Lincoln Cathedral was included on Historic England’s Register of Heritage at Risk in 2010 in recognition that there are a number of pressing needs related to the on-going protection of the Cathedral. One of the ways the Cathedral has addressed these needs is by developing in the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project which will reinstate the distinct historic character of the Close and enhance the setting of the Cathedral. These works will include the development of new visitor facilities and landscaping of the grounds.
The land surrounding the Cathedral is largely a designated scheduled monument (Ref. 1003569; 1388680) and therefore development within the area is protected. Allen Archaeology Limited has been commissioned to undertake an evaluation (see our blog here to find out more about what this means) and the monitoring of geotechnical pits at locations within the Cathedral Close. The results of these investigations will be used to formulate a policy for the management of the archaeological resources present on the site and to help to ensure that the design for the Cathedral Connected works is appropriate.
The first stages of work revealed the location of a known World War II water tank that was installed to save the Cathedral if it caught fire, and post-medieval and medieval building remains associated with the development of the Cathedral Close. Two medieval burials, one male and one female were also found.
The most recent discoveries have uncovered the remains of buildings which were destroyed in the 19th century including the Dean’s lodging and the Chantry. These were decorated with brightly painted plaster which is representative of the highly ornate buildings of the period. Another exciting find has been medieval graffiti carved into excavated masonry. It includes a deeply cut daisy wheel and other markings which are believed to provide ritual protection. We are using RTI to try and decipher more of the engravings.
You can see Director, Mark Allen talking out the finds on BBC Radio Lincolnshire, here