Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lichfield Cathedral, Southwell Minster, Worcester Cathedral.

During my placement in Lincoln, I also visited three great but yet not so known Cathedrals of England: Lichfield, Southwell and Worcester.


The Cathedral was founded in 669 when St. Chad of Mercia moved his see to Lichfield - which will eventually become the location of his shrine. This is the only English Cathedral with three spires, known as the "Ladies of the Vale" - the present building dates from the 1080s and its work continued throught the twelfth century, replacing the original Saxon and Norman buildings. Much devastation was caused during the Civil War - all stained glass was destroyed, yet one can still find lovely Medieval frescoes in the Cathedral. 


The earliest church on the site is believed to have been founded in 627 by Paulinus, the first Archbishop of York - in 956 a Minster church was established and in 1086 the Domesday Book recorded Southwell manor in great detail. A Norman reconstruction of the Cathedral begun in 1108. The Norman exterior and rare were retained but the chancel was rebuilt in the Early English Style in 1234 because it was too small. The decorated screen and chapter house were built in the 1350s. The church suffered less than many other English churches during the Reformation, during the Civil War this was where King Charles the First was captured.


What is now a Cathedral was founded in 680 as a priory, Monks and Nuns had been present on the site since the seventh century, as it is recorded in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English people - the Monastery became Benedictine in the second half of the tenth century. Following the Dissolution of the Monasteries the priory was re-established as a Cathedral with secular clergy. In the 1860s a major restoration work was led by Sir George Gilbert Scott. Like Salisbury and Lincoln the Cathedral has two transepts, which facilitated the monks in saying the Daily Office in private. The Perpendicular tower is a real jewel of English architecture. King John is buried in the chancel and the lovely chantry chapel of Prince Arthur (Henry VIII's brother) is the last important addition (1502-04).

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