Lincoln Cathedral Consecrated
On May 9 1092 the new Norman cathedral at Lincoln was consecrated. But the man who had organised its construction, and indeed had moved the bishopric from Dorchester to Lincoln in accordance with the orders of William the Conqueror , died a day or perhaps three before the great event.
Remigius, a distant relation of William I, was an obviously ambitious cleric: he had served with William at the Battle of Hastings ; he had even paid for some of the ships used to ferry William’s army across the sea to England, something which led to accusations of simony against him later. William made Remigius bishop of Dorchester in 1067, but in 1072 the king ordered that the far more important city of Lincoln, already part of his strategic network of new castles , should host the cathedral for the vast diocese.
Church, military service and politics overlapped in Norman England, evidenced by the original tower of Lincoln cathedral being at once keep, palace for the bishop and his administrators, and part of the place of worship.
It took 20 years for the cathedral, heavily influenced by the great building at Rouen, to be ready. According to William of Malmesbury the Bishop of Hereford predicted via astrological means that Remigius would not live to see the consecration. Just before the ceremony Remigius duly expired. In spite of fire, earthquake and storm damage, his creation still dominates the Lincoln skyline.
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