Lindum Colonia. A small settlement, which had been in existence since one hundred years before Christ was born by what is now a deep pool next to the River Witham, was subsumed by the Roman conquest of Britain around AD 48. Today, standing on an impressive mound with views across many counties, part of the the modern city of Lincoln now stands. The Romans added Colonia because the area was a retirement colony for soldiers.
Lindun (by the pool) became Lindum (the Latin for Lindun) and Lindum became Lincylene in Old English and by the time the Magna Carta was drawn up in 1215 we have Lincoln.
Here endeth the history lesson.
Yesterday, Saturday, I went to Lincoln with a good friend Linda to meet two more old friends I have not seen for a while, Lucy and Wendy. I've been to Lincoln a number of times but never as a tourist, I had never stayed to see the sights, I had only been there for work purposes or for researching family history in the County Council Archives.
The weather was grey and it soon turned into a drizzle so the first port of call was the magnificent Lincoln Cathedral. There is no other word for it and although it has developed beyond recognition from the original square design with the addition of magnificent towers, it is awe inspiring. If you've never been there, it stands on a huge hill and can be seen for many, many miles around.
The inside of the Cathedral is huge and vacuous as I think the picture above from the Nave at the west end shows shows and goes a long way back beyond the organ pipes you can see in the picture. Strangely I became rather emotional with the sheer scale of this edifice. Built originally in 1092 and destroyed by an unusual earthquake, the building that stands today has been around since 1185. Both the cloisters (pictures left) and the magnificent circular Chapter House was used as a facsimile of Westminster Cathedral in the film Da Vinci Code.
Although there is a payment to enter the full Cathedral which I think is slightly expensive at £6, discounts are available and you can visit again with 12 months for free. I fully accept however, to maintain such a building it is expensive and it is worth it on that account. Tours around the towers and the Cathedral are available and there is a very nice cafe.
Wikipedia has an excellent article on the Cathedral.
Our next stop was the Medieval Bishop's Palace, which in truth was the reason for our visit and here we met the curator for English Heritage, Samantha. This is a fascinating building spread over a number of layers as the gardens fall away down the side of the hill. Within a few yards of the boundary of the Cathedral, the Palace was built in the late 12th Century and was, I can imagine a grand building. The Civil War (17th Century) did for the Palace after it was ransacked and it subsequently became derelict, but today many features can still be enjoyed such as the Alnwick Tower (pictured above), the mysterious and large under croft used initially by servants, the enormous kitchens with its five fireplaces and the gardens.
This is a £4 visit but on a nice day, you could spend a few hours here wandering around in the south facing site and there is a visitors centre and education suites. An audio tour is available here but this is not a site for the disabled with multiple layers along the slopes of Lincoln and many trip hazards, steps and stone spiral staircases. A short resume of the Palace can be found on the English Heritage website.
We only visited a tiny part of the city and there are many cafes and pubs, shops and markets available in the immediate surrounding of the Cathedral Quarter and a huge lot more to see in the greater city of Lincoln - another time perhaps.
I hope your weekend is progressing nicely; a look outside the window here reveals quite heavy rain!