Lincoln's Inn Gatehouse
Lincoln's Inn Gatehouse
The oldest of three entrances to Lincoln's Inn courts of law. The gatehouse was built between 1517 and 1521 by Sir Thomas Lovell. Lovell got the contract in no small part because of his court connections; his father served as Chancellor to Henry VIII.

Lovell paid roughly one-third of the total cost of 345 pounds. He had been a member of the Inn for 20 years, since the time he fought for Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth.

The Gatehouse was constructed with bricks dug and made on the site. One story, which may well be true, says that playwright Ben Jonson worked as a bricklayer during the building works, and also on the brick wall separating Lincoln's Inn from Chancery Lane.

Lovell incorporated his own family coat of arms above the entrance arch, in addition to the arms of Henry VIII and the Earl of Lincoln. On the other side of the Gatehouse (facing into Lincoln's Inn Fields) are the arms of John Hawles, Treasurer in 1695, flanked by much more modern arms of Lord Upjohn and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, who served as Treasurer in 1965 and 1967 respectively.

The large oaken doors were added in about 1564.

There are a small set of rooms above the gateway arch. These rooms are thought to be those occupied by Oliver Cromwell when he was a young law student here in 1617.

Until 1843 the Gatehouse was the principal entrance to Lincoln's Inn Fields. The gatehouse was rebuilt in 1966-69.