With the Norman invasion of Britain in the 11th century, William the Conqueror commisioned the building of Lincoln Cathedral and in 1092 it was consecrated, becoming the head of the largest diocese in England extending from the Humber to the Thames.
After fires and earthquakes had demanded rebuilding of some of the cathedral, it took on a Gothic style of architecture. When the central spire was eventually raised in 1300, it became the tallest building in the world: taking the mantle from the Great Pyramid of Giza. This lasted until 1549 when the spire collapsed.
In spite of its size, the cathedral is filled with intricate detail. In Lincoln Cathedral the architects of the Gothic style perhaps reached the pinnacle of their art; it is an absolute must see for anyone visiting Lincoln.
There is something for everyone to see at Lincoln Cathedral and children love seeking out the funny carvings - in particular the famous Lincoln Imp!
Lincoln Cathedral owns one of only four surviving copies of Magna Carta, signed in 1215 and brought back to Lincoln by the Bishop of Lincoln, which now resides in Lincoln Castle. There is a replica Magna Carta that can be viewed inside the Cathedral near the cloisters.
Floor Tours run throughout the year and are suitable for all. They usually last around an hour and cover all aspects of the Cathedral: from architecture, history with a few interesting stories thrown in along the way. Roof Tours are also run throughout the year which are accessed by a narrow staircase. Each tour lasts approximately 90 minutes and will give you fantastic views of the inside of one of the Cathedral roofs as well as getting up close to the wonderful stained glass windows.
Starting on the first Saturday in April and finishing on the last Saturday in October, visitors can climb one of the towers of Lincoln Cathedral on the Tower Tour. This tour takes you up the highest tower and once at the top you will get an amazing 360 degree view of the surrounding area. It is recommended to book onto a tour either in advance or by entering the Cathedral as the tours are limited to the number of visitors and spaces cannot always be guaranteed. All tours are included in the entry charge and run Monday - Saturday.
Alfred Tennyson, Poet Laureate between 1850 and 1892, was born and grew up in Lincolnshire. A memorial statue to him can be found on the East Green of Lincoln Cathedral bearing the words of his poem Crossing the Bar.
Enjoy an informative guided tour with options of roof, workshop and treasury tours (price on application). Group catering is available (pre-booking required). Coach drop-off point at Eastgate (no parking at Cathedral).
All are welcome at the Cathedral's services. Details of services and other events can be found by clicking on the events diary on the home page of the Lincoln Cathedral website. Due to services and other events access may be restricted, please visit the Lincoln Cathedral website for accurate opening times.
Handel's Messiah: Lincoln Cathedral Choir
A Ceremony of Carols
Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Dinner
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Admission price includes tours (when admission is free, tours will be at a charge of £4pp).
Access to the Cathedral on Sundays is restricted but admission is free.
Magna Carta, one of Lincoln's great treasures, will tour the UK and USA in preparation for the 800th anniversary celebrations in 2015. » Find out more
Lincoln Cathedral has been hailed one of the UK's best visitor attractions, after a public vote which saw it go head to head with thousands of other attractions across the country. » Find out more
Three new Peregrine Falcons hatched this week in their nest on Lincoln Cathedral. You can see them for yourselves through the summer. » Find out more
The lovely Bailgate area of Lincoln is full of small independent shops and boutiques to explore.