Cathedral interior

The cathedral from the castle wall

From left to right: The prison, the Court House, the admin block & cafe

The castle wall walk

The congregation

The pulpit in the prison chapel

The male prison wing

The Victorian prison's exterior

Castle entrance

Tourist Information Office on Castle Hill

The prison menu

TUESDAY 23-4-19

We awoke in good time having enjoyed a nice peaceful night’s sleep. It was a rather cloudy sky as we made our way across to the toilet block. There are only two shower cubicles in each section and typically I had the place to myself.

On the way back I noticed that the family pitched next to us in their tent were still there. Clearly kids don’t back to school today in this part of the world.

After breakfast we were on the bus in to Lincoln just after 09:30 so that we could use our bus passes which are only valid after that time, which is fair enough. After a journey of about thirty minutes the bus arrived at the city’s Transport Hub, which is a bus station across the road from the railway station. How sensible.

We walked through ‘New Town’ with lots of shops, both national chains and individually owned, and climbed ‘Steep Hill’ which at its steepest point is a one in seven (14%) gradient, arriving, puffing a bit, at Castle Hill, which is a square really, and the location of Leigh-Pemberton House, a magnificent Tudor building housing the Tourist Information Office. From here we could turn left for the castle, go straight ahead for ‘Old Town’ or right for the cathedral.

By now the sun had come out and it was beginning to get quite warm.

We decided to turn right and visit the cathedral before it got too busy. As we approached the main door we were greeted by a sign telling us that there would be restricted access from 11:00 as somebody had been selfish enough to go and die and book their funeral at that time.

So we went over to the castle for a look round intending to return to the cathedral in the afternoon.

The castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1068, and has Georgian and Victorian additions including a prison.

Before trudging round we sat and had a coffee. Up on the wall was the ‘menu’ for ‘guests’ in the prison section. Inmates may have asked many questions whilst interred there but never “What’s for breakfast?”

After refreshment it was an interesting walk around the prison including the chapel where prisoners were separated in to individual cubicles for the service. Many would pretend to be Roman Catholic or feign illness to avoid having to go.

 Then it was off to the Magna Carta vault where we viewed a copy of this historical document dating back to 1215 when it was signed as the first document to limit the monarch’s (King John’s) power and protect the individual. At the time a copy was written and sent to each cathedral in the land, but what with the likes Henry 8th, Oliver Cromwell and the Luftwaffe there are now only four copies in existence. I did say to the staff that it’s a shame they hadn’t invented the photocopier by that time as it would have saved them an awful lot of painstaking work. I had always imagined it to be a book of writing but it’s just one page, probably a bit smaller than A3 size. I was hoping to sneak a picture of it when the staff had their backs turned but no luck I’m afraid.

Then a walk around the castle wall with views of er......Lincoln. No doubt it was a prettier view in the days before the advent of out-of-town shopping complexes and industrial estates.

Within the castle grounds is a fully functioning Court House. They even had a session going on while we were there, supported by the prison vans out the back ready to take the prisoners away for a life of drone deliveries, hidden mobile phones, drugs, rioting and three hot meals a day. My how things have changed since the days of one pint of oatmeal gruel and nine ounces of bread for breakfast. Perhaps that’s why there are so many repeat offenders. Where else can you get three good meals a day for free? We walked all the way round the wall, and managed to save time by ignoring the sign to ‘Ye Olde Trump Tower’.

After that interesting visit it was back over to the cathedral with some parts dating back to1092 to join the 14:00 tour around the complex which is thrown in with the combined ticket price of £15 for seniors, to include both the castle and cathedral.

I have to say the cathedral was quite magnificent, wider and larger than ours back home and therefore more to see.

Returning bomber crews in WW2 often used the cathedral as a navigation aid to help them locate their airfield when returning home from long bombing missions.

After that we made our way back down Steep Hill, buying a bag of chips each from ‘Stavros Spuds’ or whatever they called themselves, to see us through to our evening meal.

Once back in ‘New Town’ we had a bit of a wander around the shops before heading off back to the bus station for a 45 minute ride back to the campsite.

When we arrived back there were more new neighbours which also of course equated to more new dogs.

Our fine dining experience was a chicken curry washed down with a glass or two of non-alcoholic rosé wine. I’ve tried to find a red and white non-alcoholic wine but they all taste like very sweet grape juice. Never mind having taken the alcohol out – it was never in there in the first place. The sugar was never turned in to alcohol. Very sickly, and I shan’t be wasting any more money on either the red or the white.