I have been lucky enough over the last couple of days to explore and take in some of the great things to see and do in Lincolnshire. A gorgeous county situated in the East Midlands of England, where to start? Well of course Lincoln, the capital city. The history hits you as soon as you enter through the old city walls and into the old town with wonderfully kept architecture. Dwarfing all is the magnificent Cathedral. A masterpiece of architecture.
The sheer size of Lincoln Cathedral is a sight to behold. Consecrated in 1092 after William the Conqueror had taken the throne of England and also built a castle not far away from the spot too. The castle as well as the Cathedral stands in the City today. Both would make more than a days learning and viewing.
Standing in front of the Cathedral itself alone one can only look on in wonder. The fine masonry, the history, the markings, but the size, beautifully preserved and kept. Wonderful! The remains of the original Norman Cathedral stand proud at the doorway, built up, round and upon over time giving us today one of the best and grandest historical buildings in Britain.
What awaits as you step inside whether you are religious or not will make many a person gasp in wonder. Again, the size and detail all around with great preservation. Take the tours! The tour guides are experts in parting their knowledge and really enjoy it. It would be impossible to list here all the information and surprises I learned. The people connected over the centuries. Each step has a whole new story, be it the great font, the beautiful organ or the coloured glass windows letting the sunlight sprinkle onto the open floor. Your neck will be tested to its limit looking up at the detail on the ceiling and the figures on the arches/walls.
A second tour takes you up a tower towards the roof! Up the old steps, into and through the original Bishop’s quarters, therough the belfry and suddenly… way up high you are, stepping out onto the roof! Looking out over Lincoln, the castle and beyond over miles of gorgeous green Lincolnshire landscape.
Out into the City there are old streets inviting you in to wander down and take a peek. The old town is idylic and has kept a great charm whilst the perception of a flat county falls on its face as you stroll down, or stroll/clamber up ‘Steep Hill’. Quaint indeed. Popular in many ways due to it having Norman houses still being used/lived in for instance Jew’s House. Old teashops, bookshops and pubs invite you in as you step along.
The cathedral quarter especially is a truly stunning location for architectural features, wherever the eye takes you, a sense of Lincoln’s vast history is shouting out to be investigated more closely. If you enjoy history and great architecture you will enjoy walking through the beautifully kept cobbled streets of the old Lincoln city. Origins of settlements here go back to iron age man, and as you might already know was conquered by the Romans in AD48. The Celts had named the settlement Lindon, and the Romans changed this to the Latin version of Lindum, then later Lindum Colonia after the legion moved on to York in AD71 and certified Lindum Colonia as a settlement for army veterans. To give its full official name, Colonia Domitiana Lindensium, after the Emperor Domitian who ruled during that period of time. The settlement was thriving, this was helped by the accessibility to the sea from the river Witham and the river Trent.
If you are visiting the cathedral quarter and you are interested in classic literature, you might like to see the statue of Alfred, Lord Tennyson which can found outside Lincoln cathedral. Often regarded as the chief representative of the Victorian age in poetry. He succeeded Wordsworth as Poet Laureate in 1850. Alfred Tennyson was born on the 5th August, 1809 in Somersby near Horncastle. The fourth of 12 children, he was born into an old Lincolnshire family, and his father was a rector.
The old parts of Lincoln are tremendously photogenic and just strolling through the streets you will find a multitude of buildings and structures to aim your lens at, whether it’s your phone camera or something more elaborate it is so easy to find yourself pointing the lens at everything in sight while sightseeing. One dominant feature is Lincoln Castle, a major Norman castle, constructed during the late 11th century by William the Conqueror on the site of a pre-existing Roman fortress. The castle is unusual in that it has two mottes. It is one of only two such castles in the country, the other being at Lewes in East Sussex. Parts of the prison are open as a museum, including the 19th-century chapel which is claimed to be the only one remaining in the world designed for the separate system (each seat enclosed). The prison has been used as a filming location, for example for the ITV television series Downton Abbey. A little interesting fact about Lincoln castle is that it holds one of the 4 remaining magna carta sealed by King John after his meeting with the Barons at Runnymede in 1215 which can be seen in the exhibition centre.
Just a short walk away is ‘The Lawn’. Look out for the signs as it is a hidden gem of an area. A building away from the roads full of quiet areas to sit or take refreshments. The home made cake with a coffee at Cafe Santuary certainly catered perfectly for my tastebuds. Or even go take a quirky break the Sir Joseph Banks Conservatory, a tropical paradise with a pond of huge Koi.
What a day, and hardly seen a small percentage of what Lincoln offers! 😀