The weather looked reasonable so we headed out to explore Lincoln. Whichever direction you come into Lincoln the Cathedral is clearly visible as it sits high on a hill. The hill on which the old town of Lincoln sits was first fortified by in the 1st century BC or Iron Age period. It was called Lindon meaning “hill fort by the lake” due to being built on a hill looking down on pools in the marshy ground of the River Witham.
The Romans in 48AD built a fortified town which became known as Lindum Colonia and became one of the four regional capitals of Roman Britain.
After finding a parking spot we started our exploration of the old town by walking through the cobbled streets to the Cathedral Square. After passing through the Exchequer Gate we got our first sight of the front of this magnificent cathedral. The front of the cathedral mainly originates from Norman times around 1092. However the cathedral was rebuilt after an unusual earthquake destroyed most of the Norman church in 1185. To get an appreciation of just the size and ornate facade of the cathedral we walked around the outside. The Cathedral was huge and it was staggering to think the time and men with quite unsophisticated tools needed to build the church. Daisy however was not impressed! We also found ruins of the old Roman walls.
We had a short period of time to look inside the Cathedral as a Scout anniversary service was taking place at 1pm. The inside was cavernous and was typical of Norman architecture. The choir was particularly spectacular with very ornate carvings. As the sun shone through the stain glass window the colours reflected on the pillars in a multi-coloured rainbow.
After lunch we headed to the Medieval Bishop Palace. The palace sits in the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral and was at one time was one of the most important buildings in the country. The palace was the administrative centre of the largest diocese in medieval England stretching from the Humber to the Thames. Although today only the ruins of the palace remain walking around with the excellent audio tour gave a real understanding of how the architecture reflected the enormous power and wealth of the bishops. The palace also gave one of the best views of Lincoln Cathedral and down onto the Lincoln of today.
Time had gone by very quickly so although we had not seen all the old town had to offer we headed back. Maybe another visit sometime.