"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on June 8, 2017 by Sioux under General
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Canterbury Cathedral, which is often described as ‘England in stone’, was one of the most important centres of pilgrimage in medieval England, and there has been a cathedral at Canterbury since 597. Little actually remains of the original cathedral or of the Norman cathedral built in 1070.


The tools that a master mason had to work with at the time were limited – hammers, chisels, crude measuring devises, wooden scaffolding etc. However, for all these limitations, the professional skills shown at Canterbury in the Bell Harry Tower, almost 72m high, is both highly decorative yet

functional. The immaculate geometric ceiling of the tower is

one of the great glories of medieval architecture.


During WWII, the church precincts were heavily damaged by

enemy action and the Cathedral’s library was destroyed but

due to the bravery of the team of fire watchers, who patrolled

the roofs and dealt with the incendiary bombs dropped by

enemy bombers, the Cathedral itself was not damaged.


Today, the Cathedral holds nearly 2,000 services and is open

to visitors from all walks of life. The beauty and scale of the

cathedral was something to behold, and had me entranced! 

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This gate is the principal entrance to the cathedral, and forms the dramatic highlight of the Buttermarket over which it stands.


\Records show that the gate was built between 1504 and 1521, despite the inscription of is a matter of ongoing dispute between historians. The original statue of Christ and the wooden gates was destroyed in 1643.


The gates were restored in 1660. The original towers were torn down in 1803 and replaced in 1937. The statue of Christ was replaced in 1990 after a gap of 347 years.

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Fan vaulting in the ceilings, which is a form of vault used in the Gothic style, in which the ribs are all of the same curve and spaced equidistantly, in a manner resembling a fan. The initiation and propagation of this design element is strongly associated with England.  

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Canterbury Cathedral, Transi Tomb (cadaver tomb) of Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury. 

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This circular chapel housed some of Becket’s remains, and was widely believed to have included the top of his skull, struck off in the course of his assassination. This latter chapel became known as the “Corona” or “Becket’s Crown”. 

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     The area in the north west transept,     known as the Martyrdom, provided         one of the main stopping points for         any medieval pilgrim visiting the               shrine of St Thomas.  It was here, on    29 December 1170, that four knights,    each convinced he was carrying out        the instructions of Henry II, slayed          Thomas Becket, archbishop of               Canterbury.


  The dramatic sculpture of the sword’s  point – with its representation of four  swords for the four knights (two metal swords with reddened tips and their two shadows) was installed in 1986. 

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Tomb of Edward Perry Archdeacon Canterbury Cathedral Kent England. 

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Charles Fotherby (Dean of Canterbury in

                 1615) was laid to rest in the Lady Chapel or Dean’s Chapel as it is also known, adjacent to the Martyrdom.

                 His tomb is exquisitely macabre, carved all round with human skeletons, skulls and bones of every 

                 description. It has been speculated as to whether there was an attempt to depict every bone in the human 

                 body. Carved from alabaster, the colour and texture is eerily realistic, and in stark contrast to the shining 

                 black marble slab that forms the cover. The bones motif was quite fashionable at the time, and his tomb is 

                 described as, “a fine example of

                 that obsessive early seventeenth-

                 century morbidity which repelled

                 later more squeamish observers”. 

I left the cathedral totally awestruck and definitely want to go back at some stage.


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