Lincoln Cathedral is proud to have a wide selection of books and manuscripts at home in the Medieval and Wren Libraries. Please visit for full details of opening times.

The 15th Century Medieval Library

The 15th century Medieval Library was originally built as a chained library and housed the Cathedral’s collection of early handwritten manuscripts. Although mostly theological in nature to suit the needs of scholars and the Cathedral clergy at the time, there are also treasures such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and the Thornton Manuscript.

The 17th Century Wren Library

The 17th century Wren Library contains approximately half of the Cathedral’s early printed books, many of which belonged to Dean Michael Honywood who paid for the building and design of the library. The collection includes 100 “incunabula” or, books printed before 1501. Honywood’s eclectic interests are reflected in the subjects of his books: history, geography, travel, science, nature, literature and even beauty tips for ladies are among the subjects covered. A selection of manuscripts and early printed books is on display throughout the open season.

Artist in Residence

The Cathedral’s Artist in Residence, Toni Watts, will be working in the Wren library between 1pm and 3pm on the following Thursdays: 19th May, 26th May, 23rd June, 27th June (a Monday), 28th July, 4th August, 11th August, 18th August and 25th August.   Toni is an illuminator and has been using some of the Cathedral’s manuscripts for inspiration to create the most beautiful works of art.   We invite visitors to come and see Toni at work on the above dates. Entry to the Library is included in the Cathedral entry price.