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Chester Cathedral                        During Saxon times King Aethelred of Mercia is credited with founding the church of St Peter & St Paul on this sandstone mound.  It is also reported that the bones of Mercian Princess and Nun St Werburgh where bought to the church for safe keeping to be protected from the Danes.  The church being re-dedicated to her.  In 1092 St Anselm from the Benedictine monastery of Bec in Normandy arrived to build a monastery next to the church.  The small Minster containing St Werburgh`s bones was therefore enlarged and became the Abbey Church.  Just prior to the dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540 the bones of St Werburgh were moved to a safe place out of reach of the soldiers of Henry VIII.  Fortunately they were stored very safely, so safe their whereabouts are still unknown to this day.  However during this period of upheaval the Abbey Church came through the reorganisation very well and by 1541 it was designated as the Cathedral Church of the newly formed diocese of Chester and rededicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The Church & Monastery survived the worst of the dissolution process and the buildings we have today are seen as they were intended all those years ago.  The refectory is superb, the cloisters which up-to one hundred years ago were still not glazed, now provide a wonderful oasis in which to walk.  Do look at the quire stalls and misericords, being of wood construction they have weathered far better over the ages than the soft sandstone construction of the building which has needed constant repair.  These original carved workings are certainly a direct link with the monks of the Middle ages and are possibly the Cathedrals greatest treasure.
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