Thursday, 1 September 2011

Holidays

I've been near Lincoln many, many times, and hummed and hawed about whether I could manage a quick dash in before having to be elsewhere.  The call of duty has always won, which I am in retrospect glad about, as Lincoln wouldn't really repay a quick dash.  Other than being vaguely aware it had a cathedral I had no idea of what Lincoln was actually like at all.  It is beautiful. Enchanting. The centre has proved mostly immune to the hide bound brutalism of town planners and architects, unlike its relatively near neighbour Peterborough.

Lincoln Cathedral has had numerous major changes in form over the centuries, but a thousand years of change have none of them resulted in concrete or brutalism.  Had the Church of England had control over the planning processes of England over the last century, I wonder what might have resulted.  As I know, obtaining a faculty (planning permission from the church to alter any of its buildings or grounds) is a teeth-grindingly slow process, with success not even remotely guaranteed. England I suspect would look radically different; quite possibly because large numbers of the populace would have expired from apoplexy dealing with diocesan planning and therefore not needed housing.  What was allowed however would no doubt have been beautiful. 

I don't imagine that some of the more experimental elements of Gothic architecture Lincoln experienced were subject to a faculty: the main tower collapsed in 1237.  Even this was several incarnations in. The original Norman cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake in 1185. What is now there is, quite simply, spectacular.



I love a good flying buttress.  And a good choir: Lincoln's Angel Choir is stupendous.


Repair is a constant process. I was particularly struck by the figure below, part of the latest round of repairs. It's a wonderfully vivid face - surely a portrait.





I don't actively look for horses everywhere I go, really I don't. A donkey in heraldry symbolises patience and humility.  I'm not sure whether having three of them on your shield constitutes humility or pride.


And outside Lincoln Cathedral was this:


and also this, which is not even remotely equine. It's the door to a B&B, and I like it.


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