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Saint Hugh of Lincoln and Ruskin’s favourite cathedral

Posted in Architecture, Birds, Famous landmarks, Historical articles, History, Religion, Saints on Friday, 30 December 2011

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This edited article about Saints originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 887 published on 20 January 1979.

Lincoln's West Towers, picture, image, illustration

The West Towers of Lincoln Cathedral, the building of which was largely Saint Hugh’s achievement, by William Wilkins Collins

St Hugh of Lincoln is an English saint but was a Frenchman by birth. He grew up in Burgundy and became a Carthusian monk at the famous abbey of La Grande Chartreuse in the French Alps.

He soon proved himself to be a skilled administrator and this bought him to the notice of King Henry II of England. Henry invited him to England and made him Bishop of Lincoln.

Apparently he was a very holy man, while being determined to resist the power of the king in Church matters. He was also largely responsible for the building of Lincoln Cathedral, which is still standing.

The picture above shows St Hugh with his pet swan. It is said that this was quite tame and followed him everywhere he went. Most mediaeval pictures show him with this remarkable bird.

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