Saturday, 31 October 2015

Lincoln: Ruskin’s top pick cathedral


 ‘I have always held and proposed against all comers to maintain that the Cathedral of Lincoln is out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles’.
John Ruskin

We had, a couple of years back, pressed the pause button on our journey round the cathedrals of England. Although, to date thirty have been called on, drawn and comments made by Siân in each one’s Pitkin Guide.  I had started on a book bringing all the drawings together.

However, unvisited were Christchurch Oxford, Guildford (both close) and Lincoln.

Decision made, Lincoln first. The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We arrived without Ruskin’s comment, which I discovered later. 

Almost completely shrouded in builders’ polythene some of the lovely Norman west façade was clear to see, the original Lincoln, many of the rounded arches of the doors and niches survive.
Wonderful Choir Screen at Lincoln - just showing off!

Inside, after £16.00, was a broad nave gave off to short transepts.

The biggest imprint on my mind will remain the Choir Screen. Gorgeous, pale, honey coloured stone with early English-decorated carvings would have easily won the masonry X-Factor final. 



Completed between 1290 and 1330 this screen  separates the Choir from the rest of the place. Its intricate carvings still bear traces of blue and red, silver and gold.

Trivia fact: The cathedral was used for the filming of The Da Vinci Code filming mainly took place mainly within the cloisters, and chapter house which is impressive with its ten-sided central pillar.

Another Lincoln treat is the font, second half of the 1100s. It is made from a black carboniferous limestone sourced in Tournai, France.  However finished by waxing and polishing gives it the appearance of black marble! Top tip.

Norman Font stands sentinel as we enter Lincolm
Ruskin was right about most things. He went on to add  “And roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have’