Worcester Cathedral :: Shared Description

Worcester Cathedral is possibly one of the most interesting of all England's cathedrals.

There was originally a church in Worcester in Saxon times, which stood for some 300 years. Bosel, the first Bishop of Worcester, bought Christianity to the long established and fortified town. In 983 another Cathedral was built by Oswald next to Bosel's original structure. He also founded the monastic community at Westbury on Trym and established the community at Ramsey from which were founded those at Pershore and Evesham. He also founded a monastic community at the new Cathedral Church of St Mary in Worcester. These were Benedictine monks.

The monks met in the chapter house. The present early 12th century one is possibly a prototype of those at Wells and Lincoln

In 1084 Bishop Wulfstan (1008-1095) began the construction of the new Cathedral at Worcester. This was nearly as big as the current Cathedral building, the crypt was built at this time, and is one of the finest surviving Norman buildings. Wulfstan's church housed the shrine of St Oswald and eventually Wulfstan himself was canonised, and a shrine built to hold his relics.

The cathedral became a great centre of pilgrimage, and in 1224 the cathedral was extended at the east end by adding a lady chapel and rebuilding of the choir. These were built in Early English style. The 13th century choir was built over the crypt; however, structural problems arose and the east part of the crypt had to be reinforced and filled in. When King John died in 1216 he requested to be buried in Worcester. The effigy stands before the high altar.

The nave and aisles are mainly of the decorated period, built under Bishop Cobham from 1317 to 1377.

The tower is in the centre of the building, and is 200 feet high. The first one fell down in 1175 and the second was taken down because it was unsafe. The present tower was completed in 1374. Views from the top are magnificent.

The cathedral is unusual in that it has two transepts. South of the nave are the cloisters, built in Perpendicular style, as is the north porch.

In 1540 the Benedictine monastery was dissolved, the Shrines of St Oswald and St Wulfstan having been previously destroyed and their bodies reburied in unknown places. Screens across the nave were destroyed, the monks' stalls were removed and stained-glass windows were either taken away or defaced, and a number of statues were damaged too.
In 1642 parliamentarian troops occupied buildings; the nave and cloisters were used to house the troops and their horses, with the quire and aisles used as latrines. Some five years later lead and timbers were stripped from parts the building, and in 1651 fighting between the factions involved in the Civil War broke out, and the cathedral lay unrepaired for many years. The cathedral's organ also appears to have been damaged although the first man who attempted to take an axe to it slipped and fell from a step ladder and broke his neck!

In 1857 a major program of restoration was begun under Bishop Henry Philpott, including work by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The wonderful 14th century Misericords and choir screen were retained.

There are many commemorative monuments, both free-standing and wall-mounted. There are 15 bells; the heaviest weighs 2.5 tons.
by Julian P Guffogg
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51 images use this description. Preview sample shown below:

SO8454 : Baldwin Window, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Moore Monument, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Stained glass window, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Stained glass window, Cloisters, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8554 : Ceiling and organ, Worcester Cathedral by J.Hannan-Briggs
SO8454 : South entrance to Worcester Cathedral cloisters by Stephen Craven
SO8554 : The Crypt Chapel, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8554 : Galton Window, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Abigail Goldisburgh Memorial, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Ruins of the Guesten Hall by Alan Murray-Rust
SO8454 : Unett Window, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Stained glass window, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Renewed sculpture on the cathedral porch by Alan Murray-Rust
SO8454 : Monastic ruins at Worcester by Tiger
SO8454 : Stained glass window, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Stained glass window, Cloisters, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8554 : Snowdrops outside Worcester cathedral by Stephen Craven
SO8554 : Misericord, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Stained glass window, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : West end of Worcester Cathedral by Jonathan Hutchins
SO8554 : Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Memorial to Bishop John Gauden, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg
SO8454 : Worcester Cathedral by Jaggery
SO8454 : West front, Worcester Cathedral by David P Howard
SO8454 : Stained glass window, Cloisters, Worcester Cathedral by Julian P Guffogg

... and 26 more images.

These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Mon, 13 Aug 2012, Updated: Mon, 20 Aug 2012

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2012 Julian P Guffogg, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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