William the Conqueror ordered the first cathedral to be built in Lincoln, in 1072; before that, St. Mary's church in Lincoln was a mother church but not a cathedral. Bishop Remigius built the first Lincoln Cathedral on the present site, finishing it in 1092 and then dying two days before it was to be consecrated on May 9 of that year. About fifty years later, most of that building was destroyed in a fire. Bishop Alexander rebuilt and expanded the cathedral, but it was destroyed by an earthquake about forty years later, in 1185, while there was no bishop.
King Henry II of England approved the election of Hugh of Avalon, a Carthusian monk and later canonized a saint, as Bishop of Lincoln in 1186, and St. Hugh died in 1200, before his plan for the rebuilding was completed. The western end of the cathedral was always where it is now, but the eastern end (east of the original, now "great" transept) was moved eastward each time the cathedral was enlarged: The eastern wall of the Norman building (1073) was in the middle of what is now St. Hugh's Choir. The eastern end of the Early English building (1186) was in what is now the Angel Choir behind the High Altar. The existing structure was finished by about 1280, but repairs and remodeling have continued, and there have been repeated problems with the spires (removed in 1807) and towers, which were sometimes thought to be in danger of collapsing.
Among the persons interred in Lincoln Cathedral are:
St. Hugh of Avalon, in the Angel Choir
Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln, in the first cadaver tomb ever, in a chantry on the north wall