Lincoln Imp


Lincoln Imp

The Lincoln Imp is the symbol of the City of Lincoln, the county town of Lincolnshire, England.

According to a 14th-century legend two mischievous creatures called imps were sent by Satan to do evil work on Earth. After causing mayhem elsewhere in Northern England the two imps headed to Lincoln Cathedral where they smashed tables and chairs and tripped up the Bishop. When an angel came out of a book of hymns and told them to stop, one of the imps was brave and started throwing rocks at the angel but the other imp cowered under the broken tables and chairs. The angel turned the first imp to stone giving the second imp a chance to escape.

Visitors to the cathedral may still view the imp, though finding it is considered a traditional challenge and hints are discouraged.

There are many variations on Lincoln Imp legends. According to one popular legend, the imp which escaped fled north to Grimsby, where it soon began making trouble again. It entered St James' Church and began repeating its behaviour at Lincoln Cathedral. The angel then reappeared and gave the imp's backside a good thrashing before turning it to stone like its friend. The "Grimsby Imp" can still be seen in St James' Church, clinging to its sore bottom. Another legend has the escaped imp turned to stone just outside the cathedral, and sharp-eyed visitors can spot it on a South outside wall.

Lincoln City Football Club are nicknamed "The Imps" and an image of the Lincoln Imp appears on their crest. Also, the club's mascot is called Poacher the Imp.

The Imp is the badge of No. LXI Squadron RAF.

Lincoln College, Oxford

An 1899 reproduction of the Lincoln Imp also overlooked the Front Quad of Lincoln College, Oxford until 2000 when it was transferred to the bar (Deep Hall) and another Imp was erected in the traditional position above the entrance to Hall. This has given rise to a traditional Oxford expression: 'to look on someone like the Imp looks over Lincoln' as well as giving rise to the title of the college's undergraduate newspaper: The Lincoln Imp.

External links

* [http://www.theimp.lincolnfans.co.uk/lincoln.shtml Another version of the Lincoln Imp Legend] at [http://www.theimp.lincolnfans.co.uk The Forgotten Imp]


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