Open door policy for Heritage Open Day

To celebrate and be a part of Lincolnshire Heritage Open Day, on the 10th September, the Cathedral opened its doors and allowed visitors free entry as well as the opportunity to see inside the little known works department.

Caring for and protecting the Cathedral takes considerable time and effort and it’s the works department who keep the building looking its best.

The connected team also got involved – never one to miss an opportunity to share the Connected vision – we based ourselves amongst the talented craftsmen and women in the works department and met visitors interested to hear about our plans for the Cathedral’s future.

It was a fantastic day and we welcomed many visitors to our display who showed great interest in our proposed plans. It was a great opportunity to hear from local people and some from outside of the county what they thought to the improvements that we hope to make.

It wasn’t all chit chat, we had our popular dressing up costumes on hand for children to dress up as Roman soldiers and medieval knights and even a few adults got into the spirit and donned the outfits!

Lincolnshire Heritage Open Day is part of a national initiative that celebrates England’s architecture and culture and is a great way for people to see and experience interesting buildings that are not normally open to the public, such as our works department.


WW2 photos gave us a window into the past and brought a tear to my eye

One of the many reasons working at the Cathedral is wonderful is because every now and then a member of the public finds old photographs showing the Cathedral and its grounds and they kindly bring them to show us.

Myself and the team always pour over the photos, piecing together bits of information and seeing how it compares to the present day.

A few weeks ago, Susan Taylor from Lincoln found a collection of photographs dating back to the Second World War belonging to her grandfather, Frank Brown. These photos were incredible as they showed the local fire brigade building the Cathedral’s original underground water tank.

Frank was part of Lincoln fire brigade at the time and the photos showed him and his colleagues helping to install the tank, which was built so there was access to large amounts of water should the Cathedral be hit by air strikes during the war.

In the photos we can see that the team piped water all the way up the hill from Brayford Pool to fill the tank which is quite a distance!

I’m told by Susan that Frank and his brigade stayed in Lincoln during the war to protect it but they were also called down to London to support the other-whelmed local fire brigades during the Blitz.

It’s a really interesting story and I found it touching to think all those years ago in times of conflict, our local fire brigade and Susan’s grandfather were working hard to protect our city and our marvellous Cathedral.

Finding these photos is great timing as the old water tank brings with it some further good news; we are offering the local community the chance to be involved in a Cathedral excavation!

The water tank shown in the photographs has been redundant for a long time and to make way for our proposed plans for a new visitor’s centre, the tank will be carefully removed during a community dig next year.

The dig will be run by professionals and overseen by our archaeological consultant but is a rare opportunity to experience first-hand what lays under the Cathedral’s grounds and become part of its history. The really exciting part is that this excavation will hopefully reveal historical information from the period of the Second World War and aspects going back to the 13th century.

More information on how people can get involved in this dig will be shared in due course.




We dug, we found, we are amazed!

You may have seen in the press recently that we have had the results back from our recent archaeology survey and we are both amazed and excited by the finds.

Allen Archaeology in Lincoln undertook the excavation for us to find out what remains below ground in areas around the Cathedral that we hope to improve as part of the Connected project.

I’m delighted to say that the excavation team unearthed many ancient and important artefacts including medieval graffiti showing hand carved Daisy Wheels. These are intricate and very beautiful hand carved symbols in stone which we believe are created as part of a protection ritual.

Further evidence of our ancestors’ everyday lives was found in the form of Roman and medieval pottery, medieval building materials and animal bones. The archeologists also found the burials of two adults. These were carefully re-covered and have been left in situ.

We also discovered the remains of medieval buildings we knew had once existed but had been destroyed in the Victorian period including the original Deanery and the Chantry – two of what were the most impressive medieval buildings in Lincoln. Plus, the once tiled floor of the elaborate gatehouse – Dean Flemyng’s Gate Tower – which was constructed in 1451–83.

We have history records that tell us much of the Cathedrals rich history but what we found during this dig has helped us to fill some of the gaps which is incredible.

The results of this survey, which was overseen by advisors from Historic England, are incredibly important – not only are we able to learn much about the Cathedral’s history and our ancestors – but it will help to inform our plans for improving visitor experience.

Putting ‘on’ a show

If you were lucky enough to be at the Lincolnshire Show last month and stopped by the Lincoln Cathedral stand, you would have seen a few of the Connected team looking like we had raided a dressing up box.

Myself and a number of my colleagues got into the show spirit and donned outfits of important historic figures from the Cathedral’s past, including medieval knights and Roman soldiers.

Never a team to shy away from a challenge, we dressed up to encourage visitors to come into the stand to hear about our exciting plans for the Cathedral and offer visitors the opportunity to see visuals of what the plans will look like when complete. Plus, we hoped a few of them would dress up too so we didn’t feel so silly, thankfully a few did!

The Lincolnshire Show is a firm favourite in the county’s events calendar and is the ideal place to see all that makes Lincolnshire great and what better place to learn about the future of our much-loved cathedral?

Throughout the twos days, the sunshine brought with it thousands of keen visitors and we welcomed lots of local and not so local people into the stand who were really interested in the Connected plans and we also asked their  opinions on what they think we could improve on. We were also very grateful to Stokes who provided tea and coffee throughout the two days – exactly what you need when you’re not used to standing up for two days!

The Lincolnshire Show is one of many events we will be taking part in to engage with people on the Connected project. We want to educate, inspire and inform on our plans but also share the Cathedral’s past, archaeology and architecture.