Running in Lincoln until September 27th, this unique exhibition is not to be missed. The orginal idea to celebrate the rich history of our often overlooked county in this way came out of a conversation back in 2012 between Patrick, Lord Cormack and the Earl of Yarborough, and having recently visited some elements of the exhibition, I can only admire their ambition and the subsequent realisation of their ambitious plans.
The exhibition is spread over four venues, Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln Castle, The Collection and the Usher Gallery. At the Cathedral you can browse manuscripts the 15th century Medieval Wren Library, and the David PJ Ross Magna Carta Vault at the Castle offers the chance to view two versions of Magna Carta (1214 and 1225) and the Charter of the Forest (1217).
The Collection has gathered a truly impressive array of artefacts and works of art reflecting the lives and achievements of Lincolnshire’s greatest achievers, from Archbishop Simon Langton to Margaret Thatcher, by way of Isaac Newton, George Boole and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Some of Lincolnshire’s great explorers are there there too – Matthew Flinders, Captain John Smith, Sir Joseph Banks, George Bass and John Franklin.
The Heneage Jewel, reputedly given to Tudor courtier Sir Thomas Heneage by Elizabeth I is also on display at the Collection, on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum, along with artefacts and paintings celebrating the Dymoke family of Scrivelsby, who have upheld the position of Sovereign’s Champion from the coronation of Richard III until that of George IV.
The Usher Gallery offers an opportunity to see works of art by George Stubbs, JMW Turner, Peter De Wint and others, all related to Lincoln and Lincolnshire. There is even an original Holbein and the famous James Hassall Jolly Fisherman poster, commissioned by The Great Northern railway Company to encourage holidaymakers to visit Skegness, and the truly amazing Louth Panorama.
Lincolnshire’s Great Exhibtion is truly remarkable, making a day out or weekend stay in the historic City of Lincoln even more enjoyable than usual. Many of these treasures have never been seen in Lincolnshire before and many never will be again, so make sure you don’t miss this once in a lifetime exhibition.