Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Climb. Conquer. Collapse.

 Welcome to Lincoln, once known as Lindum when it was a Celtic settlement, then Lindum Colonia when it became a Roman town in 48 A.D..

 This is a view of an ancient and rare building as you enter the heart of the old city of Lincoln.  The arch dates from 1160.  The building was restored to its former glory in 1901 and the restaurant/coffee shop there today has been offering their wares in this location since 1902.  Mike and I shared a wonderful cheese tray there and fell in lust with the local poacher cheese.  He is off to the cheese shop to buy some as I type. :-)

 This is the other side of the bridge as we exit the tunnel created by the bridge.  This area underneath is called the glory hole.  In medieval times it was called the murder hole, for obvious reasons in those days of no street lights.  A chapel was built in 1235 and dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket on on the eastern side of the bridge and the area took on it's new name of the glory hole over time. The chapel was destroyed during the Reformation, unfortunately. 

The canal is overhung by trees as it travels through Lincoln.  It is both charming and cooling on a warm summer day.  

The picture above shows the pub across from where we are moored.  It also shows a picture of one of the boaters we met here and have been playing tourist with.  

Pete is a retired professor at UC Davis whose interest, passion is environmental science.  His wife Lesley, also of the scientific bent, has written science picture books for young children.  I hope to get some for John. 

One of the real joys of this trip is to meet new friends, exchange new conversations and enjoy a pint or two together.

Below is the Guildhall with it's arch acting as a gateway into Lincoln.  Lincoln was traditionally known for its weavers.  It was especially well known for its red and green cloth (think Robin Hood and his green clothing).

The city of Lincoln abounds with fantastic examples of 14th and 15th century buildings and Tudor half timbered buildings.  Some of the oldest buildings still in use can be found here.  They alone are worth a visit.


 The castle, perched on a STEEP hill (we walked it), was built by the forces of William the Conqueror in 1068.  It stand opposite the cathedral, also built under order of William.  To create the space for the castle, William had the 166 houses on the site torn down.  Currently, the interior of the castle is undergoing restoration and can not be visited.  Only the 6 acres of grounds are open to the public.

 The old part of the city was grouped around the Cathedral and castle.  Aptly named in medieval times Steep Hill, the very steep and cobbled streets leading you through the old part of the city have been unchanged for centuries, making them a challenge for both walkers and drivers.

 The Cathedral, third largest in Britain,  was began in 1074 under the orders of William the Conqueror.  A later fire and earthquake extensively damaged the Cathedral and only the front wall of the old Norman Cathedral remains.  The Cathedral was rebuilt in 1192 and it was then that the triple towers came into being.  The center tower collapsed in 1237, due to design and construction flaws, and had to be replaced.  The replacement was completed in 1311 and that tower and spire marked the highest spot of the Cathedral, about 525 feet high, and the highest man made structure in the world for almost 238 years.  In 1548 the center spire was blown down in a storm and was removed. It was not replaced.  In 1807 the spires of the two smaller towers were also removed.

Question:  What makes a Cathedral a Cathedral?
Answer:   It is home to the Bishop's throne.  A church that houses the Bishop's throne, or cathedra, is called, logically enough, a Cathedral.
Now you know.

The Cathedral houses a portion of an original medieval library, constructed in 1422, as well as a more modern library built in 1676 by Sir Christopher Wren of St. Paul's Cathedral fame.  Both are awe inspiring in their own ways and open to the public to view.  The ancient books and manuscripts can also be used for scholarly research by making arrangements with the Cathedral librarian.
The Cathedral (or the castle, depending on whom you talk to) houses one of the remaining 4 copies of the original Magda Carta.  Unfortunately, it is currently on loan so we were unable to view it.

These magnificent buildings are part of the cathedral close.

 Back down Steep Hill.  Down is MUCH easier than up on a warm summer day. :-)

Bonus Picture and Fact:  Below is a picture of The White Hart Inn, originally a 14th century coach inn, where Tom Hanks stayed while filming part of The DaVinci Code in Lincoln Cathedral.  The Cathedral was used as a stand in for Westminster Abbey.


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