Today we visited Canterbury Cathedral. Again, we were so blessed to have such perfect weather. Canterbury Cathedral is considered to be the "Mother Church" of all Anglicans over the world. Building began in 1070 and has gone on ever since really.
The Cathedral looked glorious in the sunshine!
Even the gargoyles were trying to smile!
This is the oldest stained-glass in the Cathedral. It dates from 1176. It depicts Adam at work after being expelled from the Garden of Eden.
The Pulpit (from where sermons are preached)
St.Michael's Chapel. In the foreground is the tomb of Lady Margaret Holland (unusually in between her two husbands!) Most of Stephen Langton (Archbishop from 1207-1228) is also buried in the chapel. His feet are outside the cathedral. This is because he was buried in ground outside the cathedral and it was only later the the Chapel of St.Michael was built on top!
The South Aisle
Looking up into the Bell Harry Tower. The fan vaulting was done by John Wastell who went on to create the largest fan vault in England at the chapel of King's College, Cambridge.
The base of the Lectern
Watch out for those talons!
The High Altar
Tomb of Archbishop Henry Chicele (1364-1443).
It is the best preserved of the older tombs. This is because when he founded All Souls' College in Oxford, he left land and money to be invested for the college on the condition that his tomb be maintained every 50 years. This has continued to this day! You can see Henry in all his fine robes on the top of the tomb but also underneath where he is represented as a near naked emaciated corpse. This is known as a cadaver tomb, a style that was popular for only about 50 years. Apparently, he had the tomb made several years before he died. It was placed where he could see it from the Archbishop's throne in the cathedral. This was to remind him that no matter how important he was in life, he would be treated exactly the same as everyone else in death. The words, "I was pauper-born, then to primate raised. Now I am cut down and served up for worms. Behold my grave." are inscribed on the tomb.
Detail from Henry Chicele's tomb
Another detail from Henry Chicele's tomb
One of the chief glories of Canterbury Cathedral is its stained-glass, much of which dates to medieval times. One can only imagine what a glorious, heavenly place the cathedral must have been to someone living in the 1200s! There are whole books written on the windows and I didn't have a hope to even look at them all properly, far less photograph them all. Some of my photos are below. Where I think I know the subject, I have labelled it.
The unassuming-looking stonework behind the heater and the trolley is the oldest in the cathedral and dates to 1070. If you look carefully, you will see where the stonework changes, just above a little window. This is where newer stonework was added.
As well as the older glass, there are many windows from more modern times. This one shows the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (known as the Queen Mother) after the king died in 1953) in 1937. To the left of the window is a young Princess Elizabeth (now our Queen) and her sister Margaret is to the right. (The shadows were caused by scaffolding on the outside of the cathedral.)
Here is the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Note the young Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
I think someone is being given their medicine!
This is Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Palm branches are being waved and people are placing their cloaks on the road.
I think this is the Flight into Egypt. (Mary and Joseph are warned by an angel to take Jesus into Egypt because King Herod wants him killed.)
Every little corner of the windows are decorated. The detail is truly amazing and impossible to take in all at once, even on just one window!
Henry VIII in the Chapter House
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) wrote most of the Book of Common Prayer which is still used for services (especially Evensong) today.
The Coronation of Queen Victoria.
The Cathedral was a part of a monastery until the monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII. Some of the buildings survived, including the cloister. The current King's School is situated on the site and incorporates some of the buildings.
Satoshi in the cloister
One of the inhabitants of the Cathedral Close
The Canterbury Tourist Information Centre.
There was an exhibition of the paintings of Thomas Cooper. He was rather fond of painting cattle (and did a pretty good job - better than me at least!).
The Old Weavers' House was built in 1500.
A statue of Chaucer (who wrote the famous Canterbury Tales about a group of pilgrims travelling to Canterbury Cathedral)
The Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr of Eastbridge was founded in the 12th century to provide overnight accommodation for poor pilgrims to the shrine of St Thomas Beckett. It is still providing accommodation for elderly citizens of Canterbury according to rules from the 1500s.
The chapel in the hospital.
These beams (in the chapel above) date from 1280.
Then it was back to the Cathedral for Evensong which was sung by the St.Edmundsbury Singers, a ladies' choir from St.Edmundsbury Cathedral. (The cathedral choir was still on half-term holiday - bother!) Some of the singers were showing their age a little but, overall, the music was very good. The introit was Oculus no videt by Lassus, the canticles were Howells in E flat and the anthem Gaudent in coelis by Richard Dering. The Responses were those by Malcolm Archer. As has been the case at all Evensongs other than Coventry, the service was well-attended.
The evening was so mild that many diners were eating their meals in the outside sections of their chosen restaurant. We had dinner at Poppies Restaurant, an establishment rather like "The Golden Tower" in Swanston St Melbourne. My steak was delicious - best in England so far and only cost £9.99! (It is easy to pay more than double that for steak here).