Lincoln Cathedral was commissioned by
William the Conqueror in 1072 who wanting
to create a show of Norman power in East
Anglia commanded the construction of a
cathedral on the site of the demolished Anglo
Saxon mother church.
The first cathedral was completed in 1092
by Bishop Regimus but destroyed by fire in
The cathedral was rebuilt and expanded by
Bishop Alexander but collapsed following an
earthquake in 1185 whilst there was no
bishop thanks to ongoing civil war.
Construction on a third cathedral started in
1186 and spanned the period of 100 years
until what exists today was more or less built
working from the designs of the bishop St
Hugh of Avalon.
This cathedral had three spires, the tallest
of which was the tallest in the world
overtaking the record held by the Great
Pyramid of Giza. At 160m tall its height was
not bested until the construction of the Eiffel
Tower in Paris. The spire collapsed in 1549
in a hurricane.
The shorter towers also contained spires,
both the second tallest in the U.K. They were
removed in the early 19th century after their
weight, combined with poor foundations
threatened to cause these towers to collapse.
Removal of the 30.7 metre spires was
originally attempted in 1726 but outraged
townsfolk besieged the cathedral and in
almost causing a riot prevented them being
removed where they stayed until 1807.
It was only in the 20th century that the
Cathedral no longer had the tallest tower to
roof of any church in Europe beaten by
Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral.
The library is famous and reflects Lincolns
medieval position as a leading city in
England. Amongst the documents it contains
is the Magna Carta, one of only two copies.
Lincoln was at one point the largest diocese
in Christendom, stretching all the way from
the borders of Yorkshire to Reading. The City
contained no less than 7 Monasteries
equalling Canterbury and exceded only by
London and York.
Views of Lincoln Cathedral today are
possible from 20 miles away. When it had a
spire it was visible from Nottinghams tallest
church on a clear day, almost 40 miles
Every Christmas Lincoln Cathedral is the
center of the world's second largest
Christmas Market. Over quarter of a million
people attend making it twice as large as the