From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Lincoln Cathedral

53° 14′ 4″ N 0° 32′ 10″ W

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The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, is a cathedral located in Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

The building of the cathedral began in 1088 and continued throughout the medieval period. It was reputedly the tallest building in the world for 249 years (1300–1549). The central spire collapsed in 1549 and was not rebuilt.

Bishop Remigius built the first Cathedral on the present site, finishing it in 1092 but sadly died on May 9, two days before it was consecrated. In 1141, the timber roofing was destroyed in a fire. Bishop Alexander rebuilt and expanded the cathedral, but it was mostly destroyed in 1185 by an earthquake.

There are thirteen bells in the south-west tower, two in the north-west tower, and five in the central tower including Great Tom of Lincoln. The two large stained glass rose windows, the matching Dean's Eye and Bishop’s Eye, were added to the cathedral during the late Middle Ages.

Between 1307 and 1311 the central tower was raised to its present height of 271 feet. The western towers and front of the cathedral were also extended. At this time, a tall lead-encased wooden spire topped the central tower but was blown down in a storm in 1548. With its spire, the tower reputedly reached a height of 525 feet which would have made it the world's tallest structure, even surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza, which held the record for almost 4,000 years.

Lincolnshire was home to many of Bomber Command airfields during the second World War. Lincoln Cathedral was a recognisable landmark for the returning aircraft. The cathedral has the only memorial in the United Kingdom dedicated to Bomber Command.

The Cathedral organ is one of the finest examples of the work of Father Henry Willis, dating from 1898 and it was his last cathedral organ before his death in 1901. There have been two restorations of it by Harrison & Harrison in 1960 and 1998. The specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register.


The cathedral was used for the filming of The Da Vinci Code. The Cathedral took on the role of Westminster Abbey, as the Abbey had refused to permit filming.

The cathedral also doubled as Westminster Abbey for the film Young Victoria, filmed in September 2007.