Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln
When you see Lincoln Cathedral it simply takes your breath away. It was once the world's highest building and it is no exaggeration to say that it is still one of the most magnificent buildings in the world.
The cathedral was orginally built by Bishop Remigius in 1092. It was badly damaged by a fire in 1141, followed by an earthquake in 1185. It was then rebuilt by St. Hugh. The spire was completed in 1311. With a height of 524 ft (159.7m), it was the tallest building in the world for more than 200 years, until the spire was blown down by a storm in 1549. In case you were wondering, St. Olav's Church in Tallinn then took over the title of tallest building in the world until its spire was destroyed by lightning in 1625. The current dimensions of Lincoln Cathedral are: 147m long, 52.5m wide and 82.5m high.
Recent visitors have included Tom Hanks, who was here to film three scenes for The Da Vinci Code.
Admission: Adults £4
Children, Students & Seniors £3
Lincoln Cathedral has a rich history running from 1072 when it was first ordered to be built by William the Conqueror. At one stage it was the tallest building in the world, until its spires fell down in a storm in 1549. It remains the tallest cathedral in Europe without a spire.
In recent times, the cathedral was used in the filming of "The Da Vinci Code"
One of the popular things to do is find the famous Lincoln Imp, who is sitting with one leg resting on the other somewhere inside the cathedral. The myth says that two imps were blown into Lincoln by the West Wind to cause mayhem (known as the Devil's Wind just outside the cathedral because it blows so fiercely). One of them got into the cathedral and tripped up the bishop, teased the choir and started breaking windows so an angel turned him to stone and he's been sitting in the cathedral ever since. Clue: He is about one foot tall.
The views from the cathedral walls (outside) are spectacular as the cathedral is set on the top of the only hill in Lincolnshire - you can see for miles and miles.
Summer weekdays 7.15 am - 8.00 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 7.15 am - 6.00 pm
Winter weekdays and Saturdays 7.15 am - 6.00 pm, Sundays 7.15 am - 5.00 pm
Children 5 -16 £1.00
Children under 5 Free
Among England‘s Cathedrals, Lincoln has probably one of the most majestic, architecturally interesting and beautiful examples. Lincoln Cathedral is the result of clerical politics right after the Norman Conquest. William the Conqueror wanted to install his fellows in powerful positions and restructure the country in a Norman feudal manner. That included the creation of new dioceses or the restructuring of old ones. Furthermore, Lincoln Cathedral was built – like continental Cathedrals - in the city centre instead of next to a monastery which was the usual way in Anglo-Saxon England.
Construction began right after the year of the conquest in 1067 but fires, storms and construction faults made rebuilding and restoring necessary well into the 16 th century. This includes the reconstruction of the collapsed crossing tower between 1307 and 1311. The new spire reached a height of 160 metres which made it the first building to be higher than the Pyramides of Egypt. Lincoln Cathedral was the world’s highest building until 1549 when the spire collapsed. The head behind the expansion and reconstruction in the 12 th century was St. Hugh of Avalon, his grave is one of the main points of interest in the Cathedral.
Lincoln Cathedral is full of small architectural details. The most famous are the Lincoln Imp, one of many decorations in the choir. The little imp attracted particular attention and became the city’s mascot and trademark. The vaults in the south apse are spectacular and known as “crazy vaults”. Other points of interest are the grave of “Little Saint Hugh” which marks out the dimensions of blood libel and anti-Semitism in the Middle Ages.
Bishop Alexander was born in Blois, France, and was nephew of Roger, Bishop of Salisbury. He was elected to the see of Lincoln in 1123. He built several castles and rebuilt Lincoln Cathedral after the fire of 1141. He died in Normandy in 1147, returning from a trip to Rome.
The circular, stained glass window at the end of the south transept of Lincoln Cathedral is known as the Bishop's Eye. The window was built in 1320, but the stained glass now on view is made up from fragments of Medieval glass inserted in 1788. The bishop after whom the window is named is Bishop John Dalderby who died in 1320.
It is an incredibly beautiful window: even more beautiful than the larger East Window.
No trip to Lincoln would be complete without a visit to Lincoln Cathedral.
Set high on a hillside overlooking the City it looks very impressive and can be seen from some directions for over 20 miles.
If you like historic architecture, the cathedral is worth taking a look at. If your not its still worth a the walk to the top of the hill just to browse around the quaint streets in that area.
Westminster cathedral refused permission for the 'Da Vinci' code to be filmed there. Lincoln came to the rescue, allowing it's chapter house to 'double' for Westminster. This of course had nothing to do with the reported £100,000 the filmakers paid.
Not everyone was happy with the arrangement : Sister Mary Michael, a Catholic nun, conducted a solitary vigil outside in protest against the " blasphemous use of a Holy place to film a book of heresy". No standing on the fence there then.
The artwork that was added to the walls still remains at present - but I don't know if it will remain as a permanent feature.
Interestingly, Dan Green (author of Da Vinces pile of claptrap) , has said that the statue of Alfred Lord Tennyson (poet and leading Priory of Sion member), maybe a pointer to the location of where Mary Magdalene is buried - in Lincoln Cathedral itself. Utter cobblers.
Been to Lincoln means visiting its enormous, surprising and mighty Cathedral. Its sight is iconic but when being at its feet it's really overwhelming. In fact, this one was the tallest building in the world for 200 years!. And it's more surprising knowing that this building dates from as early as XIth century!. Its main front -West front- is quite completely Norman and it's the mainly preserved part from that era.
Everything here is amazing and numbers are so. Entering inside explains you why. High complex Purbeck marble pillars, beautiful nerved and arched roof and coloured stained glass windows made it all mostly in Early English Gothic around the original Norman building configure a place able to house more than 2000 people. Being in here is another supernatural experience. Its height, its powerful shape, its coloured great Dean's eye and Bishop's eye rose windows and orned stone, the magnificent St Hugh's chorus with its intrincately carved flowered screen, the chapter house, the cloister, etc. etc.
Reading about the building, you can learn that the original Norman church was greatly destroyed by an earthquake and the new Gothic one begun to be built from the opposite side to the remaining Norman West face which led to rectify some details when the new building had to be linked with it. Funny enough, the roof is not straight at this point for they had to end it with some displacement. But effort was worthy. The new church was by far bigger than the old one and was made to be great among greats. It's astounding to note that the actual enormous towers were, in fact, higher for they were originally ended by wooden spires that doubled its height!
This place has plenty of interesting details: beginning the nave there's a very old dark Tournai marble baptizing font dating from 12th century. Inside the nice St Hugh's choir the precious wooden stalls hold some detailed "misericords" dating from XIVth century. The Angel Choir shows the famous "Lincoln's Imp", a small stone figure with horns and claws, a kind of small devil placed in one arch. The stone tomb of Richard Flemig, bishop of Lincoln, dating from XVth century is surprising for it shows a double corpse: the upper one is the bishop in splendor while the lower one is a kind of decaying corpse with the signs of pain and suffering, a kind of metaphore about life and death. And near it, the nice Eleanor of Castile's -Leonor de Castilla in Spanish- tomb, really a semi-tomb for in here are only buried the queen's viscera; the body is buried at Westminster. She was married to king Edward I and died at XIIIth century near Lincoln.
At the shop it's possible to get some nice illustrated guides for children that are much better than the standard ones to learn about all these details and much more. The importance of the place deserves it, sure!
I was all ready to make lots of silly jokes about playing with your organ in a cathedral (nudge - nudge), and how you need a good blow through your pipes for optimum performance (wink-wink), but I shall refrain.
Some people say that Lincoln's organ spoils the look of the cathedral, as the enormous instument (sorry, sarted off again) is situated in the middle of the vast space.
Regular recitals are given, and the website below will detail when. It is also often in full voice during services or being practiced on at other times.
A mighty monster to behold.
..................obviously. Recommended even without the publicity which the film of 'The Da Vinci Code' will no doubt bring. Consecrated in 1092 and visible for 20 miles, it is a truly beautiful building. Make sure you allow time to visit the Chapter House (exquisite wall-paintings) and cloisters, and don't forget to look for the 'Lincoln Imp' (although cheats can put 20 pence into a machine to light him up!). Although it will cost you 4 GBP to get in, at least you klnow the money will go towards restoring and maintaining a wonderful building.
.....................in Lincoln cathedral. It has a wonderful 'umbrella' roof, and beautiful wall-paintings. It's rare for these to survive in UK religious buildings, so make sure you don't miss them. You don't have to pay extra.
This amusing little carving can be found near the high altar at the rear of Lincoln Cathedral, at just above head height on the left hand side. It would appear that the stone carver came up with the the little statue himself - it doesn't have any religious connotations.
Local legend has it that the imp was blown to Lincoln on the winds during the building of the Cathedral. He caused amazing amounts of mayhem and confusion. As he surveyed his work he was turned into a statue by a passing angel.
Believe what you like, but the imp has become a symbol of the city, most obviously on the shirts of the 'red imps' - the Lincoln City Football club.
The magnificent achievement of Lincoln Cathedral was the tallest building on the planet for about 250 years. Unfortunately during a storm in 1549 the central tower (reminds me of the tower of Babylon ?) collapsed.
If that had not happened it would still have been the highest until the Washington monument was completed in 1884.
The Romanesque (12 th century) frieze has been restored to it's former glory. It has taken about 17 years of sorting out, during which time the dominant image of the cathedral has been that of scaffolding. Boy, would I have liked the contract for that job.
What is left is probably only a small part of what Bishop Alexander installed, but isn't that always the case with with redecoration ?
Anyway, here is a list of the panels that can now be seen. The are situated over the doorways on the west front. Some great titles here.
1 Damned and Blessed Torments of sins in Hell, Lust
2 Torments of sins in Hell, Sodomy
3 Torments of sins in Hell, Avarice
4 Harrowing of Hell
5 The Elect in Heaven
6 Saved in Abraham's Bosom
7 Parable of Lazarus and Dives The Feast of Dives
8 Death of Lazarus and Dives in Hell
9 Adam and Eve Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden
10 Adam Cultivates
11 Eve with Child/ Spinning
12 Story of Noah God tells Noah to build the Ark
13 Noah builds the Ark
14 Later insertion of Daniel in the Lions Den
15 Disembarkation from the Ark/ God's covenant with Noah
William the Conqueror commissioned this beautiful Cathedral to be built.
Before I even enter this Cathedral, I am in awe of what I am seeing. Built in Lincolnshire Limestone and in gothic style, it had some excellent sculpture's.
A frieze and related sculpture is believed to date from the time of Bishop Alexander (Bishop of Lincoln from 1123 – 1148). Some have been decaying, so they have been taken down and now are displayed indoors, in the Chapel of St James. Carved copies were made of the original northern panels.
It was in 1092 that this Cathedral was built by Bishop Remigius and consecrated. Remigius, a Benedictine monk, was the first Norman Bishop of the largest diocese in medieval England.
In 1141, or possibly earlier, there was a fire which severely damaged the Cathedral, it was rebuilt, then an earthquake in 1185 caused structural damage.
It has been repaired over the year's and is a magnificent sight, especially from the bottom of the hill in Lincoln, it tower's over the City.
ENTRY.... free of charge and gaze at the nave; you can spend time of quiet in the Morning Chapel; you can visit the shop.
If you want to explore further THERE is an entry charge of....
Adults £6.... Concessions £4.75.... Children £1