Lincoln Cathedral (in full The Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln, or sometimes St. Mary's Cathedral) is a cathedral located in Lincoln in England and seat of the Bishop of Lincoln in the Church of England. Building commenced in 1088 and continued in several phases throughout the medieval period. It was reputedly the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311–1549). The central spire collapsed in 1549 and was not rebuilt. The cathedral is the third largest in Britain (in floor space) after St Paul's and York Minster, being 484 by 271 feet (148 by 83 m). It is highly regarded by architectural scholars; the eminent Victorian writer John Ruskin declared: ""I have always held... that the cathedral of Lincoln is out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have.""