Tuesday, April 27, 2010

September 21, 2009 - Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Like Idaho, Lincolnshire is renowned for potatoes. Lincoln, a cathedral city, is the county town of Lincolnshire and the city proper has a population of 86,000 or so. The earliest evidence of Lincoln are the 1st century BCE remains of round wooden dwellings from an Iron Age settlement discovered as recently as 1972. The Romans overran the area in 48 CE and built a fortress on a hill overlooking the natural lake formed by the River Witham In Viking times Lincoln was a trading center important enough to issue coins from its own mint and, over the next few centuries, Lincoln rose to significant national prominence. In 1068 William I (the Conqueror) built Lincoln Castle on the site of the former Roman settlement. Construction of the first Lincoln Cathedral, the Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, was completed in 1092 but was built twice more within 100 years having been destroyed in a fire and later by an unusual earthquake in 1185. The central spire probably exceeded the height of the Great Pyramids of Egypt to rank as the tallest man-made structure in the world. By 1150, Lincoln was among the wealthiest towns in England. The basis of the economy was cloth and wool, exported to Flanders. Outside the precincts of cathedral and castle, the old quarter clustered around the Bailgate, and down Steep Hill to the High Bridge.
During the 14th century, the city's fortunes declined with the lower city being prone to flooding and suffering numerous plagues. When the cathedral's great spire rotted and collapsed in 1549 it was not replaced - a further symbol of Lincoln's decline.
Overall, our visit to Lincoln was a great treat and much enjoyed. See more pictures here.

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