My work experience with Lincoln Cathedral Connected

A post by Annderley Hill.

Annderley 2

This summer I have been volunteering in the Lincoln Cathedral Connected office. During this time I have been participating in some amazing work, one of the best things that I was lucky enough to be involved in was the collections audit. We worked our way through numerous Cathedral buildings and rooms photographing and measuring all the items that could be used in exhibitions in the future. Getting up close and personal with some of the Cathedral’s treasures has been an exciting and unique experience for me. One of my favourite items that we found was some medieval glass from the glazing department. Looking at it on the table it didn’t look too impressive but once it was put up against the light the colours were so bright and stunning, it was a revelation!

The Exchequer Gate Arch was another highlight, having walked underneath it many times it was very exciting to be able to go inside for the first time.

Another thing I have been doing is digitising Dean & Chapter documents to ensure that the Cathedral has a searchable document archive. This has involved visiting the Lincolnshire archives numerous times, something I hope to do more of in the future, and lots and lots of typing! My ability to read old scrawl writing has improved and I have learnt so much about the Cathedral’s history by typing up these documents. Reports on the Cathedral repairs have been some of the most interesting, especially those involving Godfrey, the former architect of the Cathedral, who I almost feel like I know personally now.

Getting involved in the area of heritage education has been amazing, it is definitely an area that I would like to continue being involved in. Sitting in on the Cathedral’s Education Forum was a brilliant experience, hearing about everything that is going on and what will be happening in the future regarding education at the Cathedral was so interesting. I was also involved in Story Time events at the Cathedral, which allowed children to hear the Noah’s Ark story and participate in the craft activities and animal tour, which was wonderful.

In addition, I also sat in on the Exhibition and Interpretation meetings. It’s fascinating to hear how much goes into an exhibition space before any of the objects even come into the equation. I am really looking forward to seeing how the objects and stories we have been discussing come to life in the new exhibition space. Visitors to the Cathedral will have a fascinating insight in to both the history and working life of the Cathedral.

Before I started this work experience I was about 80% sure I wanted to work in heritage but now I am 100% sure! Working in the Connected office has been an incredible experience and I am so excited about hopefully having an opportunity to be involved with the team again in the future. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Connected Team.

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Unknown details of the Cathedral’s past revealed as 18th century documents are unearthed

Our team has unearthed historic documents that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries which have revealed unknown details about the Cathedral.

Pearson's letters regarding the Cathedral architecture

The documents, which include details of who lived in the Cathedral Close at the time and insightful information on the wishes of the Cathedral’s architect, give a glimpse into the past which have been captured in the pages of archival material.

Over the last 12 months, we commissioned a palaeography group to study historical leases and documents relating to the Close dating back to as early as 1851 and through this research these documents have been found.

One document, the 1851 Census, states that over 140 tenants once resided in the Close, which is the area immediately around the Cathedral and includes Castle Square, James Street and others.

In the census, details can be found on the properties and the residents who lived in the Close over 166 years ago. Residents included butchers, paupers, clergy staff, physicians, a distributer of stamps and a portrait artist. It is fascinating to hear about the range of people who once lived here and to learn more about the lifestyle they lead throughout the 18th and 19th century.

Part of the magic of the Cathedral is that there is still much we don’t know about it and when we have the opportunity to unlock some of the mystery and to add to Lincoln’s vibrant and rich heritage it’s incredibly exciting and important.

Amongst the Close documents, the Connected project also revealed letters dating from 1881 to 1894 written by the Cathedral architect at the time J.L Pearson. Mr Pearson had documented the current repair works to the Cathedral as well as some plans that were never completed, which could have dramatically changed the way we see Lincoln Cathedral today if they had been.

These letters demonstrate that the history of Lincoln Cathedral is not just the history of what is but what could have been, and allow us to hear the voices of the people directly involved in the creation and image of the Cathedral as we see it today.

 

Bringing lost Lincoln to life

Myself and the Connected team are pleased to announce that works have begun on the creation of a Google 3D virtual model which will bring to life a number of medieval buildings that once surrounded the Cathedral.   

Lincoln Cathedral Connected Old Deanery

The Old Deanery and Works Chantry, which hundreds of years ago used to stand where the existing Deanery building is today to the north of the Cathedral, are going to be recreated by using 18th and 19th century drawings and plans produced by artists and historians.

We will be revealing the interpretation artwork in June this year. The model will allow you to ‘stand’ in a virtual courtyard and see 360 degree panoramic views of the two medieval buildings and can be accessed via Google Maps on a PC, laptop, IPad or smartphones.

We have commissioned this project to celebrate the rich history of the Cathedral and its surrounds and to show our local community and visitors how the area once looked in its medieval heyday.

I would like to thank Pighill Archaeological Illustration and Lincoln-based firm Allen Archaeology Ltd who are developing the 3D modelling.

Through this artwork people will be able to explore not seen before imagery of the courtyard to the north of the Cathedral that was once packed with buildings, archways and gates.

This innovative virtual reconstruction, which will be based on real objects and artist impressions from the 19th century, as well as documentary evidence and archaeological discoveries we have made over the years, is just one of the many projects we are working on which aims to engage the local people and visitors from further afield in the vibrant history of this wonderful building.

Nothing like this has been done in the Cathedral Close before and we’re very excited for the interpretation to be revealed this summer.

 

Restoration works have started on the Cathedral

The first phase in a long line of restoration and renovation works to the Cathedral has begun, as we aim to radically improve the Cathedral’s setting and visitor experience by offering more engaging and dynamic spaces.

new

The first phase of restoration works include repair work to the north Cloister wall and internationally important Romanesque Frieze.

For those who have been inside the Cathedral, the north Cloister wall forms the outer part of the Wren Library and is undergoing substantial piecing in of new stone and the removal of iron ties to the north and west wall. The Cloister wall is due for completion in September this year.

In July of this year, we will also begin work on the south Romanesque Frieze. The Frieze has been covered since the late 1980s for preservation due to the disintegration of the attached gothic sculptures. We are using the funding from our project so careful conservation work of the now delicate carvings can begin, which date back from approximately 1123-1148.

Following our successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund, I am really excited to finally see the restoration works our Cathedral so desperately needs starting to take place. The restoration of the Cloister wall and the Romanesque Frieze is just the beginning of five years of important works to the Cathedral.

Replicas of the carvings on the south Romanesque Frieze, which show biblical scenes including Daniel in the lions’ den and Noah building of the Ark will be created and put on display in the new visitor centre, which is being built as part of our Connected project and will be complete in 2020.