Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral is a cathedral located in Lincoln in England and seat of the Bishop of Lincoln in the Church of England. It was in 1092 that this first Cathedral at Lincoln built by Bishop Remigius was consecrated.


Remigius, a Benedictine monk was the first Norman Bishop of the largest diocese in medieval England, extending from the Humber to the Thames. The cathedral of this diocese had been at Dorchester, near Oxford, but in 1072 William instructed that the Bishopric should be moved to Lincoln.


It was reputedly the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311–1549). The central spire collapsed in 1549 and was not rebuilt. There is something for everyone. Children love seeking out the funny carvings.


Not just the Imp, but the cat and mouse and so many other little details that brightened the masons’ days. Everywhere you look there is the most intricate detail, walls, roofs elaborated by the finest carving.


An earthquake caused structural damage to Lincoln Cathedral in 1185. St Hugh (Bishop of Lincoln, 1186-1200) began work on reconstructing the Cathedral in 1192. He used the Gothic style, where pointed arches (rather than round ones), ribbed vaults and flying buttresses made it possible to make larger windows (for stained glass) and larger roof spans.


St. Hugh himself was said to have carried a hod to help with the building work, but he died in 1200, before the great Transept and Nave were finished. St Hugh was a saintly man and stories about him tell of his concern for ordinary men and women and how he was prepared to stand up to bullying kings (Henry and John).


Between 1307 and 1311 the central tower was raised to its present height. Then around 1370 to 1400 the western towers were heightened. All three towers had spires until 1549 when the central tower’s spire blew down.


The existing structure was finished by about 1280, but repairs and remodeling have continued. There have been repeated problems with the spires (removed in 1807) and towers, which were sometimes thought to be in danger of collapsing.


This was despite attempts to shore up the towers by digging underneath them to increase support, an early attempt of what is a common engineering project today on such building as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Two love stories involving famous women are commemorated in the Cathedral.


Katharine Swinford, mistress and then third wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1403 is buried near the high altar and Queen Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward 1st, who has a viscera tomb in the Angel Choir. She was so loved by the King that when she died in 1290 near Lincoln, he erected stone crosses wherever her coffin rested on its journey to London.


In the present day, over £1 million each year is spent on keeping Lincoln Cathedral in shape. The most recent project completed was the restoration of the West Front in 2000. About 10 years ago it was discovered that the flying buttresses on the east end were no longer connected to the adjoining stonework, and hasty repairs had to be made.


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