Friday, 23 November 2018

St Albans Cathedral




We walked through the Vintry Garden




on our way to St Alban's Cathedral







walked around the building and reached the front.

St Albans Cathedral, sometimes called the Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, and referred to locally as The Abbey, is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain and stands over the place where Alban, Britain's first saint, was buried over 1700 years ago. It ceased to be an abbey in the 16th century and became a cathedral in 1877. Probably founded in the 8th century, the present building is Norman or Romanesque architecture of the 11th century, with Gothic and 19th century additions.




A plan of the building





The nave is long and impressive





Under each arch, looking down on the centre of the nave, are medieval paintings, the work of many artists, the most famous of which was the 13th century monk, Walter of Colchester. In medieval times these formed an altar-piece over a small altar.
















The chancel is magnificent




looking  back




a closer look at the stained glass




and at the engraved glass above the door





We then moved on to the side to look at two collages which tell the story behind the building of St Alban's Abbey up to the middle of the 14th century. These were designed and drawn by Susan Llewelyn-Elvidge. Hundreds of eleven year old children worked in groups to bring the drawings to life by applying fabrics.





detail



detail




We moved on to the other side of the chancel in order to explore the rest of the building




and arrived at the Crossing








the High Altar




looking closer




impressive ceiling




we continued on our way




the shrine of St Alban was on our left. Alban was a Romano-British citizen who was put to death for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. Pilgrims have visited his shrine for over 1700 years.




We reached the end of the building and the Lady Chapel.




A well-attended Catholic mass was going on here when I first entered so I had to come back later to take photographs.









We retraced our steps




admired the poppies and left the building.




Facing us, the Keep





which is a public school nowadays.




a last look at the building,




an exploration of the surrounding area and we were on our way to our hotel and the drive back home.



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