Site 10

The Silence of a Proclaiming Tree – Trees in Lucy Tower, Lincoln Castle

The Lucy Tower is the stone Keep in the castle wall at the edge of the escarpment. You can enter the tower if you pay, however you get a clear view of it from within the castle grounds. It's this distancing that is of interest here – distance from the interior soundscape. And the remote silence of this historically turbulent site.
There is a lot of noise silenced here – battles, sieges, conflict, hangings. Even the massive trees you see growing out above the tower walls were recently under threat of being felled. The Keep's circular space encloses a morbid interior, the robust tree rises skyward growing tall nourished on bone and gore. Standing in the castle grounds you will hear nothing of this.
The tower, originally one storey higher, was built on a motte in the late 12th century and named after Lucy of Bolingbroke. Nicolaa de la Haye, one of Britain's few women castle governors, holed up in the castle during the Battle of Lincoln, said to be a pivotal event in British history. Who speaks of it now?
In the early 19th century the space within the tower became a burial ground for numerous hanged convicts. Their silent utilitarian grave markers are harboured under the trees.
Can you hear the sound of this history? The arched entranceway seen from where you stand at this distance appears like a gaping mouth – a silent mouthpiece for the proclaiming tree.