Lincoln Castle and Ely.

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Good morning everyone! I’m sitting up in bed with a coffee beside me, Facebooking done and a blog post to complete before breakfast. This is a shot of Steep Hill in Lincoln. This shot does absolutely nothing for the gradient IRL… it’s a killer. I had to take a rest twice while climbing it. We strolled into Lincoln at 9:30AM to see the castle, only to find that very little in Lincoln happens before 10AM. So we walked down and then back up. Scott is a hard task master.

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There’s not much left of the original buildings that William the Conqueror put up in 1080 something. The walls remain and so we elected to do the wall walk and ignore the Victorian prison tour and the Magna Carta tour. I saw the Magna Carta in Oxford for free, anyway.  The Wall Walk has an audio tour, so we put on the headphones and got going.

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It’s obvious why the Romans, then the Saxons and finally the Normans put up fortifications here. You can see for miles.

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As I was listening to the audio tour, they were describing times when the castle was under siege and there I was, looking right down upon the ground where it all happened.

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The castle and the cathedral are very close together.

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Every now and then I saw an architectural detail that was striking. Love this.

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So many kings have been here. They described how Henry VIII visited here with Katharine Howard and they walked the walls so the citizens of Lincoln could see them. They were dressed in green and gold velvet ( a wise decision as the wind was a tad nippy up there) and he was hobbling along on his bad leg, with 16-year-old Katherine walking demurely behind.

Still, every now and then I have to pinch myself to believe that I’m actually touching and walking along the things they’ve touched and walked along. It’s fantastic.

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Grafitti in one of the towers where they kept people before they were hanged. On top of the tower, of course, so the whole town could enjoy a nice day’s entertainment.

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This is a graveyard from the times the Victorians used this as a prison.

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I finished the wall walk before Scott, so while he was coming down I sheltered from the rain (“That’s why it’s such a green and pleasant land”) inside a doorway. It was an interesting walk to take.

Then we scampered back to the car and pushed on for Ely and Cambridge.

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This was the first thing we saw when we got to Ely.

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They went around the corner, up onto the footpath and disappeared around the corner. They looked as if they knew where they were going.

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Look at this pretty house.

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This is Oliver Cromwell’s house. He was the guy who led the Parliamentarians in the civil war that ended up chopping off Charles I’s head in 1649. He then ruled the country until he died. After the Royalists came in they dug up his body from Westminster Abbey and beheaded it. Remember where Scott and I first stayed in London? His head was buried in the square just over the road.

I don’t like him because I love the royals and Charles II (Charles I’s son) had to escape from England and live overseas for years and years before he was able to come back. Imagine his poor dogs!! He’s the king that made Cavalier King Charles Spaniels a thing. So I think it’s funny that as a puritan… they didn’t like people to do anything that was fun… his home was subsequently used as a tavern and is now the tourist information session, where they sell bottles of cider. We didn’t tour the house as it didn’t seem as there was anything that was much original still there, apart from the walls of the building which of course we’d seen, so we pressed on towards the cathedral and lunch.

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Now I’m no food blogger, constantly photographing plates of food, but OMG. What is this travesty? Since when is it acceptable to bring out a serve of sandwiches with some potato chips on the side?? Not hot chips, which would be marginally more agreeable, but junk food???? Apparently it’s quite the thing here.

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The cathedral was old and large.

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The town comes right up to it.

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This little scrap of painting right up near the roof in one of the side chapels is original Norman work. It’s nearly 1,000 years old.

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It has a painted ceiling and they’ve thoughtfully put a trolley with magnified glass on the top, so you can view the paintings close up. They don’t have audio tours though, which was a bit of a shame. We had to look at it the old fashioned way, using a guide book and scurrying around.

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One thing that I noticed that was different in this cathedral than the 14,000 others I’ve seen on this trip was that the side bits were actual corridors and levels. They weren’t just all one level soaring up to the roof. Whoever designed this cathedral had a good sense of utilising space. You still get the massive sense of space in the middle bit with the painted ceiling, but along the sides you can Get Things Done.

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I like him. He’s jaunty.

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They’re very proud of their octagon in the roof.

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I LOVE this!! This guy tried to big-note himself and now he’s shamed for evermore. Here he is, the stupid social climber:

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The cathedral site was actually established by a woman. This link is really readable and has a few things about St Ethelreda that are slightly hard to believe, but make entertaining reading. But hey, what do I know!

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They have a small chapel dedicated to her.

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Still, I found it a little ironic that the only statue or marker surviving from those days wasn’t of her, but was of her steward… a man.

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This tugged at my heartstrings a bit. You can imagine the grief of the family at the loss of this boy. (This was carved when they used ‘f’ where we use ‘s’.)

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Then we headed for a quick walk along the river, then onwards to Cambridge.

Cambridge and Kenilworth today! AND it’s half an hour towards another full English breakfast! Mmmmmm bacon…….

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3 Responses to Lincoln Castle and Ely.

  1. Michelle says:

    Wow what a trip you are having! Just caught up with your travels after London. Say hello to Scott for me.

  2. Urspo says:

    I have been away in Ottawa for a week; I have only recently returned and was eager to see your photos of your trip. Lovely !

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