Thursday, 19 November 2009

The Nave - Gloucester Cathedral

(Click to enlarge) The former Abbey Church of Gloucester associated with events of national importance- the Conqueror's ordering of the Doomsday survey in 1086 and the burial of King Edward II following his gruesome murder at Berkeley Castle in 1327- survived the Reformation by being assigned Cathedral status. Architecturally, we can see the full range of Romanesque and Gothic styles. The nave, seen here looking towards the crossing, is notable for its massive Romanesque columns and semi-circular arches. The sexpartite rib vaulting above the clerestory is but a hint in the direction of what follows in the choir with its triumphant east window and, yet further beyond, the sheer architectural exuberance of the Lady Chapel. At some point following the destruction of the rood the organ was placed on top of the surviving screen unfortunately restricting the view of the east window from the nave. Perhaps the most surprising feature of this ostensibly gothic building is the extent to which the original Romanesque structure survives. In the choir the massive circular columns are overlaid with elegant and almost lace-like gothic detailing.

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