Saturday, 5 June 2021

Lincoln Cathedral - The Interior Part II

A blind arcade along the north aisle

After looking at the nave and arcades in the interior of Lincoln Cathedral continued, using the same methodology as with smaller mediaeval churches, I cintinued my exploration at the north aisle. Here, along the north wall, there is a long blind arcade in the Early English Gothic style, with trefoil arches and detached Purbeck marble shafts.
A view east along the north aisle

At regular intervals, clusters of Purbeck marble shafts rise above the blind arcade, from which Lincoln stone ribs spring to form the vaulted ceiling of the aisle. These alternate with single shafts, with foliated capitals, which commence above the blind arcade and again support a rib that rises to form part of the vaulting.
Disintegrating Pubeck marble on a capital

The Purbeck marble has severely deteriorated in several places, with lamination where the shafts are edge bedded and also on the capitals. Where the softer natural cement has been weathered away, the dense crystalline Viviparus fossils are left standing proud to leave a knobbly surface.
Salvaged architectural details
Carrying on past the north transept to where the aisle continues alongside St. Hugh’s Choir, various pieces of salvaged masonry and other architectural details are on display, which include headstops, corbel brackets and finials.
Decorated Gothic details
At the east end of the cathedral, the arcading to the north wall has a different character, with the detailing being in the Decorated Gothic style. The trefoil arched arcades are shallower than those adjacent to the nave and the capitals and spaces between the double Purbeck marble shafts have elaborate foliated decoration.
A view east along the south aisle

Returning to the west end of the south aisle, the absence of visitors - due to the COVID-19 Pandemic - enabled me to get some uncluttered views along its length, which showed the Lincoln stone floor in a good light, but the details of the arcading are the same as in the north aisle and I didn’t spend much time there.
A highly decorated arch in the south transept

Continuing into the south transept, I then passed through the very elaborately decorated archway to the east end of the south aisle, where I was particularly interested in the tomb slabs that are set along the length of the floor.
Tomb slabs set into the floor

I had seen similar black limestone slabs like this, with crests deeply carved in relief, at Leeds Minster and Hull Minster, which are dated to the mid C17 and which I thought could be Ashford black marble from Derbyshire; however, I didn’t look at the details and after taking a couple of photos of the south-east transept I returned to the crossing of the cathedral.
The south-east transept

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