Lincoln Cathedral

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The cathedral, perched on the top of the hill, dominates the skyline in Lincoln. Building started not long after the Norman Conquest and although it has been rebuilt and remodelled many times since then it retains some Romanesque features.

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The most noticeable features are the three massive towers, two just behind the main west entrance and the third and largest tower in the centre of the building. It was reputedly the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311–1549) when the towers were surmounted by massive spires. Sitting on top of it’s hill in a predominantly flat landscape it must have been visible for miles and presented a symbol of the power of the Medieval church.

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The main west entrance is Norman (Romanesque) with a round arch over the door. It is surrounded by very intricate carvings

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The smaller Romanesque doorway in the west front. The carving is less ornate than that around the main door, but still impressive.

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The cathedral was open until late, so although it was getting close to 5 o’clock I managed to go for a look inside. As usual with Gothic cathedrals it was a massive space inside with a high vaulted roof with some imaginative rib work.

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This is the old 12th century font which is made from a black carboniferous limestone from Tournai (France), finished by waxing and polishing so it has the appearance of dark marble.

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The choir screen (separating the nave from the quire) is very ornate

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The view down the choir towards the organ.

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A close up view of the eagle lectern in the quire

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Looking towards the east end of the cathedral from the quire. The tierceron vaulting is particularly impressive – this is an early example.

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As would be expected there’s a lot of stained glass windows, much of it Victorian. There was also an example of a stained glass window designed by William Morris, which had been taken from a ruined church in the city, on display.

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There are rose windows at either end the great transept.

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The earliest is the Dean’s Eye window in the north transept dating from 1220, still with much of its original mediaeval glass depicting the Last Judgement.

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I was able to access the Cloisters, passing a replica of Lincoln’s copy of the Magna Carta on the way, but the Chapter House had closed for the day as had the library, which was designed by Christopher Wren.

Looking down the cloisters

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Looking towards the Chapter House

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And looking up to the central tower from the north side of the cloisters

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I could have stayed longer looking around, but time was pressing as I still had a 40 minute drive ahead of me to my final destination.

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2 thoughts on “Lincoln Cathedral

  1. It is magnificent and often really quiet. You get a feeling of several layers of the past in Lincoln Cathedral. I’m very fond of it. One of the best times to visit is during choir practice.. I swear it is almost possible to close your eyes and fly.

    • Good description Simon.
      Yes, listening to music in vast, reverberant cathedral spaces can be quite moving, even for a confirmed athiest like myself!
      During my visit it looked they were setting up for filming. Possibly Songs of Praise

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