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Saturday, 29 April 2017

A Visit to Lincoln Castle


What could be more fun than a visit to a real castle? A few weeks ago Larry and I visited Lincoln castle, which is in the vicinity of Lincoln Cathedral, see previous post.

It would be impossible to do the castle and its history justice in a short blog post so I link here to the website where you can read about it more comprehensively. Do take a look in case you ever get to visit.

We didn't know what to expect as there has been recent refurbishment of the castle especially the castle walk, whereby you can ascend to the top of the wall by the battlements and walk around the whole castle, which gives spectacular views of Lincoln itself. Larry is not keen on heights and I had a sore knee that day so we viewed the walk from below, but for those less elderly it would be extremely entertaining.


This position atop a very steep escarpment has been a strategic vantage point right back to when the Romans invaded Britain and beyond, but this particular castle was built on the command of William 1 (William the Conqueror) in Norman times. William came over in 1066 with his army of Normans and slay King Harold following which he became King and ruled over Britain for 21 years and is known for building many beautiful churches and several castles. The Normans, being Christian, were also responsible for establishing Christianity amongst the pagan people of this island.


It really does feel safe between the castle walls. Whilst we were there we could imagine what it must have been like to live in such a place.





A rare picture of Larry and me together.  We were just admiring the courthouse building when a kindly police sergeant happened along and offered to take a picture of us together. We were grateful to him.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

Lincoln


A couple of weeks ago, Larry and I went on a few days visit to the cathedral city of Lincoln in the East Midlands (of England).  Lincoln has recently been celebrating 800 years since the Magna Carta was signed. You can read about it here.

It's a fascinating story to immerse yourself in.  We were fascinated to see all these little barons in the shop windows, each one individually painted and displayed.


Within Lincoln castle walls is a vault where one of the original copies of the Magna Carta is kept under lock and key and protected by guards.  No photographs are allowed in the inner sanctum, but copies of the Magna Carta in scroll form are available to buy from the castle gift shop.

Here is Larry standing outside the vault. The Magna Carta is fascinating of course, all written in Latin on sheepskin with King John's original seal intact on one of the three documents.  on the wall behind Larry is a translation of the Magna Carta into English. It fills the wall, carved onto the wall itself in relief with the most important sentences coloured in gold. Very impressive. To see the document, you have to descend some stairs and go through alarmed doors. It reminded me a bit of when we went to the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels. Here is the link that tells you all about the Magna Carta.


We stayed in a hotel right opposite the magnificent Lincoln Cathedral. Here it is, lit up at night. Picture taken from our hotel window. We also had a balcony so we could sit out and admire the view! We were treated to the cathedral bells, which were loud, believe me and wonderful, but they were quiet at night, after 10 o'clock so we got our sleep.

The cathedral is enormous and stands proudly on top of a very steep hill.


The hill was so steep that neither Larry nor I felt we could tackle it so we stayed at the top throughout our stay! The next picture gives a flavour of it, although it is difficult to capture on film just how steep it was. Larry took this from a coffee shop where we sat and enjoyed a drink and watched the people go by. They walked in front of us to the left of the black and white timbered house and when they got a bit further on they just seemed to disappear. Larry went and had a look and said that there must have been (steep) steps at the end because the people just seemed to drop off the edge.

By the way, the picture is correct. The buildings really are like that!


There were lots of small artisan shops in the vicinity and we enjoyed looking at those. It was lovely to get away from the big stores for a week and indulge ourselves, talking to the locals and finding out what it was like to live in such a beautiful place. I was particularly interested in how they managed in the winter when the roads were icy or snowy or both. I cannot imagine trying to stay upright in those circumstances.

Then there was the castle, but I'll keep that for another post.



Happy Sunday!