SK9771 : Dean's Eye Window, Lincoln Cathedral

taken 6 years ago, near to Lincoln, Lincolnshire, Great Britain

Dean's Eye Window, Lincoln Cathedral
Dean's Eye Window, Lincoln Cathedral
Another study of this magnificent window.
Dean's Eye window, Lincoln Cathedral

The window was built between 1220 and 1235, and is a good example of an Early English plate-tracery rose window. The geometric design, with concentric tiers of circular window lights, was innovative in the early part of the 13th century and predates the geometric tracery of the later decorated style of Gothic architecture.
The tracery is carved from locally quarried Lincoln limestone and is decorated with stiff leaf foliage carving on the outside.
The window dates from the period of restoration of the Cathedral by Saint Hugh, following an earthquake in 1185. The Bishops Eye window in the south transept was built at the same time, but was reconstructed in 1330.

The principal theme of the window is the second coming of Christ and the last judgement. Some scenes are associated with death and resurrection, such as the funeral of Saint Hugh and the death of the Virgin.

Some repairs were carried out in the 18th and 19th century, but in the 1980s it was noticed the window was curving outwards. This could have been due to southerly winds which created a vacuum on the outside of the window. Therefore a major restoration was undertaken and the window was completely removed and restored. Much of the stone tracery had to be completely replaced, and it was particularly challenging as the window supports the transept roof.
Around 70% glass is original, and all the restoration work was carried out by the Cathedral works department's stained-glass conservators.

Lincoln Cathedral

Cathedral Church of St Mary, Lincoln. Grade I listed.
After the Norman Conquest, William wanted to establish a northern stronghold, and chose the old Roman city of Lincoln.
The Benedictine monk Remigius, Bishop of Dorchester was asked to transfer his Cathedral to Lincoln. He decided to set it up as a Minster, with no monks. The Cathedral was finished in 1092 and the original three arches can been seen on the west end to this day.
Around 1141 the Cathedral was damaged by fire and rebuilding was ordered by Alexander the Magnificent. This probably included stone vaulted ceilings and some of the western exterior arcading.
In 1185 an earthquake caused great damage. The next year a bishop named Hugh of Avalon arrived, and commenced rebuilding in 1192 in the Gothic style of architecture. However, the tower collapsed in around 1237, and rebuilding had to start again, including the great transept, the Deans Eye Window in 1235 and the Nave which is Early English. The Font is 12th C, carved in Tournai, France (now Belgium), showing mythical beasts.
Hugh died in 1200 and many miracles were experienced by pilgrims to his tomb, he soon became St Hugh. By 1255 many pilgrims were visiting his tomb, so the east end was extended again to accommodate the growing cult. St Hugh's body was transferred to the new Angel Choir in 1280.
The Bishop's eye window in the south Transept was re-built in 1330. It resembles two leaves. The chapter house is 10-sided and dates from 13th C.
Around 1310 the tower was raised and the two western towers heightened, with the proceeds of the visiting pilgrims. Wooden lead-covered spires were added, making the Cathedral the tallest building in the world for 200 years until the central spire collapsed in 1548.
Bishop Grosseteste and Bishop Alnwick followed, and in the 16th Century the chantry chapels were dissolved. St Hugh's shrine was stripped and income dropped as a result. In the civil war the Cathedral was pillaged, and services were abandoned, with the Cathedral soon falling into disrepair.
Revival in the late 17th C with Dean Michael Honywood followed, although funds were still short.
By the early 18th C. the western towers were leaning badly. James Gibbs, Architect added cross walls and a narthex at the west entrance. The towers are still not straight even today. In 1807 the spires were removed for safety. Repairs to the Deans Eye window were required in the early 21st C. as it was found to be in very poor condition.
Lincoln is the third largest Cathedral in the UK and contains many interesting tombs and memorials, and of course, the Lincoln Imp.

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SK9771, 4612 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 13 October, 2015   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 13 October, 2015
Geographical Context
Religious sites 
Place (from Tags)
Lincoln Cathedral 
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Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SK 9780 7183 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:14.0705N 0:32.1723W
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Stained Glass Window 

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