A Wonderful Grade II Listed Building sitting at the entrance to the Strait with a rich history in the Historic city of Lincoln.

The Cardinals Hat history dates back to the late 1500's where the building would have stood at the heart of the old walled city. The front part of the building constitutes a remarkably fine specimen of late medieval timber-framed town house and was reputedly named after Cardinal Wolsley, Bishop of Lincoln in 1514 where it served as an inn or public house.


In 1522-3 William Barker paid 26s. 8d. yearly in rent for 'le Cardynall hat' which was appropriated for the upkeep of the Cathedral fabric.


Standing near to the old St.Martins Church - of which only the churchyard now remains - it was customary for the parishioners, after doing parish business such as the election of the church wardens, to adjourn from the vestry, at the expense of the parish, for refreshment at 'le Cardynall hat'.


During the Civil War in 1644, Lincoln was occupied in turn by Royalists and Parliamentarians with a great deal of damage dealt to property during the fighting and disorder. Soon after £100 was spent to repair the damage done to the building. After the Parliamentary victory the Cathedral chapter was abolished and its property vested in trustees for sale.


The Cardinal's Hat changed hands several times during the 1600's until the dean and chapter reasserted their rights and once again rent was paid to the Cathedral fabric.

Photo of Cardinal's Hat

But with the fall in the value of money in the 16th and 17th centuries this had long ceased to be an economic rent, and the lessees were subletting, no doubt at a substantial profit to themselves.


By 1801 the house had ceased to be an inn and was let off in rooms. The Ecclesiastical Commissioners sold the freehold in 1872.


In 1952 the Lincoln Corps of the St. John Ambulance Brigade purchased the semi-derelict property for their new headquarters. Following a year of restoration they rediscovered one the finest gems of medieval architecture that you see before you today.


If you want to know more information about the history of the building or inspect some of the little secrets this building holds why not pay us a visit.

The History of the Hat Image

The Cardinal's Hat [Lincoln]

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268 High Street



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Opening Hours

Sun- Thurs: 12pm - 11pm

fri & sat: 12pm - 1pm


Kitchen Hours

Mon - Sat: 12PM - 9PM

Sunday :    12PM - 6PM

*Outside seating is available | Allergen information is available upon request and menu and times may change. Some rooms may be unavailable if prior room bookings are in place. No on-site parking but public car park is nearby. It is illegal to sell alcohol to or for persons under the age of 18, proof of age may be requested. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

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