27 October 2021

Lincoln

On the morning of October 25th 1981, we trudged up Steep Hill to Lincoln's magnificent cathedral. On the morning of October 25th 2021, we did just the same.

There was no ticket counter in 1981 - entrance was free - but in 2021 you must pay an admission fee. At the desk, I overheard talk of a roof tour and in an instant we had paid an extra £7.50 each for this privilege. Soon we were climbing spiral staircases, holding on to ropes and exploring the roof space with its medieval oak roof timbers. Of course we had a guide who was passionate about his hometown cathedral and knew a great deal about it.

View to Lincoln Castle from the cathedral's south west tower

We climbed high above the nave and had two opportunities to get out on the roof but not up to the tops of any of the three towers. They still reached for the late October sky, high above us.

Since childhood, I have lived in awe of our medieval church builders. Their ingenuity, audacity and "can do" attitude saw the construction of hundreds of fabulous village churches and several marvellous cathedrals, abbeys and minsters including Durham Cathedral, Holy Trinity Church in Hull, York Minster, Beverley Minster, Ely Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, Fountains Abbey, Westminster Abbey and Wells Cathedral. All wonderful buildings but my favourite of them all  is Lincoln Cathedral.

High above the nave in Lincoln Cathedral

On Sunday evening, we had a lovely anniversary meal in "The Botanist" and ate out again on Monday. Lunch in "The Lion and The Snake" and dinner in the "Samba Brazil". All great meals and there were a couple of visits to pubs as well - "The Witch and Wardrobe" which was attractively rough and ready and "The William Foster" on Guildhall Street.

The High Bridge in Lincoln

Back in 1981, Lincoln did not have a university but now it has one with numerous modern buildings and accommodation blocks south of Brayford Pool which was once the city's bustling inland port area. Our hotel  - The Holiday Inn Express was close to the university quarter. It fulfilled our requirements completely and we had no complaints though it was snug enough to feel like a cabin on an ocean liner.

We were so lucky that Monday was a bright, sunshiny day - rather like the one that Jimmy Cliff sang about in "I Can See Clearly Now". I wonder how many more moons will pass by before we return to Lincoln.

The tomb of Eleanor of Castile  (!241-1290) - married to King Edward I

39 comments:

  1. I agree. When you look at these buildings and think of the technology they had at the time it's amazing how they were build.

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    1. No tubular scaffolding or power tools. As you say Red - amazing!

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  2. That is a spectacular view and breathtaking cathedral. I wish we had buildings as picturesque. We do have beautiful views but they aren't of architecture.

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    1. I love the USA but as you suggest some things are missing. Most British people take these things for granted.

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  3. I love cathedrals. They are awe inspiring, even more so because there were no engineering degrees involved in building them. Obviously there have always been people with vision and amazing problem solving skills. The photos are lovely. I'm glad you two had a good time.

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    1. I wonder which cathedrals you visited when you came to England Nurse Lily?

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  4. The cathedral does look very special.
    The arched bridge is supporting a lot of weight, apparently successfully.
    I sure Steep Hill seemed much steeper than it did forty years ago.

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    1. The bridge is the oldest bridge in England to have a building upon it. It dates back to at least the 12th century.

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  5. One day I want to visit Ely Cathedral. Several of my ancestors are confirmed to have been baptised there.
    That song is running on loop in my mind now. Could be worse!
    Thank you

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    1. Ely is a wonderful cathedral with its lantern tower in the middle.

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  6. My favourite cathedral is of course Ripon Cathedral; in Germany, Ulm Minster is my favourite.
    If you haven't read it yet, I recommend Ken Follet's "Pillars of the Earth". After this doorstopper of a book, you will almost feel able to build a cathedral yourself, you learn so much about it from those pages.
    You know I would have grabbed the chance to do that roof tour, too!

    I am glad you had such a beautiful weekend together for your anniversary.

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    1. I had no idea that they would be operating roof tours on a Monday. It is normally only a Saturday thing. A lovely surprise.

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  7. Although I'm not one to pop into a church for a look round, I can still admire and appreciate the workmanship. I wonder if those working on the buildings back then ever imagined that their labours would stand the test of time, and over a thousand years later, we would stand in awe and marvel at their skills?

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    1. They were amazing people. Perhaps God was guiding them?

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    2. Could be - they certainly had faith in those days.
      I, too, would recommend Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth series.

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  8. It sounds like a very nice anniversary celebration! Congratulations again on 40 years!

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    1. Two fine days and two fine children and forty generally fine, mostly happy years. We done okay.

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  9. Have you ever read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth series. Such an interesting account of building those ancient cathedrals. Fiction, I know but a great account of the processes all the same.

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    1. Meike mentioned that book too Helen. I should look out for it though I have so many other books to read.

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  10. It sounds like you had a lovely time in Lincoln retracing old steps. My sister-in-law used to work at the hospital there, so I know Lincoln well and have climbed that steep hill many times!

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    1. Lincoln would be a good place to live but now of course we have our granddaughter to consider.

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  11. Great shots of the local scenery. I definitely have to get up that way one of these days, though the pictures from the heights of the cathedral give me vertigo!

    It IS astonishing how ambitious the builders of those cathedrals were, considering the technology available at the time.

    The version of "I Can See Clearly Now" I know is by Johnny Nash. I think he wrote it and Jimmy Cliff did a cover version years later.

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    1. You are right about Johnny Nash. You should join my quiz team and come up to Sheffield every week.

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  12. A lovely way to celebrate your 40 years together.

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  13. What marvelous history! Not only Lincoln's, but yours and Mrs. P.'s as well. Congratulations and I'm so glad you got to revisit your first days together as a married couple.

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    1. It was the best way to mark those four decades together. Now we care into our fifth!

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  14. We still haven't properly explored the city, I guess lockdown kept us away. (I've just started reading a book about Eleanor of Castile.)

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    1. Only Eleanor's "viscera" is buried at Lincoln. Her heart is in Westminster Abbey. She died at Harby - seven miles west of Lincoln.

      P.S. "Viscera" = her main organs - including intestines.

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    2. Great. I am off to find out why this is. Debby disappears down yet another rabbit hole.

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    3. Watch out for the buck rabbits down there Debby!

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  15. I suppose that paying for entrance to a cathedral is just like paying for any other ancient monument. Decades ago at a particulary bad point in my life I was in London. Prior to that in my early 20s I had been to St Paul's Cathedral and the choir was practising and the sound came up through the gratings and was mystical. Rolling forward I decided to go to St Paul's and seek solace. There were queues to get in via the paying desks. I ignored them and just walked into the cathedral (I was, after all, a confirmed member of the congregation of the Church of England). I was duly accosted by an attendant. When I said that I was going to pray he responded that "that is what they all say". I'm not sure whther he was referring to queue jumpers or implying that I was getting in without paying. For me the whole ambience of the building and it's purpose was destroyed in that moment and I've never been back. The Cattedrale di Pisa has a good system. Paying sightseers and
    those those wishing to say prayers have separate entrances. In those circumstances as a sightseer I was happy to wait my turn and to pay my fee.

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    1. How unkind of that attendant. Clearly he wasn't blessed with the ability to read people. A well-aimed punch in the solar plexus would have shut him up. Amen.

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  16. Many years ago, I had the pleasure of spending a summer at Oxford doing a "study abroad" program. One of my courses was Cathedral Architecture and it was excellent. I've not visited Lincoln Cathedral and, based on your post, clearly should!

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    1. Lincoln is off the beaten track for most overseas visitors.

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  17. Went to top of one of the York Minster towers. Hair raising - literally. All standing on end and the lightning conductor was buzzing.

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    1. God may have been displeased about your presence. It certainly sounds like that.

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