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Pictures of Bristol Cathedral

a Cathedral in the town of Bristol, in the county of Somerset

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About Bristol Cathedral

The great, stirring building of Bristol Cathedral was initially given cathedral status by Henry VIII, at this time it was a Norman monastic church dating from around the 12th-century. Very little survives from this period save for the chapter house, its adjoining buildings and the great gate-house with its 15th-century upper floor.

The chapter house has superb Romanesque decoration of interlaced arcading, it is a triumph of the artistry of early craftsmen, as is the carved patterning to its walls. The choir is medieval, showing fine misericords - of great interest is the carving of the Romance of Reynard Fox.

Interestingly, this cathedral begun so many centuries ago was only completed in the 19th-century when the nave was built and the two western towers added. It was designed to be a "Hall" church with aisles of the same height as the central part of the building, this is an unusual church feature, another is the vaulting to the central aisle and yet another appears in the ante-room to the Berkeley Chapel to the south of the choir, which shows an early piece of 14th-century skeleton vault.

Following the reformation the dedication of the cathedral was changed, it became the cathedral church of The Holy and Undivided Trinity. Apart from magnificent architecture, inside the church visitors can see a wealth of church treasures, these include fine monuments from several centuries. Scattered among the cathedral gardens are graves and tombs covering hundreds of years.

Readers will be interested to note that in 1978 the cathedral was used in scenes of the film "The Medusa Touch" which amongst other famous actors starred Richard Burton and Lee Remick. In the film the cathedral was mentioned as Minster cathedral, London.

On a pleasant summer day the rose garden to the rear of the cathedral is a pleasant place to sit and rest.

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