Lincoln Curfew

Where: Lincoln, Lincolnshire at the Cathedral
When: Daily (unless special services are taking place)
Time: When Cathedral is closing for the day (see Helpful Hints)


lincoln curfew

Lincoln is one of the handful of places where a curfew still sounds to remind the residents to cover their fires and get to bed. The twin bells of the north-eastern St Mary’s Tower have sounded for many  years and they ring when the Cathedral is closing for the night. Unusually they ring to a specific pattern – the first bell tolls 101 times minus the date in the month and the second for the remaining days in the month. I’m writing on the 29th of the month  so that means that the first bell should ring tonight for 70 times (101 minus 29 = 70) and the second should ring for 31 (70 plus 31 = 101). Curious indeed!

Helpful Hints

The verger explained to me how the timing of the curfew works – it usually rings on normal days after the Cathedral closes for the night, which is usually between 6pm and 6.45 except for during summertime when it’s around 8pm (this later closing time may vary a little from year to year and is often for July and August or the school holiday period). If there are special events on “after hours” the bell will not be rung that day. If you’re travelling to hear it, I’d strongly advise checking throughly first with the Cathedral to make sure it will be happening when you plan to visit.

For much more detail on the history of the curfew click here :

Click here for the Cathedral website:

Photo by Mike Lambert.

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