Site 9

Silence in a Sound-Filled Space – Lincoln Cathedral at Exchequergate

Sit on the bench facing the cathedral immediately before you at the Exchequergate. It's a visually-charged space, however resist it and find the silences here, the experience of being held at ground level within sound, either during the bell-ringing practice or from the massive sound-absorbing and reflecting structure.
Bell-ringing is every Thursday 7:30 to 9pm. Thirteen bells fill the space with sound. Is this acoustic event shaping the space? While sitting can you find the silences as the bell patterns weave through the air above you.
If you visit at other times sound is muted by the proximity of the imposing edifice. This may be sharpened by the Peregrine Falcons high on the towers, their cries carving up the space as the bells do, but with more wit.
In the 1800's bell-ringers were a swearing, smoking, and drinking lot, loudly reserving their right to ring only when they felt like it. Diligent records show that a bell peal of 5,040 changes took three hours to complete, and people used to stand and listen for the duration.
Notice the sounds and the silence out of which they emerge. Experiment with selective hearing - in quiet places listening for silence calls for pleasant effort, in a sound-filled space this may take some time!