Sunday, 23 August 2015

Summer Outings: Lincoln Cathedral and Castle

A couple of weeks ago we had another summer outing, staying with some friends in Lincoln.  They live in the town centre close to the cathedral and the castle.  Lincoln Cathedral is huge, much more impressive than our own in Chester, and visible on top of the hill from miles away as you approach the city.  The castle has been restored recently and now has a new visitor centre and vault to display the cathedral's copy of the Magna Carta which, as you probably know, is 800 years old this year.

The first thing you see as you enter the castle grounds is this building, which, in my ignorance, I thought was part of the castle.  It isn't - it's a Georgian building which houses the County Court.

We decided to do the Medieval Wall Walk rather than the full tour and there were information boards all the way round which was enough history - none of us are keen on guided tours.

As well as the courthouse, the castle grounds house a Victorian prison, on the left in the picture above, where prisoners used to be kept in total solitary confinement.  There's a small graveyard behind the prison, with gravestones inscribed only with initials, presumably belonging to deceased prisoners. I thought this was sad.

At the courthouse, 21st century justice was in full flow - there was a security firm's van parked at the back entrance and, at the front, a close-cropped, thick-set man in a suit on his mobile phone.  I wondered aloud whether this might be the defendant and got told off by my daughter for stereotyping. 

The view from the walls over the cathedral, the city and the surrounding countryside is superb for most of the way round.  But in one section it is obscured by thick perspex, which my friend tells me, is because some local residents objected to visitors looking down on their houses and gardens.  His partner, who lives just outside the castle walls, didn't object and, in fact, has designed her garden so it looks good when viewed from the castle walls.  If you look closely at the picture below you can see her, my husband and our dog among the lush greenery.

We climbed the steps to the top of the tower on the keep and here the view of the cathedral and the surrounding countryside was unobscured and spectacular.

Outside the walls, we found one of the Lincoln Barons, a trail of statues which has been designed for children visiting the town.  A few years ago in Chester we had a similar trail with Rhino statues instead - it seems to be a bit of a tourism trend. Someone obviously thought this baron was finding this summer a little chilly and gave him this furry scarf.

And, back in the garden, I spotted some teenage invaders trying to scale the castle walls - they aren't visible but just behind the trees here.  

I think this a great place to live - close to a historic town centre with and everything is within walking distance. Another enjoyable summer outing.


  1. I never really thought of the impact of living under city walls in modern times. Better than anticipating a bucketful of boiling oil landing on your head. I don't think I'd mind people looking down on me in my garden, I never do anything very interesting or private in my garden! X

  2. What a great day out! You got some great views didn't you. It find it odd that people don't want others looking into their garden when the bought a home that was obviously by the walls where people would walk! The walls were there first. I guess we are all different aren't we, and a good thing too! xx

  3. Hey Doris,
    What wonderful views! I do love a cathedral. I'm not one for guided tours either, although if you ever visit London the tour of the Houses of Parliament is worth every penny.
    Leanne xx

    1. I've done that tour a couple of times with groups of year 11 kids. It is an amazing building and I loved being able to go right in to to see the Speaker's chair and the MPs' green benches we see on TV. Unfortunately our guide the last time gave us too many facts and wasn't that keen to answer questions. I think your experience depends on which guide you get