10 Wonderful Cathedrals

September 23, 2018

Westminster

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Westminster Abbey is mainly a Gothic abbey church.  It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings.  The building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign.  Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been in Westminster Abbey. There have been 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100.  The Abbey is also a​ UNESCO world heritage site and so much more.  Don't miss it.

 

Canterbury

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Canterbury Cathedral is the head church of the Anglecan Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077.  It is a wonderful place to visit including the town of Canterbury.   Highlights are the place where Archbishop, Thomas Becket was murdered (the martyrdom) and the tomb of the Black Prince.  

 

Winchester

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Construction on Winchester Cathedral was started in 1079.  It is known to have the longest nave and greatest length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe.  A statue of Joan of Arc was erected when she was canonised as a saint by the Pope in 1923. The statue faces the Chancery Chapel of Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, who condemned her to death by burning at the stake in Rouen in 1431.  You will also find the graves of Jane Austen and Izaak Walton, author of The Compleat Angler.

 

York Minster

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The Minster is the seat of the Archbishop of York, the second-highest office of the Church of England, The title "minster" is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches, and serves now as an honorable title.  The south transept contains a rose window, while the West Window contains a heart-shaped design known as The Heart of Yorkshire.  The cathedral was completed in 1472.

 

Durham

Britain Express

 

Durham Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Durham, the fourth-ranked bishop in the Church of England. The present cathedral was begun in 1093 and holds the relics of Saint Cuthbert, transported to Durham by Lindisfarne monks in the ninth century, the head of Saint Oswald of Northumbria, and the remains of the Venerable Bede.

 

Worcester

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Worcester Cathedral was built between 1084 and 1504 and represents every style of English Architecture from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic.  It is famous for it's Norman crypt and unique chapter house.  The cathedral contains the tomb of King John and is host of the annual graduation for the University of Worcester.

 

Salisbury

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The main body of Salisbury Cathedral was completed in 38 years, from 1220 to 1258.  Since 1549, the cathedral has had the tallest church spire in the United Kingdom, at 404 feet. Visitors can take the "Tower Tour" with its ancient wooden scaffolding. The cathedral also has the largest cloister and the largest cathedral close in Britain at 80 acres. It contains a clock which is among the oldest working clocks in the world, and has the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta. 

 

Wells

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Wells Cathedral, dedicated to St Andrew the Apostle, is the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells.  Its broad west front and large central tower make it the dominant feature of its city and a landmark in the Somerset countryside.  The architecture is entirely Gothic and mostly in the Early English style of the late 12th and early 13th centuries.  St Andrews cross under the tower seems to give it a modern twist and is a unique feature.  

 

Ely

Architecturally Ely Cathedral is outstanding both for its scale and stylistic details. Having been built in a monumental Romanesque style its most notable feature is the central octagonal tower, with lantern above, which provides a unique internal space and, along with the West Tower and dominates the surrounding landscape.  It is known locally as "the ship of the Fens", because of its prominent position above the surrounding flat landscape

 

Lincoln

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Lincoln Cathedral was the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311–1549), and the first building to hold that title after the Great Pyramid of Giza.  The central spire collapsed in 1549 and was not rebuilt.  Wonder what monument replaced that title?  The cathedral is the third largest in Britain (in floor area, 54,000 sq ft), after St Paul's and York Minster.  Lincoln Cathedral is one of the few English cathedrals built from the rock it is standing on.  It has owned the existing quarry, on Riseholme Road, Lincoln, since 1876.  This quarry is expected to run out of stone in 2021. The cathedral's stonemasons use more than 100 tonnes of stone per year for maintenance and repairs.

 

 The end of Fox Hunting at Lincoln Cathedral

 

There are so many wonderful Cathedrals in Britain.  If only our list was more than 10!

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