East End of Lincoln Cathedral
About the work
This early 19th-century view shows worshipers leaving Lincoln Cathedral after a service.
The construction of the current Cathedral was initiated by St Hugh of Lincoln, Bishop of Lincoln, after an earthquake destroyed the former cathedral in 1185. From 1300 to 1549 Lincoln Cathedral was reported to be the tallest structure in the world with a central spire 484 feet high, although the accuracy of this measurement is disputed. In 1549 the cathedral lost this status when the central spire collapsed, never to be rebuilt. However, it remains the third largest cathedral in Britain, after St Paul’s in London and York Minster. It was praised by art critic and social critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) as ‘out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have.’ Lincoln Cathedral has featured in D. H. Lawrence’s novel ‘The Rainbow’ (1915), Ken Follett’s ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ (1989) and in the film ‘The Young Victoria’ (2009).
These two engravings were published as part of Charles Wild’s series of 16 plates titled ‘Illustration of the Architecture and Sculpture of the Cathedral Church of Lincoln’, published by W. Bulmer in 1819.