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The High Bridge at Lincoln is a structure of great interest and importance in its own right. A recent study has identified at least five phases of construction in the present building (Hall et al. 1984), the earliest dating to 1160, and because the bridge is the very pivot around which the city turns, understanding this complexity will tell us a great deal about the sequence of development in the city as a whole. All works, both to the tenements on the western side and to the fabric below road level must be carefully monitored and recorded. The road surface itself also requires archaeological attention when repair or enhancement work is undertaken - not just because earlier road surfaces themselves may be of interest but because it is likely that information about the bridge chapel of St Thomas (first mentioned in 1200 - Hill 1948, 149; Cameron 1985, 135-6) will be preserved below the pavement on the eastern side.
The second phase of the bridge structure, that said to date from 1235 in the study by Hall et al., but probably somewhat earlier, demonstrates that the bridge was built alongside a paved ford. This ford is also of very great importance as it is potentially more ancient than the bridge and we need to understand periods during which it was maintained or enhanced.
The RAZ is drawn to include not just the presently visible bridge structure but approximately 20m to north and 100m south in order to incorporate the full extent of the surviving buried abutments. To the south-west there is an interesting and important relationship between this RAZ and St Benedict's church (RAZ 9.60.20). The chronological relationship between the two structures is of great interest and, consequently, the two RAZs are drawn with a considerable overlap.