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Last Updated: Monday, 1 September, 2003, 17:05 GMT 18:05 UK
New findings from cathedral study
West front of Lincoln Cathedral
The lavish west front may have housed the first bishop of Lincoln

Controversial new evidence suggests the famous west front of Lincoln Cathedral might not have been part of the cathedral at all.

It was thought to be the only remaining part of the original Norman cathedral built in 1092.

But now it is being claimed it was actually a separate house built for the man in charge of construction, Remigius, the first Bishop of Lincoln.

Norman cathedrals were not built with toilets or sewers, but Lincoln cathedral has them - a fact which has never been explained.

It could be that we'll have to rewrite all the guidebooks
Carol Heidschuster, Cathedral Works Manager

Now an in-depth architectural and archaeological study of the west front has revealed evidence that this was actually a grand palace, built in front of the cathedral.

Cathedral Archaeologist Dr Philip Dixon said: "When you piece it all together you find that what you've got of the west front of Lincoln Cathedral is actually the remains, the hulk, the ruins, of a very early bishop's house."

Cathedral Works Manager Carol Heidschuster said: "I was really intrigued about it.

"I couldn't believe that somebody could've lived in the cathedral...it could be that we'll have to rewrite all the guidebooks."

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