I was talking with some of my British friends and during our conversation they mentioned a city north of us called Lincolnshire. They were fairly certain I would like the place as it has an enormous cathedral and perhaps even a copy of the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta was the first document imposed upon a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights. This concept of liberty and limiting the powers of the government are concepts most people can appreciate so I thought I’d drive up and have a look.
I went in to the complex as I heard this was where a copy of the Magna Carta was.
I followed the signs to what I believe was a library area and as it turns out on the day I visited the room was closed so I didn’t have a chance to view it. Good thing I was in an enormous cathedral so I began visiting it. This is such a popular tourist site there’s a restaurant onsite with homemade goods. I sat on the porch and ate some biscuits, jelly and tea in the sun. Afterwards I walked back in to the place and admired the the building.
The cathedral was the biggest one I had visited to date and had the same feel as the others.
It has that same Gothic style I’ve come to admire as it’s so reflective of history and the turmoil the country underwent on and off for centuries. This cathedral is a bit different than the others I visited as it contains a rather extensive library filled with books that are hundreds of years old.
This makes it somewhat of a mecca for religious scholars conducting research. In case I forgot to mention, the library has been in existence since the 14th century and also contains one of the four surviving originals of the Magna Carta. This place is very active and holds school tours, runs exhibits hosts a variety of events, you can eat, study, worship, listen to music or admire the architecture.
The craftsmanship of these places never ceases to amaze me. Just look at the ceiling, worship areas, columns and admire the way they were made and maintained in such excellent condition for what? 1000 or more years? It turns out there are around 30 or so craftsmen even today working to maintain this place in their chosen areas of expertise like masonry, joinery, lead-working and glazing.
I probably wandered around this place for several hours and stopped a few times to visit the people working in the bakery and cafeteria to ask what they were making. Everyone it seems is dressed in some sort of period clothing based on their role in the church. It enhances the experience and probably is directly related to the number of visitors this place attracts every year.
I thoroughly enjoyed my self guided tour and if I’m ever in the area I intend to stop by and have a look at that Magna Carta.