Friday, June 15, 2012

Super Epic Cathedral Trip day 3 part 2

From York it was a tedious journey to Lincoln the road took around 3 hours with nothing but fields and occasional villages, though we had the beautiful scenery to look at the radio spluttered out only white noise and occasionally dubstep which to be frank I cannot tell apart. But it was a small price to pay to see Lincoln.

Lincoln can be seen from far away mostly because of its massive size, yet after just seeing York it looked fairly small, but then everything will look small after York.
 Already at the entrance we encountered some great 12th century carvings, my favorite was the Adam and Eve image.

Adam and Eve shown in the process of eating the forbidden fruit. Notice how the snakes are used to cover their genitalia.  

Inside it gets only better. The vaulting are diverse and a pleasure to examine.
Panorama view of the cathedral: center - East End, right- South transept, left - North transept, far right and left - Western part of the nave. (notice how different are the patterns on the ceilings)

The crossing
A nifty plan that shows how everything fits together. 
I have to admit that the church had fewer hidden weird carvings than York yet it did have some cool patterned decorations similar to those in Durham. Like the flowered screen behind me on the picture below.

Having said that you do get interesting bits and pieces. Like the small head bellow which I found interesting because of the veiled mouth rather than veiled eyes which was more typical.

And of course the Lincoln Imp (mentioned in the previous post) was a joy to the eye.

I also found the contemporary addition to St Hugh's shrine interesting. The contemporary metal work is shaped like a swan in the memory of St Hugh's swan. A swan imprinted on St Hugh and became his loyal companion and bodyguard as he would not allow anyone too close to his master. Apparently St Hugh's assistant hated the viscous animal. 

I was also looking forward to seeing the shrine to Little Hugh (never to be mistaken with St Hugh) which is a testament to medieval anti-Judaic feelings which were especially extreme on the east coast of England. Little Hugh belongs to the medieval boy martyr cults. The story goes that in the middle of the 13th century (keep in mind that Jews were expelled from Britain in 1290) a boy named Hugh disappeared and his body was found a few months later. The local Jews were blamed and some confessed under torture (most people would confess to anything under torture). After this some 90 Jews were murdered. A cult appeared centered around little Hugh and thought he was often labeled a Saint he was never actually canonized by the church.
    Today the shrine is just two slabs of marble yet before it was lavishly decorated.

Also a gem of the cathedral are the 15th century misericords which I did not get to see as they were closed of. And after hearing a story from our tour guide about how one curious lady broke one to pieces I decided not to even ask to see them.

It was sad to leave Lincoln yet the schedule was tight. the trip from Lincoln to Norwich was over three hours long. We were leaving Lincoln around 3-4 and we had to make it to Norwich before 7, we were lucky that the Cathedral was holding an evening service and only because of that staying open for the tourists as well.

Norwich was the smaller of the Cathedrals visited that day with its main attraction being the fan vaulting of the nave.

Also it was interesting to find out that the copper baptism font (at the bottom of the above picture) was used at a Norwich chocolate factory (how they used it I had no idea). It was at the font that our tour had to finish and we joined the congregation for the evening service. Which was a much welcome break after a day of travelling and over excitement. It was also the first time in two days that I heard music rather than white sound.
By the time we left the Cathedral it was 8 and thus too late to travel on to Ely so the night was spent in Norwich and the plan for next day was Ely and then London ( Cambridge and Canterbury had to be cut from the program).

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