A visit to Lincoln (part the first)

Lincoln is jam packed with stuff to do so if you’ve only got three days you’ve got to be pretty well organised to see everything you want. The big three attractions are the Castle, the Bishop’s Palace and the Cathedral all of which are together in the older part of the city at the top of the hill – just about the only hill in this incredibly flat countryside. Unfortunately the castle is currently undergoing restoration work so many parts of it were out of bounds and surrounded by scaffolding but there was still plenty to see. You can still walk around a large part of the castle walls and gardens.

DucksLincolnCastleWalls

Ducks enjoying the view from Lincoln Castle walls

CastleGardensThe most fascinating thing for us was this Victorian prison chapel housed in a prison within the castle walls. The prison ran under the ‘separate system’ where prisoners were kept constantly in solitary confinement. Exercise was taken with a hood and silence was strictly enforced. Even when the prisoners went to chapel they were forced to wear the hood only taking if off when they were safely contained in seats that only allowed them a view of the chaplain in his pulpit. It was felt that this would give them a chance to reflect on their sins and reform without the bad influence of their fellow prisoners. Needless to say the system didn’t work and caused many prisoners to go insane. Having spent just a few minutes within this chapel and felt its oppressive atmosphere, I can imagine why!

Separatist Chapel

Gordon in the Separatist Chapel inside the walls of Lincoln Cathedral

On the same day we also had a walk around the Bishop’s Palace. Now largely ruined, the audio tour provided as part of the entry fee gives a really good picture of how the palace would have been in its hey day.

Bishop'sPalace2

View of the Bishop’s Palace with the cathedral in the background

Close to the exit from the Bishop’s Palace site I was stunned by this view of the 13th century Bishop’s Eye window in the South Transept of the Cathedral. This really whetted my appetite for our visit to the Cathedral on the following day.

CathedralWindow

View of the ‘Bishop’s Eye’ rose window from the Bishop’s Palace

The day’s sightseeing ended with a wonderful view of the peregrine falcons who are nesting in this tower.  They’ve been nesting there since 2007 and currently have four chicks which are going to fledge within the next couple of weeks.  This is great news as there were no chicks last year after the appalling weather. No photographs I’m afraid as neither my camera nor my photography skills are up to that job but you can keep your eye on them with the aid of this RSPB Peregrine Cam.

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