Medieval England Tour
This evening, I am, reprising a one day segment of an extended tour of medieval England.
First, we departed our lodgings at 9.00 am and drove for about 1 hour to reach Castle Rising near King’s Lynn just on 10.00am opening. Here we explored this historic castle and had some fun with some of the group dressing up in period costumes.
Information on Castle Rising:
- Dates from around AD 1140 and built by William D’Albini.
- Ranks as one of the most important 12th century castles in England.
- Although roofless the structure remains substantially intact.
- The castle is protected by massive earthworks up to 120 ft high.
- Over time Castle Rising has served as hunting lodge and royal residence.
- The castle’s most famous resident is deemed to have been Queen Isabella, the mother of Edward III, following her part in the murder of her husband Edward II.
- Following Isabella’s death, the castle was used as a hunting lodge by the Black Prince.
- Has been in the hands of the Howard family since 1544 with current owner a direct descendant of William D’Albini II.
Next we drove to Lincoln with key objectives being Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral.
Information on Lincoln Castle:
- Dates from 1068 when work commenced on instructions of William the Conqueror as part of strategy to build a network of royal castles in order to consolidate is control of England.The site has a history dating back to Roman times.
- Although initially a strong military fort, the castle evolved into a court and p;lace of custody.
- The earliest record of prisoners is 1199. As from 1608 to 1878 the castle’s main function was that of prison and courthouse.
- Whilst the Court still functions most of the rest of the castle is a visitor centre and museum. Here can be found one of the four remaining original copes of the 1251 Magna Carta.
- There are walks along parts of the castle walls which offer good views of the Cathedral, Lincoln City and the neighbouring countryside.
Information on Lincoln Cathedral:
- Foundation stone laid 1072 and building consecrated in 1092. Founding bishop was Remigius, a kinsman of William the Conqueror.
- A major fire occurred in 1141 after which rebuilding began under Bishop Alexander, the firts major church in England entirely vaulted in stone.
- In 1185 an earthquake caused extensive damage resulting in rebuilding of the entire building except from west front and towers. This took place under Bishop Hugh.
- The Chapter House may have been completed by 1250, the Cloister was added in late 1200s and in 1237 or 1239 the central tower collapsed and a replacements was started.
- By 1548 all three towers had spires.The central spire blew down in 1548 while the west spires were removed in 1807.
- A new, Sir Christopher Wren designed, library was built in 1676.
- Extensive restoration work was undertaken in 1937 and 1963.
As the images show, this cathedral is one of the most impressive and important medieval buildings in Europe.
Overnight, we stayed at the centrally located Lincoln Hotel, Eastgate.