Lindum Colonia

Lincoln has an interesting topology. Most of Lincolnshire is fairly flat, but here there is a fairly high hill. On top of this hill stands Lincoln Cathedral, a very tall building, which accordingly is visible very far away. The modern city centre lies down by the river Witham (downtown, as it were). You go between the two by way of High Street, which continues as Steep Hill.

Riverside Cafe on the High BridgeThe Riverside Cafe on the High Bridge over River Witham.
So, this Friday morning we got off the bus by the market square where we wandered around the stalls, to the musical accompaniment of a country & western singer (who actually was quite good), and Honeybuns bought herself an interesting cheese. We ascended Steep Hill, which, in addition to other interesting shops, contained a goodly number of used book shops, which obviously all had to be visited. As we were going to do some walking that day, we couldn't obviously buy all worthy books, but some sufficiently light-weight items found our favour.
High StreetThis is just High Street, it gets steeper than this.

Eventually we were at the summit of the hill. Not by coincidence, this is where the Tourist Information Centre is (there is another one down at the city centre, but it is currently closed for renovation), so I might as well stick in a bit of tourist information here:
The general area of Lincoln has been inhabited for a long time, but the name and the first stone buildings date from the Romans. There are still a few remains, such as bits of the old city wall, left from Roman times. The next high period for the town came with the Normans, who started on the castle and the cathedral, both of which were greatly expanded in mediæval times; there are also a few Tudor era houses left. The first World War I tanks were constructed in Lincoln and during World War II Lincolnshire was “Bomber county”. All these various historial eras are carefully commemorated with signs, museums and the items themselves, of course, and there are a number of marked theme trails around town, so show off Roman, Norman, etc remains. Even though the town is so obviously prepared for tourists, there didn't seem to be particularly many around, which I provisionally put down to the English school term not being over yet. Swedish tourists were clearly not common here, I suspect they only leave Regent Street to go see Mamma Mia!.

Lincoln Castle model for non-sightedLincoln Castle in bronze.
Cobb Hall TowerHoneybuns descending into the interior of Cobb Hall Tower. Lots of dark nooks and crannies down there.
Anyway, we decided to start with Lincoln Castle. Inside the walls was a carefully tended garden, just made for picknicks. We had a long look at the Magna Carta, went through the prison exhibition and then climbed the walls and the towers. The sky was overcast, but from the Observatory Tower we felt as if we could have seen all the way to the North Sea had it been a clear day. Towards the west we could see another castle tower, which we couldn't fit to any feature on our maps, very strange.
View of Lincoln and surroundings from Observatory TowerA view southwards from the Observatory Tower of Lincoln Castle.

Finally hunger drove us out and we found a little vegetarian restaurant on Steep Hill, where some rather surly teenagers served us a quite good lunch.

Bishop's PalaceThe remains of the Bishop's Palace.
Then we walked a circuit around the cathedral, but decided to see the mediæval Bishop's palace instead. It is mostly a ruin these days, but an audio presentation did its best to bring its old splendour alive to us. I actually enjoyed this audio tour better than the one at the recent Titanic exhibition as this one only played fairly short clips and then waited for the user to start the next clip, thus allowing much better self-pacing.

Lincoln water towerA rather fancy water tower.
The museum closed, so we had to leave, and decided to set out to find the mysterious tower we had seen. Oh, it was a water tower. Apparently it didn't qualify for marking on any maps, just being public works, as it were. We found a pub for dinner and then descended the hill for the bus home.


thnidu said...

Fascinating onomastic etymology. Grazie.

thnidu said...

Oh, sorry -- I enjoyed the whole post, not just the implicit Lincoln < Lindum Colonia.

Martin said...

Lincoln has an interesting topology

A topologist is a person who can't tell a coffee cup from a donut.

kai said...

Which is why people bleeding from their mouths are constantly being lead out from the Math department.