Lincoln Cathedral: the fairest of them all

Lincoln has the most beautiful cathedral in England, of that there can be no doubt. Up until the moment I stood before its stunning west front I had favoured other beauties – the sumptuous Norwich Cathedral, the jaw-dropping Durham and the frankly arousing Wells – but Lincoln made my mind up once and for all. Throughout history many others have agreed, from the genius madman Augustus Pugin to Lord Cormack, who in a recent House of Lord’s debate called it “the fairest cathedral of them all.”

There’s little I can say about the place without sounding clichéd and possibly a little creepy, so here are some photos from our trip that will hopefully convey its glory.

Carvings of mythical beasts and biblical scenes on the west front. The Romanesque frieze shows souls suffering in Hell, a visible depiction of the consequences of sin and supporting Luton Town FC.

Near the shrine of  St. Hugh of Lincoln,  a former bishop much-loved by the citizens. He was known for kissing lepers and once bit a mouthful from the arm of St. Mary Magdalene. And you thought cathedral-licking was bad for the health.

Listening to the bells ring the time in the cloister, where a lick took place against damp stone. 

The lick itself was uneventful but very satisfying. The stone was damp from the copious rain that had fallen that day, which probably gave it a very refreshing and mossy taste, though I cannot recall exactly. I can only speak from experience in this case as my mind was focused more on the building than the lick. Either way, the taste could have only been enhanced by the beauty of this cathedral. All I can really say is to just go there – drive, cycle, hijack a plane –  whatever you must to see it for yourself. It will be one the best things you will ever do.


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