Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lincoln, what a great place to visit!

A little off the tourist trail, but it shouldn’t be. From a fine range of shops, modern and a little older, to a magnificent medieval cathedral and a Norman castle, winding old streets and crooked timber-framed houses, the city is well worth a look.
And, don’t forget, now on the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta, there’s one of the original four surviving copies of the document open to view in the Victorian Prison within the castle walls.

We moved down to Lincoln from The Pyewipe Inn yesterday to take up our pre-booked moorings at Brayford Pool Marina.

Another long-suffering mum being taken advantage of…IMG_4888

The Brayford Belle takes tourists to Saxilby and back.IMG_4891

Our moorings at Brayford Pool Marina.IMG_4892

Mags wasn’t impressed, being stuck almost under a busy flyover didn’t appeal, so we pulled back onto the last remaining space on the C&RT visitor moorings where it’s more open. The remaining members of our small fleet did take up those moorings, however, so the marina didn’t miss out by holding them for us.

This morning we set off up into this most impressive city, up, up the hill which was occupied by the original Roman garrison, then by the Roman city as the area was pacified, supports the vast, awesome cathedral and William the Conqueror’s earliest surviving castle, and probably the first Christian church in England.

The Vikings came after the Romans toddled off back to Italy, leaving their influence in the street names, the Normans left their architectural genius, and it’s all still here to be seen. Remarkable.

I won’t rattle on any more, there’s plenty of web resources to tap for more information. I’ll just add a small selection of the masses of photos I took today. And I’ll apologise in advance if (inevitably) similar views appear on Lesley and Lisa’s own blogs.

Lincoln Cathedral across Brayford PoolIMG_4894

David, Lisa, Joe and Lesley at The Glory Hole, the 12th Century arch over the River Witham Navigation. We’ll be ducking under there on Monday.IMG_4897

Busy with visitors this Bank Holiday in the shopping areas below the old cityIMG_4900

Just outside Lincoln the International Harley Davidson Club is holding it’s annual gathering. “Hogs” were everywhere…IMG_4902

Steep Hill is the name of the street up to the castle and cathedral.IMG_4904

IMG_4905Aptly named!

The house is The Norman House, as it dates from that period. It’s also known as Aaron the Jew’s House, an early bank. Christian’s, under church law, were not allowed to lend money. Jews, following the Norman invasion, filled the niche, and have been there ever since.


The top of Steep Hill, the building at the top houses the information centre outside of which we picked up our very knowledgeable city guide, Vic.IMG_4906  

Photographs can’t do the size and attention to detail of the cathedral justice.

The West Front

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On  the south side.
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The central tower supported a lead-covered wooden spire until it (the spire) was blown down in 1549. While it was still erect the cathedral would have been the tallest building in the world, holding this record for 230 years.

The twin West Towers from the south
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Our guide took us around the perimeter of the early Roman city, indicating the visible remains of walls and gates, and telling us of the finds made and still to be revealed beneath the later buildings.

A 1700 year-old Roman wall, part of the Basilica or central meeting place, incorporated into a much more modern building.IMG_4927
That’s Vic, our excellent guide, on the left.

He even took us down into the basement below a beauty parlour to show us the base of column, one of a row running alongside the Roman main street! They would have separated the thoroughfare from the Forum.

After a break for lunch during which Joe and I headed back to the boats to see to the four-legged crew members, we met up again for a look around the castle. Being a Bank Holiday there was a lot going on…

Jousting was a major attraction…

The knights arrive,IMG_4929

as do their ladies.
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This guy was a show-off. He did win the tournament, though.IMG_4935

That’s got to hurt!IMG_4944

You can see the splinters fly from the shattered lances!IMG_4954

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All good fun…

A walk around the castle walls revealed extensive views over the surrounding countryside.

The cathedral from the Observatory TowerIMG_4979
Skegness is over there somewhere…

Looking back towards the Trent Valley.IMG_4984The buildings within the walls are all post-Norman. The courthouse, still in use today, is on the far right, the nearer building are those of the Victorian prison. On the left is the original Motte and Bailey fortification, originally built in wood in 1068, then replaced by a stone structure a little later.

Inside Cobbs Hall, where condemned prisoners were held prior to their public hanging on the tower roof.
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The observatory Tower, highest point on the castle wallsIMG_4977

Inside one of the later brick buildings is the vault housing letters between King John and the Bishop of Lincoln, and Lincoln’s copy of the Magna Carta, which laid down the principles of modern government today. No photographs in here, though.

After all the walking around we deserved an ice cream, and you can’t turn down the opportunity to buy one from a 1971 Bedford…
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It was getting towards closing up time now, but we had time to chat to the falconry guys, and meet the birds. Not too close though…

A rather stroppy Golden Eagle…IMG_4987

…and an indifferent Harris Hawk.
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They also had several falcons and an Eagle Owl. Another owl had gone AWOL this morning during a display, but the handler was confident it would be found.

A drop in to M&S on the way back down to the pool finished the day. A good day, well worth it. Highly recommended. 

Hi Andy. Shame you’ll not be able to capture our little flotilla for posterity, thanks for the thought, though. Enjoy your trip on the Llangollen.

Locks 0, miles 0

3 comments:

Carol said...

The first place we lived after getting we'd in 1969 was in Monks Road near the top is Steep hill just below the cathedral. Both Sharon and Mark were born in Loncoln. Sharon in the general hospital and Mark 2 years later in the RAF Hopital Nocton Hall. Lincoln was a lovely place even then! Hugs for Margaret please. xx

Chas and Ann said...

Thanks for the history lesson, Geoff. Why do people go abroad when there is so much to see here?

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Excellent post and I agree with Chas. There is a cornucopia of delights to experience on this island. Your pics were fan too. Xx