Hard to believe today, but the precincts of Lincoln Cathedral were once a dangerous place to be, with pick-pockets and vagabonds on the look-out for suitable victims. To protect the well-heeled, a fourteenth-century bishop ordered the construction of the Exchequergate, a large stone structure with two narrow entrances positioned straight in front of the cathedral’s main doors, and its imposing stonework still dominates the western approaches to the cathedral. At the base of the Echequergate, look out for the bricked-up windows: until the Reformation, this was where pilgrims picked up all sorts of reliquaries and religious knick-knacks, which were sprinkled with holy water for a small fee, or where folk could buy a Catholic indulgence to cut short their time in purgatory.
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