Monday, February 11, 2013

Weekend Getaway in Lincoln

Not with any connection at all to Abraham Lincoln, the town of Lincoln, England is nevertheless, quite steeped in history itself, and made a delightful week-end getaway for us. 
After detours to Burghley House and Stamford along the way from London, that threatened to keep us from our intended destination, we finally arrived in the lovely town of Lincoln by sunset, forcing us to save much of our touring for the next day.

We stayed at the Castle Hotel at the top of a street so appropriately named Steep Hill.

Full of medieval timbered buildings,

quaint shops,

and tea rooms, it was quite a hike up and down this ancient cobblestoned medieval lane that linked the modern center of the city with the Cathedral quarter at the top of a steep hill.

One of the most fascinating landmarks of the city is Lincoln Castle, a magnificent fortress

which was originally built by William the Conqueror towards the end of the 11th century.
166 Saxon houses were demolished to make room for the castle.

It has now been used as a court and prison for over 900 years. The Crown Court seen here was built in the early 1800's and is still a working court today.

The prison on the grounds, built in 1787, today houses one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta,

and recently served as the setting for the prison scenes in Downton Abbey, when Bates was imprisoned there. It was a replacement for York Prison which was mentioned in the story line.
When I watched the reunion of Bates and Anna again last night, the town of Lincoln served as the backdrop for their first meeting.

Walking along the fortress walls of the castle, you get a better perspective of the magnitude of the original fortress, and you can stand on the tower where the city's hangings took place or descend by a ladder into the dungeon where the prisoners awaited.

The grounds are quite peaceful today, but as recently as 1859, 20,000 people crammed into these lawns to watch the last public execution.

From the walls, you also have a stunning view of the city's most famous landmark, the Lincoln Cathedral.

Considered one of the finest Gothic buildings in all Europe, it doubled as Westminster Abbey in The Da Vinci Code. For 200 years it was the tallest building in the world, and today it is England's third largest place of worship.

We first entered at dusk as the choir was practicing for Sunday's services. The choir stalls built in the 1300's are magnificently carved

and the cathedral boasts some of the earliest flying buttresses.

The next morning found us back there for services where the light gently filtered in through the stained glass softening the ancient architecture.

And should you decide to make a visit someday, stop in at Brown's Restaurant and Pie Shop,  just a stone's throw from the cathedral, in this historic building for a dinner of pies

and puddings . Of course, in England a pudding can be most any dessert, 

and my choice that night was a sticky toffee pudding, a traditional favorite in Britain, and this one at Brown's ranks as one of the best I've had. 
A sweet finish to a delightful weekend!


  1. So glad you shared this. Lincoln was not on my radar at all, but I'm adding it to the list!!!


  2. Your photos make me want to return. I particularly like the one looking over the rooftops to the cathedral. Did you find the Lincoln Imp in the cathedral?

  3. As always, I love looking through your lovely photos of your travels. I wish I could have soaked up the acoustics in the cathedral!

  4. That cathedral is something! Great post, as always, my friend.

  5. Beautiful pictures, as always. You have seen so much of the country! I had an Omani girl tell me the other day that I have seen more of Oman in my 3 months than she has her entire life! I know the same can be said of you.

  6. I am in a terrestrial "heaven" here my dear. Being a Francophile for so long, I have overlooked the land of our mother tongue, the place where most of our culture was born. Since I have been watching Downton Abbey, I have come to appreciate even more, the genius of British storytelling and all the ornaments that go with it. The setting, the differences in cultures (we speak the same language, but not really!). And the little shops, the countryside? I have got to get there. What enchantment!

    Thank you for coming to visit and place a comment. Blessings to you! Anita

  7. Looks like a delightful place to visit.

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