provided access to the cottages originally located in the western part of Danes Courtyard. Housing along the south side of Danes Terrace towards Steep Hill was also cleared for car parking during the Inter-War Period, including the area now occupied by Neustadt Court residential development which was built during the Modern Period. Some replacement of housing and infill occurred during the Modern Period such as at number 36 Michaelgate, 2 Christ’s Hospital Terrace, and the property to the north of Jew’s Court on Steep Hill. The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses was also built on the north side of Danes Terrace c.1976.
  • Urban form
    The area is located on the steepest section of the north escarpment rising from the top of High Street in the south towards the crest of the slope in the north. As well as influencing the built form and layout of the townscape, the steepness of the escarpment slope is a key element of any visit to the Character Area, increasing the depth and complexity of views up the slope, whilst providing more open and long ranging outlooks to the south.
     
    The street pattern is composed of an irregular grid of narrow streets which converge on the former site of the south gate to the Upper Roman city, immediately north of the area. The aptly named Steep Hill, which directly ascends the escarpment slope, forms the backbone of the Character Area. Streets and terraces to the east and west converge in a series of intersections at regular intervals up the escarpment slope (e.g. Well Lane and St. Martin’s Street, Christ’s Hospital Terrace and Michaelgate), each of which are important nodal spaces for pedestrian movement. Other than along roads there is additional pedestrian access via passageways running east/west off Steep Hill. The area is well connected to neighbouring Character Areas, except towards the north west of the area, which lies to the south east of the Close Wall. Small urban blocks allow ease of movement within parts of the Character Area, although vehicular traffic is restricted by narrow streets and access-only restrictions.
    Intersection of Christ’s Hospital Terrace, Steep Hill and Michaelgate, which forms one of a series of nodes up Steep Hill.
    Figure 1 Intersection of Christ’s Hospital Terrace, Steep Hill and Michaelgate, which forms one of a series of nodes up Steep Hill
     
    Steep Hill, and to a lesser extent Danesgate and Michaelgate, are the principal connections between the more commercially dominated lower city along High Street, and the historic core of the city centre around Castle Hill at the top of the escarpment. Consequently, buildings along Steep Hill are a mixture of retail premises and private residences, continuing a long tradition of these uses since the medieval era, whereas properties to the east and west are residential.
     
    There is a high density of buildings in the area. Buildings are two and a half to three storeys in height, and nearly all are set at the back of the footway. The majority of properties are individual houses or retail properties built as terraces within rows that form strong building lines throughout much of the area. The form, style and construction of properties within building lines is highly variable, illustrating the complex history of the area’s development and redevelopment, much of which has occurred on a plot-by-plot basis. Small changes in building scale also serve to demonstrate the plot-by-plot development of the townscape, in particular by exposing upper sections of gable ends and by varying the height of the eaves line. Development units of more than a couple of similar houses are often conspicuous in the townscape, such as the modern development at the corner of The Strait and Danes Terrace as well as the Post-Railway Expansion Period properties at numbers 62-65 The Strait.
     Varied building line along The Strait, compiled of a complex series of attached shop units.
    Figure 2 Varied building line along The Strait, compiled of a complex series of build units
     
    High building density, regular building height, and relatively narrow streets lead to a strong sense of enclosure along relatively narrow streets of mainly terraced buildings, forming strong and near-continuous building lines. The very narrow Strait, as well as parts of Steep Hill, gives a particularly strong sense of enclosure, which opens out around road junctions.
     Coherent and repetitive pattern of modern residential properties within Neustadt Court along the south side of Danes Terrace
    Figure 3 Coherent and repetitive pattern of modern residential properties within Neustadt Court along the south side of Danes Terrace
     
    Buildings are built at the front of deep and narrow plots, which run perpendicularly to streets. Plots to the rear of frontages are often quite deep (e.g. numbers 25-28 The Strait), and have one or more generally single-storey outbuildings or extensions to the rear. Several plots have been truncated to the rear, and have been developed for residential use, notably those plots originally backing onto St. Martin’s Street.
     
    Buildings are mainly made of brick (red bricks, including some red Victorian Albion bricks and some yellow bricks), although there are several stone buildings, and a small number of timber-framed buildings, such as the former Harlequin Public House. A number of buildings have timber framing although later additions to the front façade partly conceal this fact. Most buildings are made from small-scale materials, such as brick, although some buildings are rendered, such as numbers 15 and 16 Steep Hill, or painted. Many of the houses have narrow 2-bay width frontages, leading to a vertical emphasis along many building lines. The majority of buildings are plain with limited decorative detailing. Some earlier buildings, notably those constructed of stone (e.g. Jew’s Court and Norman House) are more decorative, and stand out in the townscape. Indeed most decorative detailing, where it exists, is in the classical style, and in stone.
     12th century stone-built Norman House, a landmark building in the far north of the Character Area, and terminating building to views up the slope along Steep Hill. Note the integrated shop window on the right hand side of the building.
    Figure 4 c.12th century stone-built Norman House, a landmark building in the far north of the Character Area, and terminating building to views up the slope along Steep Hill. Note the integrated shop window on the right hand side of the building
     
    Several properties show signs of structural re-building, extension, or adaptation, such as the brick gable of Norman House, or the unorthodox arrangement of doors and windows at numbers 19/20 Steep Hill.
     
    Windows are almost invariably vertical/square in orientation and are often vertical sash windows, some with large panes and some with multiple small ones, set either in reveal or flush with the front façade. However, there are some casement windows. Windowsills are usually of simple stone design whereas lintels are commonly of cambered or segmental brick construction. Several of the earlier buildings have simple wooden lintels. A particular characteristic of Steep Hill and The Strait Character Area is the large number of projecting first-floor bay windows in differing architectural styles. The windows are generally shallow canted or rectangular wooden projections made out of wood. The façades throughout the area have a medium-to-high solid-to-void ratio, with small square/vertical windows, which are generally smaller in size on the first and second floors. At ground floor level many buildings along The Strait and Steep Hill have medium-to-low solid-to-void ratios with small/narrow shopfronts. The majority of street frontages throughout the area are punctuated by frequent windows and doors, which generate activity and a feeling of safety along streets. The pattern is most apparent along The Strait and Steep Hill with the frequent number of shopfronts, restaurants and cafes.
     Timber framed ‘Harlequin’ former Public House in the far north of the Character Area
    Figure 5 Timber framed ‘Harlequin’ former Public House in the far north of the Character Area
     
    Narrow 18th- 19th- and 20th-century shopfronts along The Strait and Steep Hill are a key characteristic of the Character Area. They are mostly built of wood and are in a variety of loosely classical styles with shallow cornices, pilasters, and either single panes of glass or smaller panes divided by slim mullions. Several shops have low rendered or wooden stallrisers, although many shops frequently have no formalised shopfront, and instead have normal or enlarged windows flush with the main façade (e.g. numbers 5 The Strait and 62-65 Steep Hill). Many shops often have hanging signs projecting out onto the streets.
     
    Buildings either side of Steep Hill and The Strait mostly consist of short rows of Late Victorian/Edwardian residential houses constructed in small build units of between one and five properties. Consequently, building lines are varied, although comparably less so than along The Strait and Steep Hill. Houses are built of brick and are plain in character with some simple decoration such as brick stringcourses and rendered quoins. The majority of properties are set at the back of the footway, although a small number of residences (e.g. numbers 2-4 Ventnor Terrace) are set back from the footway, and/or are occasionally built within larger plots that border streets (e.g. number 56 Steep Hill). Public/private boundaries, which often take the form of tall retaining walls along the up the slope side of streets, are built of stone and/or brick and are conspicuous features along some streets, such as the north end of Michaelgate and along Well Lane. As a result of the gradient of the escarpment slope, the side of houses running down the slope are generally taller, with additional ground floors (e.g. Danes Cottages).
     Two storey terraced cottages with simple decoration along Well Lane
    Figure 6 Two storey terraced cottages with simple decoration along Well Lane
     
    Doors on all properties are commonly located on the front façade, and are flush with the wall. Very few properties, including shops and houses along The Strait and Steep Hill, have either recessed or projecting porches. Doors are commonly made of wood, and are either solid or partially glazed.
     
    The majority of buildings have shallow eaves and pitched roofs with the ridgeline running parallel to the street. Pitched roofs are mainly of Welsh slate, common tile or clay pantiles, and many are steep. Dormer windows are commonly found in the area, and usually occur in pairs built wholly within the roofspace. Windows on dormers are frequently multi-paned casement or Yorkshire sliding sash windows.
     Medieval building, Jew’s Court, which forms a terminating building at the west end of Danes Terrace
    Figure 7 Jew’s Court, which forms a terminating building at the west end of Danes Terrace
     
    There are many landmark buildings in a relatively small area, including Jew’s Court, Norman House and The Harlequin as well as the Collection and the Cathedral outside of the area. They are usually in important locations along the streets, for example at corners or terminating views along streets. Many of these have, or have had, some form of public function (e.g. Jew’s Court Society of Lincolnshire History and Archaeology meeting rooms or the former Harlequin Public House). The medieval buildings are part of a nationally recognised group of residential and commercial medieval buildings in this and neighbouring Character Areas.
     
    The use of traditional materials in the public realm, including York stone setts in the carriageway, and York stone and pink granite setts within channels, and white limestone crossovers, is a key characteristic of the area. Footways are surfaced in either riven or sawn York Stone paving, although those to the side and rear of Neustadt Court are surfaced with concrete slabs. Kerbs and channels are almost entirely of York Stone. However, pink granite setts are often used in single or multiple courses to define the edges of channels, or, in the case of Well Lane, the entire down slope channel is constructed of pink granite setts. A short stretch of the carriageway along The Strait is entirely composed of pink granite setts, solid pink granite slabs in the channels, and pink granite kerbstones. White limestone setts, occasionally alternated with dished York stone channels, are frequently used to denote crossovers in the road. The arrangement of public realm materials in the Character Area is distinct and particular to individual parts of the area (e.g. the wide pink granite setts along Christ’s Hospital Terrace), and the variation is a key characteristic of the area. Large parts of the streetscape have recently undergone improvement works as part of a heritage grant initiative.
     
    Cast-iron 19th-century lanterns, including later ‘Foster’s’ lanterns cast in the same form, are used in the Character Area. Other street furniture includes cast-iron basement grills and drains (e.g. made by Duckering of Lincoln), cast-iron green or black bollards, lanterns mounted on brackets on buildings, ‘heritage style’ bins, many benches, and modern fingerpost signs. Many 19th/20th-century cast-iron street nameplates also survive.
     
    Private spaces within the Character Area mainly include rear gardens and yards. The walled gardens around 56 Steep Hill contains some apple trees, which may survive from a former orchard associated with the house. Many mature trees are located within gardens in the Character Area. Other than rear gardens, there are no other ‘green’ spaces within the Character Area. However, Temple Gardens borders the east of the area, and is accessible via a stone gateway off Danesgate.
     Properties set back from the road at Ventnor Terrace. The properties have a wall around them with a gate way leading up to steps to the front of the property, which is three-storeys in height.
    Figure 8 Properties set back from the road at Ventnor Terrace
  • Views
    Throughout the area, in particular along Steep Hill and the Strait, there are views of complex roofscapes from the streets, reflecting the varied form and differing periods of the buildings fronting on to them. The rise and fall of the slope, as well as the tall towers of Cathedral, which form conspicuous and crowning vertical elements above many buildings, exacerbate the vertical emphasis of narrow fronted buildings. Views to the north are dominated by a complex and vertical montage of buildings, and are frequently rounded off by the Cathedral.
     
    Views of the Cathedral contribute greatly to the townscape character in this Character Area. The Cathedral can be seen from many places in and around the Character Area, serving to reinforce the rich cultural heritage of the area, and the historic context of the largely medieval townscape.
     
    There are also distinctive views from the north escarpment towards the south, including views over lower parts of the city, in addition to more long ranging views of South Common and Lincoln’s rural hinterland.
     Crowning effect of Lincoln Cathedral over buildings at the top of Michealgate.
    Figure 9 Crowning effect of Lincoln Cathedral over buildings at the top of Michealgate
  • Condition of Buildings and Streetscape
    The majority of the buildings appear to be in good condition, although some shops are vacant and occasionally neglected. Although structurally sound, many houses show signs of settlement and repair, emphasising the ancient nature of the townscape. Footways and carriageways are in varied condition. The carriageway setts in some areas are in poor and eroded condition (e.g. Well Lane). Large parts of the townscape have benefited from recent public realm works (e.g. Danes Terrace).
  • Use

    The area is a mixture of residential and commercial properties. It functions as an umbilical between the upper and lower parts of Lincoln city centre and is an important tourist destination.

  • Relationship to City and Surrounding Areas
    The inter-relationship of Steep Hill and The Strait to surrounding Character Areas, particularly those immediately to the north, is central to the townscape character of an identifiable neighbourhood on the north escarpment. Throughout the areas, the townscape character is strongly influenced by developments from, in particular, the Roman and High Medieval Eras. The influences include the former walls of the Roman upper city, the medieval street pattern, the Cathedral and Castle, the Close Wall, and existing medieval plots and buildings. These characteristics help make this ‘neighbourhood’ a key attraction for residents and visitors alike. This Character Area and its wider neighbourhood on the north escarpment also form one of two focal points in Lincoln, the other being the commercial centre of High Street to the south.
  • Key Townscape Characteristics
    Ÿ          The townscape of Steep Hill and The Strait Character Area has been influenced by nearly 2000 years of development since the foundation of the city during the Roman Military Era [60-90 AD]. Streets and buildings in the Character Area retain much of their medieval character, and include some of Lincoln’s oldest standing buildings
    Ÿ          Many elements of the area’s historic development survive in the current townscape, including:
    Ÿ          Well Street and Steep Hill follow the orientation of Roman Military roads
    Ÿ          Funnel-shaped layout of former High Medieval market streets which converge on the former south gate of the upper city
    Ÿ          Lines of medieval burgage plots in the townscape layout
    Ÿ          Part of the boundary of the area follows the Close wall
    Ÿ          Former plot boundaries of St. Cuthbert’s Church built in the High Medieval Era
    Ÿ          Several buildings dating to the High Medieval and Early Modern Era
    Ÿ          Built elements of 18/19th-century residential and commercial expansion
    Ÿ          Located on the steepest section of the north escarpment rising from the top of High Street in the south towards the crest of the slope in the north
    Ÿ          The steepness of the escarpment slope strongly influences the built form and layout of the townscape and is a key element of any visit to the area
    Ÿ          Irregular grid of narrow streets which converge on the former site of the south gate to the upper Roman city
    Ÿ          Steep Hill directly ascends the escarpment slope and forms the backbone of the Character Area with streets and terraces to the east and west converging in a series of intersections/nodes at regular intervals
    Ÿ          Small urban blocks allow ease of movement within and in/out of the area
    Ÿ          Principal connection between lower and upper parts of the city
    Ÿ          Mixture of retail premises and private residences
    Ÿ          Complex history of the area’s development and redevelopment illustrated by variations in building form, style and construction, and through small changes in scale
    Ÿ          Despite considerable variation in the built form of properties in the townscape, buildings have several common attributes:
    Ÿ          High density of buildings in the area
    Ÿ          Two and a half to three storeys in height
    Ÿ          Narrow 2-bay width frontages
    Ÿ          nearly all set at the back of the footway
    Ÿ          Individually built or small build units of properties within rows that form strong building lines throughout much of the area
    Ÿ          Most buildings are made from small-scale materials, including brick, although there are several stone and a small number of timber-framed buildings
    Ÿ          Generally plain with limited decorative detailing
    Ÿ          Frequently have projecting first-floor bay windows
    Ÿ          Medium-to-high solid-to-void ratio, with small square/vertical windows
    Ÿ          Active street frontages with frequent windows and doors
    Ÿ          Medium to steeply pitched roofs with the ridgelines running parallel to the street, and shallow eaves
    Ÿ          Welsh slate, common tile or clay pantiles roofs
    Ÿ          Dormer windows often in pairs are commonly built wholly in the roofspace
    Ÿ          Doors on all properties are commonly made of wood, are located on the front façade, and are flush with the wall
    Ÿ          Deep and narrow plots, which run perpendicular to the street and have one or more outbuildings or extensions to the rear
    Ÿ          Vertical emphasis of many building lines
    Ÿ          High building density, regular building height, and relatively narrow streets leads to a strong sense of enclosure
    Ÿ          Many buildings along The Strait and Steep Hill have medium-to-low solid-to-void ratios at ground floor level with small/narrow shopfronts built of wood in a variety of loosely classical styles. Several shops simply have normal or enlarged windows flush with the main façade. Many shops often have hanging signs projecting out on to the streets
    Ÿ          Where apparent, public/private boundaries often take the form of tall stone and/or brick retaining walls along the upslope side of streets
    Ÿ          The wide variety of entirely traditional materials used in the public realm is a key characteristic of the area
    Ÿ          There are many landmark buildings in a relatively small area which are usually in important locations along the streets
    Ÿ          Buildings are part of a nationally recognised group of residential and commercial medieval buildings in this and neighbouring Character Areas.
    Ÿ          Private spaces mainly include rear gardens and yards. Many mature trees are located within gardens in the Character Area
    Ÿ          Throughout the area there are views of complex roofscapes from the streets. The rise and fall of the slope and the Cathedral, exacerbate the vertical emphasis of the townscape
    Ÿ          Views of the Cathedral contribute greatly to the townscape character, and serve to reinforce the rich cultural heritage of the area, and the historic context of the largely medieval townscape –emphasising the area’s connection with areas to the north
    Ÿ          There are distinctive views from the north escarpment towards the south, including views over lower parts of the city, in addition to more long ranging views of South Common and Lincoln’s rural hinterland
    Ÿ          The majority of the buildings appear to be in good condition, although some shops are vacant and occasionally neglected. Although structurally sound, many houses show signs of settlement and repair, emphasising the ancient nature of the townscape