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04 October 2018Lincoln Cathedral

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Lincoln Cathedral
Thursday 04 October 2018

‘Lincoln Cathedral is a place of beauty, a place of history and a place of worship’

Joy Richardson (exploring Lincoln Cathedral)

For our Guided Tour we were in two groups, each having a similar talk and tour. One group started outside looking at the exterior walls of the Cathedral.  Earthquakes and fires in 1141 and 1185 had destroyed most of the original Norman cathedral, leaving the West front as it is today.  Romanesque doorways as you enter represent the entrance to Heaven but above the west doors in contrast a stone carved frieze of figures depicts the torments of those damned in Hell as well as those enjoying heaven.  Scenes from the Old Testament run across the front of the west doors, but due to their age their original brightly coloured paint had gone.  It was encouraging to see the Cathedral stone masons restoring them back to their original style.

 The second group started on the ground floor, and as they entered their immediate thoughts were how light, vast and awesome it was. The solid limestone pillars on each side and pointed gothic arches lead down to the highly decorated Choir screen covered in stone carvings.  Many of these carvings were meant to have a meaning as well as being cleverly made but now unlike in Medieval times were faded and dull but some were still recognisable.  Another highlight was seeing St Hugh’s Choir where services are held daily.   The choir is dominated with oak panelling and beautiful 14th century carved choir pews.  Services with choral worship is offered daily and has done so for centuries.

The sanctuary contains the altar with the new addition of five giant clay candlesticks placed there in 1986. They are named after Lincolnshire saints at the time of St Hugh each representing the light of the world. This area has been revived just recently by installing a group of finely hand carved wooden furniture chairs and altar pieces by local craftsman.

After the official tours had finished it was back to the Cathedral centre for a light lunch.

Then free time for the rest of the afternoon gave us a chance to wander around as we pleased.  Some took a tour of the cathedral roof on which the excellent guide gave an enjoyable and comprehensive insight illustrating the cathedral’s architecture, building history and structure.  From a narrow balcony just below the ceiling, the impressive complete overall view (not visible from ground level) of the cathedral interior was an extra bonus.

Others decided to visit the Medieval Wren Library, within the Cathedral itself where rare books and manuscripts, maps and documents from 1668 have been collected for a legacy of learning for future generations.

Diana Fearnehough - Visits Secretary