Lincoln Cathedral ~ Black & White Sunday


A few years ago we spent a very satisfying three days in Lincoln. Not only is the town bursting with historical buildings and atmosphere, it is a very visitor-friendly place. The cathedral is undoubtedly the star, although the monochrome edition here makes it look rather stark. In real life the stonework has an amber glow. You can see that version in an earlier post: Walking Through Time On Lincoln’s Steep Hill.

It is astonishing to think that this building – begun in 1088, and later suffering fire, earthquake, and many phases of rebuilding, is still standing. Art critic John Ruskin claimed it to be the most precious exemplar of British architecture, and worth two of any of our other cathedrals. I’ll take his word for it. In fact I agree. The extraordinary craftsmanship and feats of engineering, if not their overall purpose, truly impress me. The towers were built in phases from the late 1200s – constructed ever taller and more elaborately. The central, and tallest tower was raised to 271 feet/83 metres in 1311. With spire added it is said to have outdone the Great Pyramid of Giza for tallness, a record it enjoyed until 1549 when the spire blew down.

The cathedral’s presence in the townscape is indubitably breath-taking, but the thing I liked best when we were there was that peregrine falcons have taken to nesting way up on the tower ledges. As you walked around the peaceful precincts you could hear their plaintive calls in the tower tops. These birds normally nest on sheer cliff faces so you have to admire their nouveau urban style – pinnacle of early English Gothic.


Black & White Sunday: Traces of the Past  You have till a week on Sunday to post your own traces of the past and link to Paula’s blog here.

39 thoughts on “Lincoln Cathedral ~ Black & White Sunday

  1. Love your images – reminds me of something from the 1950s (not that I can remember that period first hand, of course). Lincoln is a treat; I’ve only ever visited briefly and it’s been on the list for decent trip for ages. I had no idea about the falcons – will keep eyes and ears peeled when we go!

  2. We spent one night in an hotel by the Cathedral.I saw the floodlit towers unexpectedly and I my knees gave way.It is a wonderful place and position on the hill.What hard work to get all the materials up there

    1. We stayed in such a hotel too. In fact I think the second photo was the view from our room. And yes, so amazing when floodlit, especially at twilight. That hill is a killer though. Hats off to whoever (man, horse or mule) had to lug the stones up there.

  3. I spent a lovely week in a National Trust cottage in Lincoln about ten years ago. The daffodils were out (sigh.) Beautiful, challenging (!) walks, great food in the shops to cook in the cottage. These photos do make the cathedral look rather somber (and Gothic?)

    1. NT cottage sounds an excellent venue. I think a return visit is called for. It’s such a villagey city. Re pix I thought I’d give the cathedral a Durer-esque look, but Gothic fits too 🙂 Am a touch ambivalent about monumental ecclesiastical edifices and what they represented down the ages.

  4. We spent an all too brief afternoon in Lincoln some years ago, Tish, and I always intended to go back for a proper encounter. It almost happened on our New Year Norfolk trip, but in heavy rain we made for an old friend in Wisbech instead. 🙂 🙂 Did you knit the balaclava swiftly enough?

    1. Nope. Stole a woolly neck-jobby from Graham which did for the neck up, and got out my Welsh felt hat for head down, and braved the allotment for – of all things – salad greens. Duh! What we need is STEW.

  5. Looks so very different in black and white. A very attractive building both inside and out (not forgetting my run-in with the bloke in the dress though…)

    1. I’ve been trying to imagine the reaction of a 13th century peasant arriving in Lincoln – it must have had an equivalent shock effect of seeing a UFO landed in the town square.

  6. I think you must have stayed in the same hotel as we did.,..the view from the windows was breathtaking.Where has modern architecture gone?It shows how culture and spiritual belief affects society.

    1. Yes, I’m thinking that even the agnostic or atheist might well experience a spiritual response to such a building. There is spirit in the creation of such an awe-inspiring structure.

      1. Yes and I’d say concrete Shopping Malls take the soul out of even a believer! I know it was hard work fir the men but very good to be involved with creating beauty.Beauty is very important I think

  7. I really love your black and white rendition of this cathedral. I have heard of it before and have seen it in your colour post, but I am impressed to see these angles in monochrome and to hear about falcons nesting there. I would really love to see it some day in person. Thank you so much, Tish.

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