ADAM BEAUCHIEF Stay Clear and Do Not Disturb

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The Presbytery , or eastern limb of the minster, is the finest example of the best period of English Gothic. Hugh's work. The choir is divided into five bays, indicated by the boldly-projecting buttresses, once covered with statues; the canopies and pedestals still remain, within arches supported by tall clustered pillars with foliaged capitals. The buttresses are crowned by slender crocketed gables, at the bases of which grotesque figures project. One of these, an imp on the back of a witch on the third buttress , serves, like the sculpture in the gable of the consistory court, for the "devil looking over Lincoln.

The most magnificent exterior feature of the eastern arm is undoubtedly the sculptured doorway on the south side. The porch fills the third bay, and projects as far as the buttresses; its sides recede inwards to the pair of doors giving access to the Angel Choir.

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Although the doorways of our cathedrals, as a rule, cannot in any way be compared with the magnificent portals to be seen in France, yet this single example at Lincoln would be quite enough to prove that English architects were capable of designing a really magnificent doorway. In the tympanum is the subject of the Last Judgment in relief. To the left, the dead are rising from their tombs, and are borne aloft by angels; on the other side demons are dragging the condemned down to the jaws of hell, which gape wide open beneath the Saviour's feet.

The archivolt is richly decorated with sculpture. In the inner band is a row of niches with twelve seated figures, apparently kings and queens; next a double band of delicate open-work foliage; outside this a row of sixteen slender arches, separated by a central pillar having the canopy and base for a figure of the Virgin, which has been removed.

On either side of the doorway is a triple canopy for statues, and behind this a row of slender columns with foliated capitals.

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The hand of the restorer might well have spared this beautiful porch, where the question of the stability did not in any way arise. But, unfortunately, an attempt was made about thirty years ago to restore the mutilated figures, and further restorations are now [] being carried out. It is valuable as shewing the state of the central figure before restoration see illustration, p It is believed that Essex also had tampered with this door in the last century.

On the buttresses on either side of the doorway are four headless statues, resting on corbels supported by projecting figures. Taken before the Porch was restored. The two small chapels which stand to the right and left of the doorway are those built as chantries by Bishops Russell and Longland. The one on the eastern side is that of Bishop Russell d. The mullions which run from top to bottom of the three windows, dividing them into vertical strips, are sufficient to mark this building as of the Perpendicular period.

Between the windows there is only just room for the panelled buttresses which separate them. The embattled parapet, far more conspicuous and elaborate than one of an earlier period would have been, is covered with tracery, and broken by crocketed pinnacles. The whole shews on a small scale the extravagance into which Gothic architecture had lapsed, and contrasts unfavourably with the sober dignity of the structure to which this small chapel is attached.

Leaving these chapels, we notice on the second buttress from the east a queenly figure. The east end , in spite of its defects, is perhaps the finest in the country, and the broad expanse of the minster green offers exceptional opportunities for seeing this part of the building to advantage. An excellent general view may be had from the south-east, in the direction of Pottergate. The main feature is the magnificent central window in the geometrical Decorated style.

Above this is another fine window of the same period. The latter looks somewhat awkward on account of its position, balanced, so the speak, on the apex of the window below; like the window over the "bishop's eye," it is far too large for the gable in which it is placed. In the trefoil over the top is a figure of the Virgin with the Infant Saviour, and on either side of the gable is a turret with a richly crocketed pyramidal roof. The aisle windows the two which are filled with the beautiful early stained glass look very small when compared with the giant central window, from which they are separated by panelled buttresses of bold projection.

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We have already noticed the insincerity of the west front of the minster, and the same charge must be brought against this eastern end, although the deception here is not so extensive. The two panelled gables over the aisle windows are shams; there is nothing behind them, and they appear to have been only designed for the sake of effect. The northern gable is higher than the other, and the tracery is not quite the same.

An arcade runs right across the lower part of the front, beneath the three principal windows. Another short arcade is seen beneath the sham gables. The hexagonal stone structure at the north-east corner, with a pyramidal roof, covers the minster well. This stonework is presumably not very ancient; in a view of Hollar's in Dugdale's "Monasticon Anglicanum," the well is covered by a wooden shed.

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On the north side of the angel choir, the second bay contains the chantry chapel of Bishop Fleming d. The parapet is panelled, and the buttresses contain niches for small statues. In the next bay is a door leading into the choir; its position corresponds to the sculptured porch on the other side, but it is much smaller and plainer. One of the mouldings of the arch is of oak; in the tympanum is an aureole with a bracket for a figure. The doorway is divided by a central shaft, an addition of the latter part of the fourteenth century.

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The supporters are — dexter, a lion; sinister, a bull. It will be noticed that the next window of the aisle, and the buttress beyond it, are much plainer than the rest, left so doubtless to their having been to a great extent hidden by the walls of the lengthened chapel see p They extend as far as the second buttress of the angel choir. The roof was pointed; its outline may still be traced on the transept wall. Between this chapel and the vestibule of the chapter-house is the old common chamber, of which parts are now used as a lavatory.

The position of the ten-sided chapter-house, like that of the neighbouring cloisters, is somewhat unusual. Two windows, with a lozenge-shaped panel above them, occupy each of the sides. The buttresses attached to the walls at the angles were originally crowned by pedimental gables, all but the two westernmost of which have been replaced by crocketed pinnacles of the Decorated period.

The roof is pyramidal, and is surmounted by a cross. On several of the buttresses the marks may still be seen of houses once built against them. These houses have now been all removed, and a delightful view of the minster has been obtained by clearing away all the dwellings which stood until quite recent years on the now vacant piece of ground beyond the chapter-house. The transept of St. Hugh, beyond this, is hidden by the chapter-house vestibule and the cloisters.

At the end of the western transept is the circular window, the "dean's eye," with the large quatrefoil in the middle, surrounded by a band of sixteen small circles.

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Above, in the gable, is a lancet window of five lights. The difference between these two windows and those inserted in a corresponding position on the south side of the transept, is very noticeable. The southern pair are over a century later in date. Both the turrets on the north side are octagonal, but neither of them is crocketed.

The view from this spot at sunset is particularly fine. After passing the deanery, and turning to the left, it will be noticed that the north side of the nave has not a row of niches such as has been seen on the south side. The tower at the west end has a gable on its north face, similar to that on the opposite side of the companion tower. The ascent is not difficult, and may be made for a small fee. The Cathedral Close, or Minster Yard , as old-fashioned Lincoln people still love to call it, was first protected by a wall in the last years of the thirteenth century.

Massive double gateways were erected to protect the approaches, except in one instance, where a steep ascent was considered to justify the erection of a single gateway only. Unfortunately, these gateways were for the most part destroyed early in the present century. The principal one remaining is that opposite the western end of the minster, known as the "Exchequer Gate. Like its former companion, it has a large archway in the middle and a postern on either side; above are two storeys of rooms, formerly let as dwellings. This was the only single gateway. It is now called "Pottergate Arch. Respecting its name, the "Grecian Stairs," much has been written.

It may be sufficient here to remark that the old name appears to have been simply "The Greesen," from the early English gree , a step.

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In addition to those already mentioned, there were anciently two other double gateways to the close.