Newport Arch

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Newport Arch
Newport Arch.jpg
Newport Arch from the south
Newport Arch is located in Lincoln city centre
Newport Arch
Newport Arch
Newport Arch shown within Lincoln / Lincolnshire
Newport Arch is located in Lincolnshire
Newport Arch
Newport Arch
Newport Arch (Lincolnshire)
General information
TypeGateway to Roman Fort
Town or cityLincoln
Coordinates53°14′15″N 0°32′18″W / 53.237411°N 0.538353°W / 53.237411; -0.538353Coordinates: 53°14′15″N 0°32′18″W / 53.237411°N 0.538353°W / 53.237411; -0.538353
Estimated completion3rd century
Reference no.1005478
Listed Building – Grade I
Designated8 October 1953
Reference no.1388450

Newport Arch is the name given to the remains of a 3rd-century Roman gate in the city of Lincoln, Lincolnshire.[1] It is a Scheduled monument[2] and Grade I listed building[3] and is reputedly the oldest arch in the United Kingdom still used by traffic.


Newport Arch in the second half of the 19th century. A brick building touched the west side of the arch. It was later razed and replaced with one standing further away, allowing for a pavement

The arch was remodelled and enlarged when the city, then Lindum Colonia a Roman town, became capital of the province Flavia Caesariensis in the 4th century. Though unique in the United Kingdom, it is nevertheless one of many original Roman arches still open to traffic, other examples being two gates through the city walls of the Roman town of Diocletianopolis (now Hisarya, Bulgaria), as well as numerous examples in Turkey.

As the north gate of the city, it carried the major Roman road Ermine Street northward almost in a straight line to the Humber.

A surviving section of the Roman city wall to the east of the Arch

From Romano-British Buildings and Earthworks by John Ward (1911):

A considerable portion of the north gate of Lincoln — the Newport Arch — is standing, but is buried to the extent of about 8 ft (2.4 m). in the soil and débris accumulated since Roman times. The structure is about 34 ft (10 m). deep and has a single passage for the road, 17½ ft. wide. The inner or back portal of this passage is still intact, and is nearly 16 ft (4.9 m). in the clear and rises to a height of about 22½ ft. above the Roman level. Its arch is of a single ring of large limestone voussoirs rising from imposts which appear to have been moulded. The outer or front arch has long since disappeared. On the east side is a postern for pedestrians, 7 ft (2.1 m). wide and contracting to about 5 ft (1.5 m). at the north end, and 15 ft (4.6 m). high from the Roman level. On the west side there was a similar postern about a century ago. The whole structure is of good masonry, and it appears to have projected considerably beyond the north face of the town wall.


In May 1964 a goods lorry belonging to the Humber Warehousing Company struck the arch while attempting to pass under it.[4][5]

Forty years later, in May 2004, another lorry struck the arch, causing minor damage.[6]

13 years later, in May 2017, a RASE logistics lorry got stuck underneath the arch; after letting down the tyres, it was able to reverse out with no apparent damage to the structure.


  1. ^ Historic England. "Newport Arch (1029539)". PastScape. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  2. ^ Historic England. "The Newport Arch and town wall (1005478)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  3. ^ Historic England. "No 52 and adjoining Newport Arch (1388450)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
  4. ^ "A lorry full of trouble". Grimsby Telegraph. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2016.[dead link]
  5. ^ "Lincoln's Newport Arch needs extra £80,000 for repairs". BBC News. 27 January 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Historic Roman arch hit by lorry". BBC News. 26 May 2004. Retrieved 7 May 2015.

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