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9th January 2015, 8:50am
Lincoln Cathedral and Architectural Theory: Exploring one of Europe’s greatest Gothic buildings
Lincoln Cathedral An inaugural public symposium exploring the medieval architecture of one of Europe’s most celebrated Gothic buildings – Lincoln Cathedral – will take place at the University of Lincoln, UK.

Leading architects and historians will gather to talk at the free evening event, entitled Lincoln Cathedral and Architectural Theory, on Thursday 15th January 2015. Hosted by Dr Amira Elnokaly and the University of Lincoln’s School of Architecture & Design Research Forum, in collaboration with The Lincoln Architecture Society, the symposium will take place in the EMMTEC Building on the Brayford Pool Campus, from 4pm-8.30pm.

The construction of Lincoln Cathedral began in the 11th Century and continued in several phases throughout the Middle Ages. It was reputedly the tallest building in the world for more than 200 years, until its tallest spire collapsed in 1548. The Cathedral is home to a number of unique architectural structures, including two major rose windows, which are highly uncommon features among medieval architecture in England.

An extensive body of research led by Professor John Hendrix, Professor of Architectural History at the University of Lincoln, together with colleagues Professor Nicholas Temple (University of Huddersfield) and Professor Christian Frost (Birmingham City University) has for a number of years been shedding light on the relationship between this Gothic architecture, the surrounding city and its famous medieval Bishop, Robert Grosseteste.

Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln, was one of the most prominent figures in thirteenth-century English intellectual life. As bishop, he was an important figure in ecclesiastical life, focusing his energies on rooting out abuses of the pastoral care.

Professors Hendrix, Temple and Frost will launch their new book, Bishop Robert Grosseteste and Lincoln Cathedral, at the symposium and will invite delegates to consider how architectural forms and spaces were conceived in relation to the cultural, religious and political life of the Gothic period.

Professor Hendrix explained: “Our new publication examines the architecture and topography of Lincoln Cathedral in their cultural contexts, in relation to scholastic philosophy, science and cosmology, and medieval ideas about light and geometry, as highlighted in the writings of Robert Grosseteste.

“At the same time the architecture of the Cathedral is considered in relation to the roles of the clergy and masons; the policies of the bishop; matters of governance, worship and education; ecclesiastical hierarchy, church liturgy, politics and processionals.”

The co-editors will present alongside Dr Philippa Hoskin, a specialist in medieval history from the University of Lincoln’s School of History & Heritage, and Dr Nicholas Bennett, Vice-Chancellor and Librarian at Lincoln Cathedral.

Symposium organiser and Senior Lecturer in Lincoln’s School of Architecture & Design, Dr Amira Elnokaly, said: “We are delighted to be holding this exciting symposium here in Lincoln, where we are sure our delegates will be inspired by the magnificent architecture of Lincoln Cathedral. At the University we are extremely fortunate to work alongside such a celebrated example of medieval design, and we very much look forward to exploring how this was influenced by differing cultural, political and religious factors.

“We are committed to sharing our work with the wider public in Lincoln and beyond, and we hope that many people will join us to continue this fascinating discussion.”

The Lincoln Cathedral and Architectural Theory symposium is free to attend and is open to the public. To book a space, please contact Dr Elnokaly on, or complete the online booking form via the following link:

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