Lincoln Cathedral was built by William the Conqueror as a spectacular monument to the glory of God, and as a symbol of Norman power.

In 1072, four years after the castle had been constructed, work on Lincoln Cathedral began, under Bishop Remigius. The colossal church, larger than any building ever seen by Lincoln's population, was consecrated in 1092, just days after Remigius' death.

An earthquake in 1185 largely destroyed the original church. Fortunately, some of the Norman master builders' work survived, and the West Front still has at its heart the fortress-like appearance of the original church. The rounded stone arch of the huge doorway, which withstood the tremor, is decorated with beautiful carvings of flowers, birds and the figures of hunters. The low west towers were probably topped by roofs, shaped like pyramids.

The 'Romanesque' frieze, over 30 feet above the ground on the north side of the West Front, is a copy. The original frieze, believed to have been added by Bishop Alexander (Bishop of Lincoln 1123─1148), also survived the earthquake, but age and pollution had caused great damage. The frieze was too fragile to be returned after it had been removed for conservation.  And so, after meticulous restoration, it is displayed inside the Cathedral instead, allowing close-up views of scenes of gruesome punishment awaiting sinners, pitched into hell.

William the Conqueror's Castle and Cathedral

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