John Ruskin once described Lincoln Cathedral as being “out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles.” Sitting at the summit of the hill that Lincoln is built on, the cathedral occupies a commanding position over the surrounding area. It’s easy to see why Ruskin held this wonderful building in such high esteem.
At first, it looks like just another effigy. A man in bishop’s robes carved in stone lies in peaceful repose, one hand raised in blessing, his head guarded by an angel. But beneath the effigy is another figure – shockingly, this is the figure of a rotting corpse, wrapped only in a shroud. This is the cadaver tomb of Bishop Richard Fleming at Lincoln Cathedral, and it is the oldest one still surviving in England.