Lincoln is home to two saints - and both of them called Hugh !
The main one, also known as Hugh of Avalon was a Frenchman who managed to re-build the cathedral in pretty much the way we see today.
The 'little' St Hugh (there is a plaque to him in the choir stalls area) was no more than an innocent eight-yead old boy. Back in the 13th Century anti-semiteism was rife, and St Hugh's story was probably a typical example of trumped-up stories to validate religious persecution.
It was claimed that little Hugh was found at the bottom of a well after being ritually crucified and dis-membered by a group of Jewish people, one of whom dressed up to play the role of Pontius Pilate. Eighteen people went to the gallows in Lincoln itself, whist a further 90 were arrested in London - and escaped only on the payment of an enormous fine. The story seemed to justify another wave of terror.
In later years a number of miracles were claimed by people who brough children with various ailments to the shrine of the little boy. Today, only a plaque remains. Do not confuse it with the much grander memorial to the other St Hugh who, ironically, was noted as a great supporter and protector of Jewish poeple.
Every Wed-Sat in front of the castle, you can go for a ghost walk with a guide that will talk about the ghosts of Lincoln. It's nice in the spring or a summer night to walk about. But since it happens all year long, you can go in the summer
If ever there was a sterotype of what a prison should look like : Lincoln fits the bill.
Located on Greetwell road (ironic name eh ?) you can only gain entry by comitting a crime - a little extreme even by VT standards.
It's most famous resident in recent years was Jeffery Archer, who was jailed for crimes against literature (OK, he wasn't , but he should have been)
"I have always held and am prepared against all evidence to maintain that the cathedral of Lincoln is out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have." John Ruskin 1819-1900
It can only get this good when you have an army of masons serving long apprenticeship, with skills handed down from father to son. Evidence of their long training can be found inside Lincoln Cathedral on the right hand side near the main crossover. Here you find what is called the 'apprentices wall' where deigned are practiced. They begin quite simply, but some of them involve animals, or angels or the like. Perhaps they were then ready to start on the real thing.
It struck me that nothing reallly changes : modern apprentices of bricklaying will spend all day building a wall, only for it to me marked and knocked down. Next day ? just repeat the whole process until you get it right !
Tucked away in a garden next to the Mint Wall is this tiny building. A local lady said she thought it had been a chapel, but I couldn't find out anything else about it. Certainly the base of the buildng looks truly Medieval.
Hidden away in west Bight (near the back of the castle) lies the largest standing section of Roman wall in the country. Originally part of Roman Lincoln's forum, it was wrongly named by 17th century antiquarian William Stukely, who thought it was part of a Roman mint. You can still see the putlog holes (for scaffolding).
The Forum was the civic cente of the Roman colony of Lindum Colonia. built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. It was an impressive paved square, surrrounded by covered walkways on all four sides, with shops, offices and shrines. Today, you can just see some sections of wall that have been excavated and fenced off.
It is next to the big Westgate car park.
This is the site of one of the earliest Christian churches in England. A timber church was built here in the late 4th century. This was followed by a medieval stone church, whch was demolished in 1971. There were later archaeological excavations. Then these were grassed over and a small garden was laid out here.
It is next to the big Westgate car park.
The Lincoln imp is a legendary little gargoyle inside Lincoln Cathedral. There are all sorts of legends associated with it. One says he was turned to stone by the angels because he caused mayhem in the cathedral. The many disasters that have befallen the cathedral, including the earthquake and fire, are also attributed to him.The stone imp looks down on St. Hugh's Head Shrine, just to the left of the East Window.
The imp is now the official symbol of Lincoln City Football Club, who are nicknamed the Imps.
After Queen Eleanor of Castile died of fever, just outside Lincoln, in 1290, her husband, King Edward I ordered the erection of stone crosses wherever her coffin rested on its journey to London. The one in Lincoln Castle is the first, but the most famous is the replica in Charing Cross.
One of the four original Magna Cartas is kept inside Lincoln Castle. This was England's first "constitution", which a group pf powerful barons forced King John to agree to, at Runnymede, in 1215. Hugh, the Bishop of Lincoln, was present at its signing.
You can see it, but you are not allowed to photograph it. The same rule applies at Salisbury Cathedral, where one of the other originals is on display. The remaining two are kept in the British Library in London.There is a copy in a glass case on the wall, just before the exit, and nobody seems to mind if you photograph that. The original doesn't have the seal or the crests all around the border.
If you want to read the full text of the Magna Carta, click on the link below:
The bust of King George III, which stands in the grounds of Lincoln Castle was originally placed on top of Dunstan Pillar, just outside the city. He was also known as Mad King George and the sculptor has made him look wonderfully eccentric: like a character out of Alice in Wonderland.
The Crooked House in Michaelgate, was built around 1500. As you would expect of a crooked house, it has a winding staircase. It is owned by the National Trust and is available for rent all the year round. It can accommodate four people and it is wonderfully crooked!
Lincolnshire's first county hospital opened here in 1777. Later the building was used as a theological college. Michael Ramsay, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury, taught here and one of his students, Chad Varah, after he graduated, founded the Samaritans.
The building is now used by the University of Lincoln.
......the historical part of Lincoln around the cathedral (the Bail) did not come under the governance of the local council until the mid-19th century. You can still see boundary markers, to show where the Bail started. Except that you won't see them (I didn't) unless you are looking. This one is on Steep Hill................it's about a metre high, on the left as you walk down towards lower Lincoln.