Here at The White Hart, we know how lucky we are to be surrounded by some of the most important historical sites in Lincoln (if not the whole country!).
There is a very special and unique ambience in historic Uphill Lincoln, much of which comes from the magnificent and mighty Lincoln Cathedral.
An iconic masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the Cathedral has a rich and storied history that spans more than nine centuries. Situated at the heart of the city and just a stone’s throw from the White Hart, this grand building is a testament to the skill and ingenuity of medieval craftsmen and holds a significant place in the nation’s religious and architectural heritage.
The origins of Lincoln Cathedral can be traced back to the 11th century when William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a cathedral on the site of an existing Anglo-Saxon church.
The foundation stone was laid in 1072, and the cathedral was consecrated in 1092. This early structure combined Norman and Romanesque architectural elements, showcasing the architectural trends of the time.
However, it wasn’t until the 12th and 13th centuries that the cathedral underwent significant expansion and transformation. The visionary Bishop Hugh of Lincoln initiated a rebuilding campaign in the Gothic style.
This period of reconstruction led to the creation of the breathtaking architectural marvel we see today. The cathedral’s central tower, rising to 271 feet, was a particularly ambitious achievement of this era, making Lincoln Cathedral the tallest building in the world for over 200 years. Before the wooden towers fell, it must have enjoyed the kind of fame the likes of the Burj Khalifa and Empire State Building have today.
One of the most renowned features of Lincoln Cathedral is its stunning facade adorned with intricate stone carvings. The “Bishop’s Eye” rose window, dating back to the 13th century, is a masterpiece of medieval stained-glass artistry.
The Cathedral’s interior is equally impressive, with its soaring nave, elaborate ribbed vaults, and finely crafted choir stalls. The “Lincoln Imp,” a mischievous stone carving, is a popular symbol associated with the cathedral and has become an emblem of the city. Many businesses have ‘imp’ in their name and the city’s football team, Lincoln City FC, are known as The Imps and proudly have the creature adorning their club badge.
Throughout its history, Lincoln Cathedral has witnessed various challenges and renovations. In the 14th century, an earthquake caused significant damage to the structure, prompting repairs and modifications. The Reformation era brought about changes to the cathedral’s religious practices, and during the English Civil War, the cathedral suffered damage due to conflict.
In modern times, preservation and restoration efforts have been paramount. The Lincoln Cathedral Connected project, initiated in the 21st century, aims to conserve and enhance the cathedral’s historic fabric while also improving visitor experiences and community engagement.
Some of the world’s most talented stonemasons and heritage experts work diligently on the Cathedral every day and looking after the structure and its many important features is a full-time job.
Lincoln Cathedral continues to be a place of worship, a cultural landmark. It is a testament to the skill, artistry, and devotion of generations of builders, artisans, and faithful individuals. Its towering spires and intricate details stand as a tribute to the enduring legacy of Gothic architecture and the profound impact of human creativity on the landscape of history.