Lincoln Cathedral: Cloisters

As I mentioned previously the cloisters in this cathedral are quite small. The interesting and unusual feature is the wooden vault.

Wooden vault
Wooden vault

And the wooden bosses. Of the original one hundred roof bosses, one in each of its bays, there are now just sixty remaining.  These bosses fall into five categories: religious and secular figures, heads, animals and foliage.

An arcaded passageway leads to the chapter house. This has darker columns with carved capitals of foliage set under pointed arches (as in the first image and below).


On the other passage there are some odd stone grotesques hidden next to the foliage – possibly stonemasons’ identification? I haven’t been able to find out much about these, but tongue-pullers are thought to a sign of a journeyman mason as St Blaise, who is the saint associated with diseases of the throat and mouth, is also the patron saint of masons. Hair-pullers like the bearded man, serpents and monsters are most likely there to frighten worshippers and remind them that the world is a sinful place. These over-imaginative human and animal forms often distort the natural into ugliness or a caricature.

The cloisters also provide a quiet space for a rest (and get a phone signal perhaps!)


And the stone carvings are magnificent in their detail. As always you have to look up and pause to admire the beauty of this historic craftsmanship.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

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