Up the hill: a weekend at Lincoln Cathedral

Neither of us had visited Lincoln for a long time (I had once, at university) and had forgotten quite how stunning it is. Perched up the appropriately-named ‘Steep Hill’, the cathedral looks out over the city.

As John Ruskin said, “I have always held and proposed against all comers to maintain that the Cathedral of Lincoln is out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles.” [And I whole-heartedly agree with him.]

Inside Lincoln Cathedral

Building started in 1088, under William the Conqueror’s instruction, and in heavy Norman style, opposite the castle he had already built across the city. Around 100 years later, a fire and an earthquake between them caused extensive damage to the great building, and parts were rebuilt in the Gothic style, which included the use of flying buttressing to enable huge stained glass windows, and pointed arches replacing the original rounded ones.

Rose window at Lincoln Cathedral

Entrance door at Lincoln Cathedral

However, during this major Gothic rebuild, the tower collapsed, causing a setback. Fortunately in the early 1300s it was rebuilt and a spire added, making it for a time the tallest building in the world.

Looking up in the transcept at Lincoln Cathedral

Although the spires blew down in the 16th century, there have been few fundamental changes to the building since. [By progressively renovating different sections of the cathedral, they aim to renovate the entire building every hundred years.]

Inside Lincoln Cathedral

The fabulous organ can be seen below, providing a central focal point in the quire.

Quire at Lincoln Cathedral

The central altar, with warm light filtering through the lower levels.

High altar at Lincoln Cathedral

We had a great weekend of singing and exploring, although I’m not sure our legs will recover for a few days – those hills aren’t to be underestimated…

Have you been to Lincoln? Do you have any local recommendations? We didn’t have time to see much else!

Tell us your thoughts!

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