SJ8398 : Holy Night, Manchester Cathedral

taken 5 years ago, near to Manchester, Great Britain

Holy Night, Manchester Cathedral
Holy Night, Manchester Cathedral
This modern group of the nativity, with the composition arranged as a triangle, Joseph’s head forming the apex, the reclining Mary as the base, and the infant Christ held in the centre, forms a major part of the cathedral’s annual Christmas celebration. It is positioned at the eastern end of the cathedral, near the Lady Chapel. It was sculpted by Josephina de Vasconcellos LinkExternal link in 1992.

Josefina Alys Hermes de Vasconcellos was 87 when she carved this statue, which was installed in 1992. Based in the Lake District, she continued carving well into her 90s, actually completing her last major sculpture at the age of 97. She lived to be 100.

Much of her work is religious. It is to be found in cathedrals and other churches throughout Britain. Other casts of her ‘Holy Night’, in particular, are to be found in Liverpool and Gloucester Cathedrals (LinkExternal link Manchester Cathedral News Dec/Jan 2012).
Manchester Cathedral
Manchester Cathedral sits towards the northern side of downtown Manchester, an area that has seen extensive regeneration and development in recent years. From the outside, the cathedral appears to be a relatively modern church, typical of the Victorian era. However, the main body of the cathedral largely derives from the 15th century and the present structure retains elements that are almost 600 years old and has even survived a bomb blast during World War II. Although the structure has seen its share of changes, these have taken place over hundreds of years, unlike the rapid redevelopment of the Millennium Quarter surrounding it.

Until becoming a cathedral in 1847, it was a Collegiate Church; its full title is “The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and St George in Manchester”. Following the rapid expansion of Manchester during the Industrial Revolution, it was made a cathedral in 1847 and was extensively refaced, restored and extended in the Victorian period. All external stonework was replaced between 1850 and 1870 and the west tower was heightened in 1868. Consequently the cathedral gives the overall impression of a 19th-century structure. The cathedral also suffered a hit from a bomb in 1940, suffering the worst wartime damage of any UK cathedral apart from Coventry. Yet more restoration was needed after the IRA bomb of 1996 which exploded nearby.

The cathedral is a Grade I listed building (Historic England List entry Number: 1218041 LinkExternal link ).

LinkExternal link Wikipedia article about Manchester Cathedral
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SJ8398, 2732 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 2 December, 2014   (more nearby)
Monday, 8 December, 2014
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  Religious sites  City, Town centre  People, Events 
Camera (from Tags)
Panasonic Lumix TZ60 
Image Buckets ?
Sculptor (from Tags)
Josefina Alys Hermes De Vasconcellos 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8391 9875 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:29.1130N 2:14.6366W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8391 9875
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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