Sunday, 6 June 2021

Lincoln Cathedral - The Interior Part III

A detail of the choir screen

In the time between my last visit to the interior of Lincoln Cathedral in 2007, with a friend from Germany, and during my day out in Lincoln in 2020, I had visited dozens of mediaeval churches in and around South Yorkshire.
The south transept

Much of the appeal of these for me has been the various alterations or additions, with different styles of masonry, which has generated an interest in standing buildings archaeology - as well as the grotesques and gargoyles. Also, the varied building stones and the decorative stones seen in various memorials, both large and small, have very often added to my knowledge as a geologist.
The crossing and north transept

Although the cathedral at Lincoln is my favourite and I have visited it several times, having had a good wander around the nave, arcades, aisles - and now the transepts – there hadn’t been too much of this nature to interest me, however, that changed with the bronze statue of Bishop Edward King in the south transept.
The statue of Bishop Edward King

What attracts me here is the Frosterley Marble, from Weardale in County Durham, which is used in the plinth. This Carboniferous limestone contains large single rugose corals, which I have only seen before in the field at Mullaghmore in Ireland and at Hob's House in Monsal Dale, as well as in the C12 font at the church of St. Mary and All Saints in Chesterfield.
The Frosterley Marble plinth to the statue of Bishop Edward King

The screen on the east side of the south transept has occasional sculptural details, but the central choir screen, built in the 1330’s, is completely covered in intricate carvings - including numerous figurative sculptures, which include winged and chimera like creatures.
The choir screen

The screen was originally painted with bright colours, traces of which can still be seen, but I only spent less than 5 minutes taking a few quick snaps of a few figures that immediately caught my eye and I didn’t notice any signs of these.
A detail of the arch to the choir screen

On the columns are tiny statuettes of saints of both genders, whose heads were removed by iconoclasts in the Cromwellian era. When these were restored in the second half of the C19, male bishops' heads were indiscriminately added and some statues can be seen to have bearded heads on female bodies.
A restored statuette

Given an unlikely opportunity to use a tripod and studio lighting, I can easily imagine spending a few hours photographing the various details here – in black and white - and next time I visit the cathedral, I will make the effort to take a closer look at them.
A detail of grotesque heads

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