Augustinian Abbey founded in 1142 by Robert Fitzharding. In 1542 it became
the Cathedral Church of the newly formed Diocese of Bristol. It still
retains much of its Norman solidarity, particularly the fine Chapter House.
The Church building is known as a “Hall Church” type where high Chancel, aisles
and an Eastern Lady Chapel are of equal height. The Choir is full of
absolutely fine woodwork dating back to the 1500s and the Misericords of great
interest depicting as they do Biblical scenes. The organ was built in 1685
by Renatus Harris and all the pipework is original. Grinling Gibbons
created the superb organ case. Choristers are educated at the adjoining
Cathedral school. One important feature in the Berkeley Chapel: a Medieval
candelabrum (understood to be the only one of its kind in England recorded) has
being given to the Temple Church in Bristol
during 1450 and passed on to its present home during the terrible blitz of World
Bath Abbey A Saxon Abbey first stood on this site followed by a Norman one. It was not until 1499 that a Gothic Church was erected. Progress was very slow and by the dissolution only the choir and the walls had been completed. However the west front had certainly been given its famous turrets and ladders. After the dissolution the Abbey was looted and the church was given to the parish. The building was soon enclosed by houses and the North aisle became a walk through for towns people. In 1864 a new rector Charles Kemble at his own expense began a reconstruction of the building. Hence what we see today is a Victorian replica of the original Tudor designs.
St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol
A superb example of Medieval
architecture and once described by Queen Elizabeth Ist on a visit to Bristol as
“the fairest, goodliest and most famous parish church in the kingdom” in all
respects it is the size of a Cathedral with a 240ft Nave and a Spire added in
the 19th Century rising 285ft from street level. The Church owes
much of its construction to William Canynge in the 14th Century and
further work completed by his son.
Exeter Cathedral It is recorded that a church with a religious community probably existed here from as early as the 7th Century and St Boniface an apostle from Germany was educated here. It became the seat of the Bishop in 1050 when Leofric made the Minster his Cathedral. Leofric founded a community of 24 Canons whose successors have run the Cathedral ever since. The original Cathedral was built in the Norman style and consecrated on the 21st November 1133. It is believed the Cathedral had boy singers by 1180 and the office of Dean founded in 1225. During the period 1258-80 a new rebuilding scheme was started which built on the existing Norman foundations and by the 14th Century only the Norman towers remained of the original building. Little disturbance was made until the exterior was extensively restored in the 19th Century and changes made inside during the period 1870-1877. The building did take a direct hit during the bombing of 1942 and much damage was done. The Quire screen is original dating back to 1320 and the Quire has furnishings (Bishops throne nearly 60ft high dating back to the period of Bishop Stapledon (1308-1326) Music plays a very important part in Cathedral life and the Choristers are educated in the school which dates back to the Cathedrals very early days.
Truro Cathedral Although
by our standards a modern Cathedral dedicated in 1910. No one can fail to
be impressed when approaching the city, a soaring spire 250ft catching the eye
and dominating the centre of the city. It was the first Anglican Cathedral
to be built on a new site in this country since Salisbury in the 13th
Century. The County of Cornwall had been an Archdeaconry of Exeter until
the decision taken on the 15th December 1876 which declared the
See founded at Truro. The first bishop was Edward Benson Enthoned in
1877. Not in a Cathedral but in the small parish church of St Mary the
Virgin. The foundation stone of the new Cathedral was laid on the 20th
May 1880 by the then Prince of Wales later to become King Edward VII. The
building was completed and dedicated in 1910.
Very much a Cathedral city
and dominated by it, the existing building was started in 1180 continued in
stages until 1424. On the West front there are 294 sculptures left of the
original 386 some damaged beyond recognition, 3 new ones were unveiled by the
Prince of Wales in 1985. The Chapter House reached by an ancient stone
stairway is octagonal in shape and part of a two storey building, could be one
of the most beautiful Chapter Houses in Britain. The Cathedrals South
doors lead to beautiful 15/16th Century cloisters.