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A Visit to Lincoln Cathedral

Updated on December 30, 2014
Lincoln Cathedral at Night
Lincoln Cathedral at Night | Source

A Classic View of Lincoln Cathedral

Living In A Cathedral City

Welcome to Lincoln Cathedral - a local landmark you can see for miles and miles. Lincoln Cathedral is undoubtedly one of the greatest examples of Gothic church architecture in Europe. If you are a fan of Gothic churches, visit this part of England - Lincoln Cathedral is certainly worth seeing as you will have seen in my photos.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year to see Lincoln Cathedral. The decorations are up, the frivolity of the Christmas Market still hangs over our uphill area and people are singing in the streets around the cathedral itself. This page is about Lincoln Cathedral and the immediate area and I will be adding to it gradually over time. The photo I chose to show here is one of several dramatic night shots made possible by digital photography. I hope you will enjoy this and other images.

Photographs taken by myself, please do not copy.

Cathedral Square in the Snow

When I lived near the cathedral I took this photo with my digital camera.
When I lived near the cathedral I took this photo with my digital camera. | Source

What Is A Cathedral?

Why Lincoln is a Cathedral city

A Cathedral is where a Bishop has his seat. In order to be a City in Britain, it used to be necessary to have a Cathedral. I don't know if this is still the case.

Oddly enough, although a Bishop has his Seat at a Cathedral, he is not allowed in the building without the permission of the Dean and Chapter. This can lead to some interesting conflicts at times. Lincoln has had its share of conflict too....

Lincoln is a small city. It maybe has about 35,000 dwellings so it is really not even a large town by some standards. The cathedral dominates the entire city because the position at the top of Lincoln's only steep hill makes it visible from all directions for about 30 miles

The cathedral quarter contains many fantastic listed buildings and historical places to visit including the castle, the Rest and you can see composer William Byrd's blue plaqued home - he was once cathedral organist.

Where is Lincoln Cathedral? How To Get To Lincoln

Actually you can't miss Lincoln Cathedral once you are within about 20 miles of Lincoln on a clear day. Climb to the tower of Lincoln Cathedral and you can see for miles and miles. You can do that with the Google Map too.

How to get to Lincoln Cathedral

What is a Cathedral? - How was it built?

How important were Gothic Cathedrals and why was so much human effort invested in building these spaces?

The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral
The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral

Why, in a time of great poverty and upheaval, was so much effort put into the construction of Cathedrals? What were the lives of the builders like? What did the building symbolize to the people. This book explains all that and more.


Tennyson's Statue at Lincoln Cathedral - Lincoln Cathedral's Poet Laureate


Alfred Lord Tennyson at Lincoln Cathedral

As a child, I visited Lincoln Cathedral. I remember that, for me, Tennyson's statue in the cathedral grounds was the highlight of a trip to Lincoln.

Tennyson was a poet and he had a DOG! A big hairy dog too- just like mine. A statue with a dog was something really cool. I spent many frustrating hours trying to spot the Lincoln Imp high up in the roof with my poor vision, but Tennyson's dog made up for the failures.

Lincoln Cathedral by Laetitia Tadpole - Illustration by Oliver Tadpole

Building Lincoln Cathedral
Building Lincoln Cathedral | Source

Lincoln Cathedral

Bending in shimmering sunset's obeisance

As if tame

Until dark midnight pays its toll

And then you die,

Becoming hollow in the light of day,

Your soul is lost to time -

Your stones set in the permanence of decay -

An open tomb!

My love and I who love you

Walk within your tracery,

And feel God's life descend

To dissipate in fiery rays

In ignorance of heresy.

It settles nowhere Gothic,

But within our hearts

We feel a spirit tremble,

Alien to modern troubles.

Not from your tower

Does holy calm descend

Nor from your walls

Could echoing love resound

No reverence can grey rock thrill,

Or harmony from cynical choir thrall.

But we know well

That simple men have made you

In pagan innocence and Christian piety,

That put the canting privileged poetry

Of hypocrisy to shame.

Barbarians all,

With heathen tongues,

We still see supreme faith

In the creation of a thousand hands

One Will called forth

Bequeathing our mocking, moneyed age

Their gift of poverty.

We walk away,

We sigh,

For freedom

Substitute a faster pace,

For knowledge

Sacrifice our inner peace,

Our masons now,

For all technology's skills

Could never raise such walls

In twentieth century haste

And squabbling clergymen

For all their soothing lies and pretty smells

Could never match their pure mediaeval faith.

Laetitia Tadpole, 1986

(Poem and picture both used with permission, not to be copied though you may of course link to it.)

The Nave at Lincoln Cathedral

Photo of Lincoln Cathedral nave taken with my Nikon digital camera in 2005. Stained glass produces beautiful lighting effects on the floor.
Photo of Lincoln Cathedral nave taken with my Nikon digital camera in 2005. Stained glass produces beautiful lighting effects on the floor. | Source

Stained Glass at Lincoln Cathedral

Stained Glass - the Magic of Light

Stained glass served a vital purpose in mediaeval churches and cathedrals. The pictures illustrated Bible stories for ordinary folk who could neither read nor understand Latin. Stained glass windows were vital to the poor as a representation of Christian theology that the clergy felt they should know!

Lincoln Cathedral is possibly the greatest example of Gothic perpendicular architecture. Its domes and high arches allowed for a much lighter and higher structure that could safely incorporate more stained glass than the older Norman structures had. The result is a beauty that is staggering on a sunny day as the light streams in through those Biblical story windows.

The Music at Lincoln Cathedral

Cathedral Music Tradition

England's musical tradition is rife with choral compositions commissioned and performed by Cathedral choirs. Lincoln Cathedral has its own fantastic choir of boy choristers from the Minster School and male "lay vicars" who sing professionally for a small stipend. These days there is also a separate choir with girl choristers instead of exclusively boys. The quality of performance is excellent and worshippers like to listen to the beautiful music chosen and rehearsed by the Cathedral organist.

At Evensong the music is at its greatest, hymn singing is not so much a feature as the focus is on psalms and anthems performed by the choir itself. This makes cathedral music quite exclusive and more performance orientated than the music you will hear in parish churches where choirs are amateur and there is more congregational singing. Some people do not like this exclusivity however.

Lincoln Cathedral Choir singing Vaughan Williams

Lincoln Cathedral - A Part Of Our Lives

Enjoying the tranquility of Lincoln Cathedral

The Cathedral remains very much part of our lives. We often visit and there are always new things to see. A quiet prayer or meditation in the side Chapel is a way of coming to terms with life or saying thank you for our blessings. We produced an illustrated poem about the building of the Cathedral which features in Tadpole's Illustrated. Tadpole also illustrated the Cathedral guidebook under his real name. Sadly he doesn't earn royalties though.

Have you enjoyed a visit to Lincoln Cathedral

What was your favourite thing about Lincoln Cathedral?

See results

If you have been to Lincoln Cathedral, please let us know what you thought! Thank you.

© 2009 Lisa Marie Gabriel

I hope you enjoyed your visit

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    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @dianerotweillerbaker: To be honest, I have no idea. It is an outside view after all. My guess is that amateur photos might be OK, professional ones for sale would possibly need permission. If the wedding was in the cathedral I assume the photos would automatically be OK. I would ask the photographer to check.

    • profile image

      dianerotweillerbaker 4 years ago

      could anyone tell me if it is ok to use the grounds of the lincoln cathedral for a backdrop for wedding photos, oe do we have to get permission thanking you inadvance

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 4 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      What a gorgeous cathedral.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hey guys don`t forget about car rent! So you could travel faster and safer. I with my husband always hire a car from so they always offer us discounts and etc. Never had any problems with them and I always plan my trip to the details. Hope this helped you cheers!

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 6 years ago

      It's a stunningly beautiful building!

    • Churchmouse LM profile image

      Churchmouse LM 6 years ago

      My husband played a concert on the organ here some years back - I loved sitting listening to him rehearse while looking at the beautifully carved screen on which the organ sits. A lovely lens you have!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 8 years ago

      I am an Architecture lover ( my lenses reflect this), and I like the Lincoln Cathedral. I is such a beauty!. I'll feature this lens on my Architectural lenses.

      fav 5*



    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      Great lens! I've never been there myself but it looks beautiful.