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Lincoln Imp

606 of 1160 nominations

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Lincoln Imp

Is this an icon?

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Lincoln Imp

Stories about how a twelve-inch-high, maniacally grinning imp came to be sitting on top of a pillar in the choir of Lincoln Cathedral are legion. We shan’t attempt to give the definitive account here, but a common thread is that he was sent by the devil (perhaps in the company of a chum) to make mischief. A gust of wind blew him into the church and, with ill-concealed glee, he set about vandalising the fixtures.

At this point, an irate angel appeared and asked him what he thought he was doing. The imp leapt up on top of a pillar, and began hurling missiles at the angel who, having had quite enough of the imp’s nonsense by now, turned him to stone. And there he sits, a petrified reminder of what happens to people who don’t behave nicely.

Once safely immobilised, the imp became a rather endearing figure. He is now a symbol of the city of Lincoln, whose football team is known as the Imps. But is he an icon of England?


Photo:  Mark Adam Porter

NOMINATION 606 OF 1160

Your comments

The Lincoln Imp is the symbol of Lincoln, his story is he angered a deity because he was naughty and was turned to stone. You can see him now in lurking in a cloister in Lincoln Cathedral. Pay money in a box and he lights up. The story of the imp is a morality tale, and an entertaining one children will learn from. An imp extremely humorous and mischievous, but beware!

May-Ling Trushell


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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer

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