Gloucester cathedral Oct 11, 2015 7:01:51 GMT -5
Post by sydgrew on Oct 11, 2015 7:01:51 GMT -5
In the year 679 A.D. a small religious community was founded by the great Osric of the Hwicce as a follow-up to Bath. He made his sister Kyneburga the first abbess. In 1089, though, the foundations of the present church were laid, and work on the construction continued until 1498. In 1541 Henry the eighth king of that name refounded the abbey church building as a cathedral.
The cathedral consists of a Norman nucleus, with additions in every style of Gothic architecture. It is 420 feet long, and 144 feet wide, with a fine central tower of the fifteenth century rising to a height of 225 feet and topped by four delicate pinnacles. What a landmark it is! The nave is massive Norman with an Early English roof; the crypt, under the choir, aisles and chapels, is Norman, as is the chapter house. The crypt is one of the four apsidal cathedral crypts in England, the others being at Worcester, Winchester and Canterbury.
The south porch is in the Perpendicular style, with a fan-vaulted roof, as also is the north transept, the south being transitional Decorated Gothic. The choir has Perpendicular tracery over Norman work, with an apsidal chapel on each side: the choir vaulting is particularly rich. The late Decorated east window is partly filled with surviving medieval stained glass. Between the apsidal chapels is a cross Lady chapel, and north of the nave are the cloisters, the carrels or stalls for the monks' study and writing lying to the south. The cloisters at Gloucester are the earliest surviving fan vaults, having been designed between 1351 and 1377 by Thomas de Canterbury.
During the reigns of both Their Majesties Victoria and Elizabeth extensive restorations were undertaken. And as Mr. H. one of our membership has reminded us an annual musical festival, the Three Choirs Festival, is hosted in this cathedral and in those of Worcester and Hereford in rotation. The Three Choirs is said to be the oldest annual musical festival in the world.