Contractors have been working throughout the day to reinstall historic gates at the entrance of Lincoln Castle, eight years after they were damaged during the Lincoln Christmas Market.
The oak gates at the East Gate of the castle date back to 1777 and were damaged in 2008 when a vehicle crashed into them at the annual Christmas market.
The incident appeared to be a blessing in disguise, when on inspection in 2015 the restoration team at Lincolnshire County Council discovered a significant amount of dry rot had spread through their core.
The repair work was funded by Lincolnshire County Council and managed by Vinci Mouchel.
The initial assessment of the gates’ age and condition was carried out by Lincoln Cathedral’s works department, assisted by FAS Heritage of York, with the subsequent work carried out by Rodden and Cooper Ltd.
The gates are thought to date from 1809 – 1812, although two pieces of graffiti were found with the dates 1776 and 1777.
All the original ironwork is intact and more than half of the original oak has been saved and used to create the new gates.
The project cost in the region of £35,000.
Kimberley Vickers, site manager, said:
“Despite there being substantial dry rot within the core of the gates, the contractors have managed to salvage around 60% of the original oak.
“In addition, all the original ironwork is intact.
“As with any historic site, repairs do take time and have to be carried out in a specialist way.
“It will be great to have the gates back at the castle.”
The East Gate to the castle was closed for part of the day on Thursday, January 7, but visitors will from now on be greeted by the newly restored feature – a cherry on the cake of the attraction’s recent £22 million restoration.