Jan. 27th, 2012

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Some detailed views of the medieval carvings that adorn the interior of Lincoln Cathedral.  And in particular, some of the marvellous creatures and characters that can be found on the choir screen or pulpitum.

It dates from the 1330s,a period when the cathedral was extended eastwards to incorporate a shrine dedicated to St Hugh. Hugh of Avalon was Bishop of Lincoln between 1186 and 1200, and he instigated a major building campaign at the abbey, rendered necessary following an earthquake in 1195 which caused significant damage to the structure. 

The fabric dating to Hugh's tenure as Bishop is in the Gothic style, but Hugh unfortunately died before these works could be completed.  Hugh was renowned for his moderate lifestyle, his pious nature and his determination to hold his own against a succession of monarchs.  Including Henry II, who had  already earned quite a reputation for getting rid of troublesome senior clerics by the time Hugh was appointed to the bishopric of Lincoln...

Many choir screens were made of wood, and these were often destroyed in the post-Reformation period. A hefty stone choir screen like the one at Lincoln is more difficult to remove, and perhaps this is what saved this beautiful structure for posterity.  The details haven't been subject to random vandalism, either, and traces of the original paintwork survives, too.  Eagle eyed visitors can spot red, blue and yellow tints to the stone in various places.
 
A crouching lion or similar beast is shown below:-


And here's one of the more celebrated images.  It's affectionately described as a tumbling acrobat, but this little chap does look like he's mooning at the crowd:-



And lastly, here's a view of the Apprentice's Screen, which again is completely covered with carvings.  A lioness can be spotted here, crouching near something which looks suspiciously like a manticore...


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