a Historic Market Town in the county of Derbyshire
in the county of Worcestershire
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A former 16th-century parish church once stood on the site of this sumptuous cathedral, which was designed by John Loughborough Pearson, who also designed Chiswick parish church, London.
By the time building work began in 1880 all of the old church except for the south aisle which was later incorporated into the new building, was demolished. The cathedral is in the Early English style, it has two western towers with another above the point where nave and chancel meet. Unusually, for an English church all of the towers are crowned with stone spires. The magnificent central tower rises to a majestic height of 250 feet, it was finished in 1903, an appropriate time for it to become a fitting memorial to Queen Victoria who died in 1901. The western towers, at a height of 204 feet, also received Royal approval when they were finished in 1910, Edward VII allowed the south-western tower to be named for him, and Queen Alexandra gave her name to the north-west tower. Thus, all three towers rise regally above Truro's maze of narrow streets.
Interestingly, this cathedral was the first to be built in England for 650 years, it followed the building of the great cathedral at Salisbury which was built in the 13th-century. The Victorians attempt to emulate an earlier style of architecture has indeed been an outstanding success. Everywhere your eye's travel there is classical beauty. Great Gothic columns are offset by incredible fan vaulting over superb arches, and the sheer magnificence of the windows defies belief.
This year has seen the 125th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone in 1880 by the Duke of Cornwall who later became Edward VII. At this time Edward White Benson was Bishop of Truro, he later went on to become Archbishop of Canterbury in 1883. He remained head of the Church of England until his death in 1896. His legacy to Truro is immense, part of this is his creation of a Service of Nine Lessons and Carols which during the past 120 years has become a traditional feature of the cathedral's Christmas Eve celebration of Christ's birth.
No one visiting Truro cathedral could fail to be impressed by its elaborate beauty and serenity. It is a glorious place which is a constant source of fascination both within the rich interior, and in the sheer intricacy of the magnificent exterior.
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