Friday, 1 August 2008

Gloucester Cathedral

Last weekend during my visit to the land of Solomon's Tump and Symonds Yat, I went to see Gloucester Cathedral, which ought to be of interest to my American friends.

The building is undergoing renovations but I managed to avoid most of the scaffolding in the shot of the tower. As with many cathedrals, it can be seen for miles around.

It contains some lovely stained glass windows, especially beautiful in the bright sunlight that day.

This one commemorates the coronation of Henry III in 1216 who was 9 years old at the time, and the only monarch not to have been crowned in Westminster Abbey since William I. He was born in Winchester.

Flying arches between Norman pillars.

The quire and the Great East Window, dating from 1350, the largest in Europe when created and along with York still the largest in England.

There weren't too many people but there was constant movement and subdued chatter. It wasn't too intrusive. While I was there, there an announcement was made by the Dean to ask for a moment's silence to remember that it was a place of worship. It didn't seem too much to ask but sadly very few people bothered to comply with his wish. Disappointing, because I don't feel you need to have any religious conviction to show some respect to the beliefs of the people who built it, those who now maintain it and those who worship there.

The cloisters with the oldest fan vaulting in the world.

A view of the cathedral from the cloister garden.

It's a much smaller cathedral than Winchester, less "grand", but a lovely place with plenty of very friendly guides to help you on your way.

It has a modern claim to fame from starring in two Harry Potter films which doesn't seem to have caused as much discussion as Winchester's part in the Da Vinci Code.

But there is also an older connection to the United States. How many people, American or otherwise, actually know what it is without looking it up? I certainly didn't. No cheating now!


  1. This cathedral looks absolutely magnificent and the cloisters is such a long and grand hallway. When you are inside a place like this, you are surrounded by so much history as you learn about how it was built, how long it took to build, who build it, what happened in there, feel like you are looking directly into the history books and being part of it.

  2. I'm American (obviously) and I don't know, but lovely cathedral! I will patiently await the correct answer, unlike with BritishSpeak...

  3. Fantastic,it must be absolutely amazing in person.The stained glass looks awesome,although it doesn't carry through very well in the photos.I'd imagine it has to be hard when your trying to take the over all grander of this place.Great post.A must see.

  4. I don't know the answer either, but I have to say how beautiful the Cathedral is. There are no words to say how regal it seems.

  5. Didn't one of the choristers invent the flag? Seem to remember reading something about it by Bryson.

  6. @Marie, that's just how I feel. You get a real sense of the ages, all the people gone before, eternity.
    @Redbeard, thank you :) I'm just waiting for the patron of Britishspeak to notice. I somehow doubt he'll be so, shall we say tolerant? :) Forbearing perhaps.
    Gregorio, thanks. Yes the stained glass just didn't take very well, though the biggest one, the Great East Window is not very colourful at all in real life. I was quite surprised.But I'm going to have to find out how to take shots properly because mine never look very good.
    @ettarose, it really is a beautiful place.
    @j, that's not what I was looking for, and knowing you, you have it worked out by now. Keep it under your hat for a bit :)

  7. Wow ... just wow. Thank you for sharing! I can't travel so I love visiting blogs of folks who share things as these. If you took the pictures ... well done!

  8. I would love to walk those halls and great rooms and feel how it feels to sense that place of history. Imagine all the feet that have walked on those stones! Thank you for sharing these photos and filling in the information. Wonderful!

  9. A really magnificent cathedral and the stained glass is too beautiful! I would love to visit and pose for pictures. :)

  10. What episode of treasures of the trust did I view that had a stained glass chapel built in his house especially for a royal visit?... I'm sure it will come to me.

  11. Thank you all, I'm really glad you enjoyed the pictures. But nobody knows the connection with the USA.

  12. Nice Pictures, I do not know the connection to the US :( maybe my excuse is I am not an American who lives in America :)

  13. Great pictures, except cathedral. To much sun on a background, it disturbs a bit. Thanks for posting them!

  14. Hi Cheating Sign. When you visit somewhere on a sunny day and want to take a particular picture, you have to make do with either a disturbed picture or no picture.

    Thank you for your comment though. Do visit again, though I'll probably remover your link again.


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