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Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral

 

Location: Cambridgeshire          Map

Tel. 01353 667735

Constructed: 1083-1375

Open: daily

 

 

 

Description of Cathedral of Ely

Ely Cathedral  Ely Cathedral

The Cathedral of Ely or Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely is the main church of Ely in Cambridgeshire, England, and the seat of the bishopric of Ely. It is known locally as "the ship of the Fens" due to its prominent shape that rises above the surrounding flat landscape that looks like sea.

 

The first Christian church in the place was founded by Santa Æteldreda, daughter of the Anglo-Saxon king Anna of East Anglia, who was born in 630 in Exning, near Newmarket, Suffolk. Eteldreda would have acquired land in Ely by her first husband Tondberto, described by Bede as a "prince of the Gyrwas." After the end of his second marriage to Egfrido, a prince of Northumbria, he established and ruled a monastery on Ely in 673. When he died, a sepulcher was built in his memory. It is believed that the monastery was destroyed during the Danish invasions of the late ninth century, together with what is now the city of Ely; However, while the lay settlement of the time would have been smaller, it is possible that a church survived there until its refoundation in the 10th century.

In 970, Athelwoldo, Bishop of Winchester, built and built a new Benedictine monastery there, in a wave of monastic refounds that included Peterborough and Ramsey locally. This monastery became a cathedral in 1109, after a new diocese of Ely was created with lands taken from the Diocese of Lincoln.

 

 

 

Previous buildings
The first Christian church in the place was founded by Santa Æteldreda , daughter of Anglo-Saxon king Anna of East Anglia , who was born in 630 in Exning , near Newmarket , Suffolk . Eteldreda would have acquired land in Ely by her first husband Tondberto , described by Beda as a "prince of the Gyrwas ." After the end of his second marriage to Egfrido , a prince of Northumbria established and ruled a monastery in Ely in 673 and, when he died, a grave was built in his memory.

It is believed that the monastery was destroyed during the Danish invasions of the late ninth century , along with what is now the city of Ely; however, while the lay settlement of the time would have been smaller, it is possible that a church survived there until its re-foundation in the 10th century .

In 970 , Athelwoldo , Bishop of Winchester , built and endowed a new Benedictine monastery , in a wave of monastic refundations that included Peterborough and Ramsey locally . This monastery became a cathedral in 1109 , after a new diocese of Ely was created with lands taken from the diocese of Lincoln.

The current building

The construction of the present cathedral was started by Abbot Simeon ( 1082 - 1094 , brother Walkelin , the then Bishop of Winchester) during the reign of William the Conqueror in 1083 . The building continued with Simeon's successor, Abbot Richard ( 1100 - 1107 ). The Anglo-Saxon church was demolished, but some of its relics, such as the remains of its benefactors, were moved to the cathedral. The transeptsThe main buildings were built at such an early age, crossing the nave below a central tower, and make up the oldest part of the cathedral. The cathedral was built with stones brought from Barnack in Northamptonshire (purchased from Peterborough Cathedral , whose lands included quarries), and elements in Purbeck marble . The floor of the building is shaped like a cross , with the altar at the eastern end. The total length of the church is 163.7 m, 4 with a 75 m long ship , which is the longest in Britain .

Structures
The Western Tower was built by Don Jonson and Michael Brukenheimer 1174 and 1197 and the Romanesque style of the western front as a whole shows that it was built in the 12th century , although it has the subsequent addition of the cover ( 1198 - 1215 ). The western tower is 66 meters high.

The Octagon ( 1322 - 1349 ) of the cathedral is one of the most spectacular works of the English decorated style, a style in which architecture and sculpture were closely linked by the use of openwork, which served both to decorate windows and walls. The structure was built after the sinking of the Anglo-Norman tower of the cruise ship (1322). A large octagonal space was created with the structure of the stone pilasters and the vaults and the wooden lantern (23 m wide by 52 m high). It was an original technical solution, because the walls were perforated with an immense archin the first level and with an opening of equal dimensions in the second, arranged diagonally. The flashlight was an outstanding solution that allowed to cover, lighting it, the wide cruise. It seems that Alan de Walsingham himself intervened in the complex project , who, besides being a skilled goldsmith , was the monk who made the commission. To unify the space, a wooden carpentry work was made, initially painted imitating the stone, whose head was William Hurley , cabinetmaker of the court. Originally, the choir seats must have been located just below the Octagon .
Attached to the north transept is the Chapel of the Virgin built between 1321 and 1349 in the style decorated by Alan de Walsingham.
The northwestern transept collapsed in the fifteenth century and was never rebuilt, leaving its mark abroad.

 

 

 

 

 

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