Hidden above the Lincoln Cathedral cloisters are the Medieval Library and Wren Library, a 15th century collection of books in "the most beautiful room in England".
Lincoln Cathedral has held a collection of books at the centre of its education since before it was built and a the Cathedral's Medeival library was created in the 15th century to give the collection a secure home. It is a timber framed building with a magnificently decorated roof furnished with oak reading-desks.
The Cathedral's ruined cloister was rebuilt in the 17th century by the then Dean, Michael Honywood, who bequeathed his personal collection to form the foundation of today's library. The famous English architect, Sir Christopher Wren was chosen to construct the library and the result was described by art historian Sir Roy Strong as "the most beautiful room in England".
Today school children, college students, postgraduates and academics worldwide use the libraries in pursuit of knowledge and the building is available to see for all visitors to the Cathedral. Visit the Wren and Medieval Libraries to see a selection of rare and precious manuscripts and books on display, some dating back to the 10th century, and to examine the intricate decor of a unique library room.
In addition, guided tours of the library, its books and the stories it holds can be pre-booked.
- Access to the library is by stairs only.
- Access to books only available by pre-booking.
- Guided tours available.