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Romanesque Frieze

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Lincoln Cathedral’s Romanesque sculpture is of major international importance.

The enrichment of Lincoln Cathedral’s west front by the addition of ornate portals, a frieze and related sculpture is believed to date from the time of Bishop Alexander (Bishop of Lincoln from 1123 – 1148).

In 1988, concern over the accelerating decay of the Romanesque Frieze led to the holding of an international symposium in Lincoln to discuss the way forward. This led to the setting up of a conservation department within the Cathedral Works Department.

Now, the frieze panels from the north side of the west front have been conserved. Too fragile to be returned to their original positions out in the open, they are displayed indoors in the Chapel of St James. Carved copies were made of the original northern panels. These now take the place of the Romanesque panels on the west front.

English Heritage supported the conservation of the sculpture. The display of conserved sculpture was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Heritage Lottery Fund also supported the interpretation (www.hlf.org.uk).


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