Sunday, 24 January 2016

Lincoln Cathedral: Infinity Made Imaginable

A long time ago, in a tiny fishing village in Fife, a wide-eyed & clueless third year took a seat in European Gothic Architecture. What resulted was a life-long love affair.

Dr Luxford is a brilliant man with so much knowledge in his head you can practically see it falling out of his ears. Not only that, he is a passionate and encouraging teacher, and his support during that 12 week module made me start to consider myself an architectural historian. That module ended up being my best grade throughout my entire university experience, & you may remember that I took a trip to Canterbury Cathedral to celebrate.

Reading back over that 2011 entry was very eye-opening. It was the first time I had ever really been to a great Gothic building, and one I had studied so intensely, too. I compared it to the first time I visited a Gothic building for my job, early last year. I was so incredibly aware of everything my undergraduate work had taught me.

But I never expected this.


The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln. Or Lincoln Cathedral to you & me.

Now, at the beginning of December I had to spend 3 days in Lincoln for work. I won't go into the details because they are incredibly boring & difficult to explain to someone not actually involved in the project. But also, this post isn't about the project in the slightest. It's about this incredible mass of stone and art and faith and music and light... and everything else in between.

It's such a stunning building, & on my first night in Lincoln the mists were so low that they created this wonderful Gothick impression that was utterly overwhelming & atmospheric. Plus, I'm a sucker for Christmas lights.




I loved that the Cathedral was lost and dissolved in the air. It's such a massive monument but it's not as strong as the elements. It also gave me a very visual impression of the idea of the Cathedral as a heavenly space on earth. That's a concept I always have difficulty with, as an atheist, but it's a symbol that I can read and understand in the way buildings are created and how people use them. By the towers getting lost in the mist, it was almost as though the Cathedral had no boundaries. It was being enveloped into the atmosphere, into heaven, into infinity.





Even when it's half-invisible the Cathedral still stands watch over the rest of the town. I'd never really spent any time in Lincoln before & it is undoubtedly a lovely city, made lovelier by the fortuitous combination of weather and fairy lights.



But, my friends, that was only an introduction.
The following day I spent over 8 hours in the Cathedral. I'm sure you can imagine how many photographs I took. Stay tuned!

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