What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
Lincoln and Its Cathedral
=How to get there.=–Train from King’s Cross. Great Northern Rly. =Nearest Station.=–Lincoln. =Distance from London.=–130 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 2-3/4 to 3-1/2 hours.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 18s. 10d. ... 10s. 9d. Return 37s. 8d. ... 21s. 6d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Great Northern Hotel,” and others. =Alternative Routes.=–Train from Marylebone, Great Central Railway. Train from Liverpool Street, Great Eastern Railway. Train from St. Pancras, via Nottingham, Midland Railway.
Lincoln stands on a hill surrounded by level country. First a British settlement, it became a Roman colony. In 1074 the decree that all bishoprics should be in fortified places caused the removal of the See of Dorchester to Lincoln. Even at this time Lincoln was an important commercial town. Many parliaments have been held in its chapter-house, and Henry VII. offered his thanksgivings after Bosworth in the cathedral.
The mighty fane, with its three massive towers, rises majestically over the red roofs of the town. Its most striking feature is the great Norman screen, running up without buttresses or projections to the parapet and hiding the bases of the square, richly decorated towers of the west front. The plain centre of the screen is the work of Remigius, the first bishop. The rest of it is relieved with rich arcading of Late Norman and Early English periods. The wooden spires which crowned the towers were removed in 1807.
In 1192 Hugh of Avalon determined to rebuild the Norman building of Remigius, which an earthquake had shaken. To him we owe the choir and eastern transept. His successors completed the western transept and began the west end of the nave. So much money had to be spent in rebuilding the central tower, which fell in 1239, that the canons could not rebuild the nave entirely, but had to incorporate the Norman end by Remigius. Unfortunately the axis of the west front does not correspond to that of the nave, which is too wide for its height. The low vaulting is a serious defect in the choir built by St. Hugh, but of the superb beauty of the Angel Choir, which encloses his shrine, there can be no doubt. In its richness of sculpture it is one of the masterpieces of Gothic architecture in England. The interior of the cathedral is remarkable for the harmony of its style, which is Lancet-Gothic, and the dim lighting of the nave only adds to its impressiveness.
[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. LINCOLN CATHEDRAL.
The original Norman building was built by Remigius, but the structure having been weakened by an earthquake shock, Hugh of Avalon in 1192 built the Choir and Eastern Transept, and his successors finished the work.]