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Pictures of Norwich Cathedral

a Cathedral in the town of Norwich, in the county of Norfolk


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About Norwich Cathedral

In a town that is full of ancient well preserved streets and buildings which retain their medieval appearance and atmosphere, it is the magnificent Cathedral of 1094 which captivates everyone.

The cathedral was started when Bishop Herbert de Losinga abandoned Thetford for the more genial Norwich which he later created the centre for the diocese. By 1145 the building was complete. Since this date very few changes have been made save for the remodelling of the upper part of the choir in the 14th century and roof replacements of the 15th and 16th centuries. The presbytery was altered in the 14th century, and the magnificent spire seen from all corners of the town was an addition of the 15th century.

Norwich Cathedral was originally served by monks, it is surrounded by an impressive close - the former precinct of the town's medieval monastery. The close is entered via elaborate gateways, the hallowed cathedral cloisters belonging to the 14th and 15th century lie to the south of the building, these are unique for the first floor court extending the length of the cloister court. The cloisters contain magnificent vaulting, and the prior's door to the cathedral dates to 1320, this is in fine Decorated design.

The cathedral possesses many historic church treasures; The medieval retable, or alter-piece in St.Luke's chapel is particularly fine. It was given to the cathedral in 1380 by Bishop Despenser. Later this was converted into a table, it fortunately it escaped destruction by the Puritans, but lay un-discovered until the middle of the 19th century when it was later returned to the chapel. This is most exquisite, full of subtle colour and depicts the Crucifixion with the Virgin supported by St.John, with another panel illustrating the Resurrection.

The beauty of Norwich cathedral remains almost unsurpassed, it possesses a magical atmosphere and no matter in which direction you look there is something rare and special to catch the eye; there are superb Holgate statues, one of Mother Julian, the other depicts St.Benedict, these are seen as you enter the Alnwick Porch at the cathedral's west front. Once inside your attention is immediately drawn to the colourful roof bosses, perhaps the most impressive of these is the one depicting "The Cycle of Creation" others of equal virtue are Noah's ark, musicians, and a stonemason at work. Detail shown on the fine misericords include Sampson and the lion, whilst another shows an early pilgrim squashed into a shell.

An extraordinary beautiful collection of stained glass windows dapple the cathedral with light, amongst these is the superb Millennium window, one of the "Incarnation" and another is the lovely Benedictine window.

In this exceptional cathedral there are church treasures too numerous to mention in one short article; a few other attractive features include alabaster angels, a superb copper font, monuments, memorials and brasses.

Outside, the purity of the Romanesque lines of the cathedral take your breath away. As previously stated little of the exterior has been altered since early times, what alteration has taken place enhances rather than detracts. The gallery walls were doubled in height during the 14th century and taller windows placed into the clerestory during the 1360's. The cathedral spire which reaches to a height of 315 ft is an addition from between 1472 and 1501, this is second only in height to Salisbury's magnificent spire.

The west end exterior shows alterations of the 18th and 19th centuries with little left of the original.

The sweeping lawn between the Refectory and the main cathedral building show impressive labyrinths, the larger being known as the Norfolk Labyrinth.

To fully appreciate the spectacle and magnificence of Norwich Cathedral, you need to see it for yourself. To wander around its magnificent interior, gaze at incredible roof vaulting and other treasures, to tread through the cloisters and beautiful cathedral close is to part-take of a rich memorable experience that no visitor to Norwich should miss.

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