Folklore of Lincoln Cathedral

The Lincoln Cathedral has quite a few ties to the devil in folklore history, I have three stories surrounding the cathedral to share with you, you may be familiar with them, you may not.

Let’s start of with the most well known folk story around the Cathedral.

Folklore of Lincoln Cathedral; The Lincoln Imp

folklore lincoln cathedral

The Lincoln imp is probably one of the most known folklore stories in Lincoln and Lincoln cathedral but just incase you’re not familiar with it the story goes like this.

Two imps entered the cathedral and started causing mass trouble, knocking over pews, breaking tapestries, bullying the bishop and generally causing havoc due to their unruly and unpleasant behaviour.

An angel then appeared and ordered the imps to stop with their disruptive behaviour and actions but they would not listen which left the angel with only one more option and that was to make them stop. As one of the imps threw a rock at the angel, the angel froze him in his tracks and the other imp fled in fear and never returned to the cathedral again, where as the other remains, a permanent fixture in stone as a reminder that the devil should not mess around with the work of god.

Folklore of Lincoln Cathedral; The Devils Well

folklore lincoln cathedral

Another story Lincolnshire folk might know off surrounding the cathedral is the devils well, a small house like building near chapter house. We locals may know the myth as ”run around it so many times anticlockwise and then put your finger in the hole, if you’ve been bad the devil bites you”

However, the tale is truly known as if you run around and anticlockwise around the well on the night of Halloween and peered into the depths you’d, in fact, see the devil.

Tomb of St Hugh

Being a Lincoln resident I’ve never heard of this story before but found it in a folklore book about Lincolnshire that I have. It is said that this story is tied to the superstition of throwing salt over your left shoulder to blind the devil. It is believed that when you were to pray at the tomb of St Hugh, the devil would appear behind you when you had your eyes closed and because of this, in order to pray at St Hugh’s tomb you have to throw salt over your shoulder to blind his approach completely.

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