Lincoln Cathedral
+44 (0)1522 561600
[email protected]
Minster Yard

First built in 1072, Lincoln Cathedral is one of Europe’s finest Gothic buildings.

Once described by Victorian writer John Ruskin as "out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have", Lincoln Cathedral is not to be missed.

With the Norman invasion of Britain in the 11th century, William the Conqueror commissioned Remigius de Fécamp, the first Bishop of Lincoln, to build Lincoln Cathedral. Foundations were laid in 1072 and on May 9th, 1092, it was consecrated, two days after the death of Bishop Remigius.

At the time of its consecration, Lincoln Cathedral was 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 1311, 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 a storm.

Despite 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!

Tours of Lincoln Cathedral

Guided floor tours of Lincoln Cathedral are included with admission. If you're visiting for the first time, a tour with one of the cathedral's expert guides is one of the best ways to explore this magnificent building. To enhance your visit even further, you can also book one of the cathedral's specialist tours. Running from Monday - Saturday, each different tour costs £7.50 per person and lasts up to 90 minutes. Private tours for large groups are also available (price on application).

  • Floor Tour - 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 Tour - Explore the roof space of Lincoln Cathedral with views across the City. Please note: A general level of fitness is required to climb the steep staircases.
  • Tower Tour - Climb more than 300 steps to reach the top of the Central Tower of Lincoln Cathedral and take in the fantastic 360 degree views of the city, county and beyond.
  • Outdoor tour - Take a closer look at the stunning architecture and fantastic carvings that adorn the exterior of Lincoln Cathedral. Lean more about the long history of this iconic building.
  • Historic Graffiti Tour - Join the Medieval Graffiti Tour to gain an insight into the hopes, fears and beliefs of the ordinary people who have gone before us. 
  • Symbolism Tours - Discover the hidden meanings and symbols of the stone carvings and stained glass, both inside and outside the Cathedral. 
  • Stained Glass Tours - Learn more about the meaning of the cathedral's stained glass window designs, the history of the panels and how these incredible works of art are created and maintained.  

Magna Carta

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 is now on loan to and resides in, Lincoln Castle.

There is a facsimile of Magna Carta that can be viewed inside the Cathedral, near the cloisters, with detailed interpretation.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) was born and grew up in Lincolnshire. He was the most famous poet of Victorian Britain and was Poet Laureate between 1850 and 1892.

A memorial statue to him can be found on the East Green of Lincoln Cathedral bearing the words of his poem Flower in the Crannied Wall.

The Lincoln Imp

The Lincoln Imp, turned to stone by an angel for misbehaviour according to legend, can be found in Lincoln Cathedral. A spotlight is available to help you find it if you are struggling! Find out more on the Legend of the Lincoln Imp page.

Wren Library Lincoln Cathedral

Medieval and Wren Libraries

Hidden above the Lincoln Cathedral cloisters are the Medieval Library and Wren Libraries, a 15th-century collection of books in "the most beautiful room in England".

Access to both libraries is included within entry to the Cathedral. Opening times vary through the year, guided tours are also available for a small fee. 

Please note the Medieval and Wren Libraries are currently closed for repairs.

Airmen's Chapel

The Airmen's Chapel of St Michael sits within Lincoln Cathedral and houses three Books of Remembrance containing the names of 25,611 men who flew from Lincoln RAF bases in the Second World War and never returned.

The Chapel's four windows are decorative memorials to Bomber Command, Flying Training Command, the Royal Rhodesian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The Cathedral has a poignant link to Bomber Command: it was a sign on the horizon to crews returning to Lincolnshire RAF bases that they had made it home safely.

Duty Chaplains

Duty Chaplains are available to respond to your pastoral needs, whether you seek specific counsel or find your visit prompts questions that surface unexpectedly. They are also happy to pray with anyone who asks for this.


Around 85% of the cathedral is accessible by wheelchair, including entrance, hearing loops are installed throughout and assistance dogs are welcome.

See full accessibility details on the Lincoln Cathedral Access Statement.

Family visits

Explorer Packs are available for children up to the age of 10 years - containing binoculars, a torch & clipboard with a list of fun things to look for! The packs are at no additional cost to entry.

Guided tours of the Cathedral are suitable for children too.

Lincoln Cathedral Services

All visitors are welcome at the Cathedral's services, which are held daily. If you would like to attend a service, you can find the daily pattern of worship here

To find more information on future events at Lincoln Cathedral click here

Header image photographed by Andrew Scott.

Additional Information

  • Guided tours available
  • Dogs welcome throughout

Rainy Days

Have fun indoors in Lincoln and Lincolnshire

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Inspiration, activities and ideas for entertaining children.

Lincoln Cathedral Quarter

Unique history, shopping, food and drink, places to stay & more


Opening Times & Prices

The Cathedral is open daily:

- Monday to Saturday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
- Sunday: 11.30am to 2.30pm

Between 10.00am and 4.00pm Monday to Saturday, and 11.30am to 2.30pm on Sunday, admission charges apply.

Access to all services is free of charge, and part of the cathedral always remains freely accessible for prayer and reflection.

The cathedral is open all day for prayer and reflection, opening for the first service in the morning and closing after the last service of the day.

There may be occasions when access is restricted to some parts of the Cathedral. Please visit the planned closures page on the cathedral website for more details.

For more information on the daily pattern of worship, click here


- ​Adult Monday to Saturday: £11.00
- Adult Sunday: £7.00
- Children: Free
- Lincoln Students (UoL, BGU and Lincoln College): Free
- Companions/Carers: Free

Add Gift Aid and you can receive an annual pass to the Cathedral.

From Monday to Saturday, admission includes a complimentary floor tour and access to the Exhibition Gallery and Discovery Centre. No tours are available on Sundays and the Discovery Centre is closed. For the best experience, it is recommended you visit between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday.

Additional guided tours of the Cathedral are available for £7.50. For more details, click here.

Donations are encouraged to help maintain this magnificent place of worship for future generations. Contactless donation points can be found in the Nave, and cash donations are welcome in the donation boxes situated throughout the Cathedral. 

Follow the trail


Table for the Nation

April 24; 2024 to April 22; 2025
3:30pm to 4:30pm
Table for the Nation at Lincoln Cathedral

A stunning 13-meter-long table, made from ancient, fossilised oak will be on display in Lincoln Cathedral from April.

Find out more

Peace Doves at Lincoln Cathedral 

May 1; 2024 to November 14; 2024
All Day
Peace Doves at Lincoln Cathedral

Thousands of paper doves bearing messages of peace will be created by visitors to Lincoln Cathedral before being brought together to create a huge artwork.

Find out more

Reviving Women’s Voices: Rethinking the Medieval World

June 10; 2024
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Reviving Women’s Voices: Rethinking the Medieval World

Join this trio of academic speakers for a public lecture in Lincoln Cathedral.

Find out more

Also at Lincoln Cathedral

Cathedral Quarter, City of Lincoln

Medieval and Wren Libraries

Medieval and Wren Libraries

Hidden above the Lincoln Cathedral cloisters are the Medieval Library and Wren Library. Explore a 15th century collection of books in "the most beautiful room in England".

Find out more

Cathedral Quarter

Cathedral Centre

Cathedral Centre

In the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral’s magnificent West Front, the Cathedral Centre boasts a grand reception hall and several other rooms, all with free Wi–Fi access. Ideal for a range of small meetings, events, receptions and product launches.

Find out more

Visit Lincoln Blog

Top 10 Must-Sees in Lincoln

Top 10 Must-Sees in Lincoln

Crowned as the UK’s most underrated city break, it’s fair to say Lincoln is home to a number of stunning sights. From the mischievous Lincoln Imp in the Cathedral to the Roman ruins beneath the High Street, we’ve listed the top 10 absolute must-sees in Lincoln.



+44 (0)1522 561600
[email protected]
Minster Yard
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