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Lincoln Cathedral



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  • 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 about 1142.
  • 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 distant.
  • 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 Glastonbury Festival.

News Articles

09-09-2010 > Climbing Great Buildings

10-08-2010 > The Genius Of Lincoln Cathedral

24-09-2009 > Keeping The Roof Up


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Diocese of Lincoln
Main Contractor
Geoffery of Noiers
Masterplanning Architect
St Hugh of Avalon
Renovation Architect
John Loughborough Pearson

Reference Data

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First Uploaded
Last Editorial Date

Building Location

Minster Yard, Lincoln. LN1
Lincoln City Council
East Midlands
United Kingdom

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Building Specification

Proposal date
Construction start date
Completion date
Renovation Date
Heritage Status
Grade I

Roof Height (AGL)

Lincoln Cathedral

Total Floors (O.G)

Market Data

Primary Use
Place of Worship

Floorspace (sq m)

Metres > Feet