Make the most of your visit to Lincoln Cathedral!
Here’s a handy tick list of things you should definitely try to see and do! Enjoy your visit and remember to share your memories… #LoveLincoln
- The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the patron saint of this Cathedral church. The new statue was commissioned in 2014 and it makes for a beautiful photo if you stand in the arch by the choir screen and look down the south choir aisle!
Mary was revered as Protector of Lincoln in the Middle Ages, and the 7ft figure gazes down the length of the Cathedral.
Her blue cloak and brown tunic are symbols of heaven and earth. She holds the Christ child between the two.
- The Fossils in the Nave floor
There’s a great game you can play with all the family… In the huge slabs of limestone which make up the floor of the vast Nave of the Cathedral, you can see fossils! Lincoln Cathedral was built from Lincolnshire Limestone which is dug up from the Cathedral’s very own quarry. Try and find the biggest fossils in the floor and make sure you send us your photos! (If you are having trouble finding them, ask a guide or steward to help show you the way!
- The Lincoln Imp
This is possibly Lincoln Cathedral’s most famous story. If you’ve already found the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary then you are right where you need to be. Folk stories tell that the Lincoln Imp was a naughty little creature, causing havoc all around the Midlands. When he and his friends arrived at Lincoln Cathedral, some angels had had quite enough and turned him into stone to make an example of him. He’s high up at the top of one of the pillars and there’s a light you can turn on to help you see the way. If you’d like to see him up close, the Cathedral Gift Shop has lots of different Imp related items, including socks!
- The Bishop’s Eye
The Bishop’s Eye is the great round window on the South side of the main transept .In medieval tradition South was the good side and this window was said to invite in the light of the Holy Spirit.
The window, from the early 1300s, has delicate flowing tracery representing two lime leaves (a traditionally sacred tree). The glass, a kaleidoscope of medieval fragments, inserted in the 1700s, shines like a many faceted jewel.
- The Teaching Window
George Boole, the inventor of “Boolean Logic” and unwitting grandfather to our digital culture, was born in the early 19th century in Lincoln – one of the city’s greatest minds. Boolean is the building block of all digital technology today including smartphones, tablets and wearable devices.
He is commemorated in The Teaching Window found in the fourth window of the north wall of the cathedral. It depicts the calling of Samuel, his favourite Bible passage.
- The Gilbert Pots
The Chapel of St Katherine is now reserved in memory of St Gilbert of Sempringham.Gilbert was born at Sempringham in the south of the county in the late 11th century. Clever, devout and studious, Gilbert trained as a monk, and went on to found his own order; the Gilbertine Order. This is the only English order that has ever existed. It was also unusual in admitting women.
These pots are modern and are reputed to be the largest that can be thrown on a potter’s wheel. The tall thin ones represent the men of the order and the short stubby ones the women – very unfair in my opinion! The centre one with the very rough surface represents Gilbert with his disfiguring warty skin!
- The Organ
The mighty Father Willis Organ stands proud above the choir screen. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it is also one of the finest instruments in the land. It has remained fairly true to what it was when it was built and hasn’t been messed around with very much over the years. The Father Willis is a true gem.
- The Apprentice Wall
The Apprentice Wall is found in the south choir aisle, next to the entrance to St Hugh’s Choir. This wall was created by the stone masons as they were learning their craft and skills. Each mason would have to carve a stone for the wall; you can see that there are all kinds of levels of intricacy to the Cathedral, especially here. As well as the flowers, what animal can you find carved into the blocks?
- The Duncan Grant Murals
The murals are found in the Russel Chantry at the East End of the Cathedral. Painted by, Duncan Grant (1885-1978), part of the Bloomsbury set, the murals feature bright oils applied with bold brush strokes. The two largest murals show Christ as the Good Shepherd, surrounded by a mandorla, sheep and shepherds, and a busy harbour scene with porters and three women. Overall, a sense of joy and optimism pervades.
- Faces in the Choir Screen
If you go to the stone screen below the Father Willis Organ, you will see a tremendously intricate set of carvings in the stonework. At one time this would have been painted bright colours, but now we only see the stone as it would have been cut by the skilled masons. In the carvings you should be able to see some faces. We don’t exactly know what these faces are depicting but they are certainly a fun addition to the Cathedral! How many faces can you count?