The History of Lincoln Waites

Dunstan's Lock

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Dernstall House and The Cardinal's Hat stand within the area of Lincoln known as Dernstall in the Medieval period. The word 'Dernstall' or 'Dunestall' became corrupted over the years until this area became known as St Dunstan's Lock. Saint Dunstan is the patron saint of metalworkers, bellfounders, engravers and jewellers. The Cardinal's Hat stands on High Street and Dernstall House on Strait, marking the entrance to the old Jewish quarter of Lincoln.

The Cardinal's Hat, 268 High Street. This house boasts an elaborate timber framed 16th-century front range with an earlier stone range behind. During the 16th and 17th centuries The Cardinal's Hat was an Inn. It is alleged to be anmed after Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who was appointed Bishop of Lincoln in 1514.

Click this picture of Cardinal Wolsey - it links to an etching of Wolsey being entertained by musicians.

We are able to use the graphic file of the etching, kindly provided by Clipart ETC because this website is educational and non-commercial - Source: Charlotte M. Yonge Young Folks' History of England (Boston: D. Lothrop & Co., 1879).

The Cardinal's Hat was restored by the St. John Ambulance Brigade in 1953. The building is now the admin centre of the Lincolnshire Branch of St John's Ambulance.

Dernstall House (33 and 34 The Strait) is a 15th century house. Lincoln Civic Trust bought Dernstall House, together with the adjoining Cardinal's Hat in 1965. The Trust carried out extensive restoration painstaking, ensuring original features remained in place. Dernstall House has a beautiful and spacious first floor hall with an open, oak beamed, ceiling.

Lincoln Civic Trust purchased Dernstall House for £4,500 and restored it in 1969-1970. Apparently 33 and 34 were built in the late 15th century as one large house. The front range would have contained either a row of shops or one or two parlours - as at the Cardinal's hat. On the first floor was a large hall or solar.

The name "Dernstall House" was chosen when the Civic Trust bought the two properties in 1965. "Dernstall" was the medieval name for the narrow part of the High Street (now called The Strait). Above it, opposite the Jew's House, was the medieval corn market, below it was Mikelgate, the great street. During the Medieval period, this area of Lincoln was the Jewish quarter. In Old English, "dierne steall" means a hidden place.

Marcus Roberts, Director of National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail, sent me the following information:

"The most identifiable site in the Grantham street area is that of the Cardinal's Hat. The noted half-timbered house, and the adjoining properties on the north side of Grantham Street junction with High Street, are over a number of Jewish sites. The Cardinal's Hat was the site of a Jewish property that probably belonged to Joes of Colchester. It eventually passed to the Dean and Chapter in 1366. Next door to the east was a property belonging to Pictavin, who suffered in the Blood Libel accusation."