Friday, June 6, 2014

Ely Cathedral, Anglophile Friday

permission from

When I did a Google image search for Ely Cathedral, Tim Crawley's photo stood out from all the others. Love this photo, maybe because it also has cows in it. I think I'm going to relocate to one of those little [most likely outrageously expensive] houses near the cathedral. I wrote to him and he graciously gave me permission to use his photo today.

Anyway, I know this is a tangent (for which I am notorious), but Tim Crawley's website itself is so interesting. Check it out. Tim is a stone carver and has worked at so many of the most interesting historical sites and private residences in England in creation and restoration. Check out his website for a look at his fascinating vocation and projects he's done. 

Back to Ely Cathedral

Still on my list of things to see in England is Ely Cathedral.  I can't believe that we were within 25 minutes of the site when we were in Cambridge - two different times!  It's not like we didn't have a map and didn't know the cathedral existed, but we were focused on Cambridge and as I've said before, it's hard to realize how close together everything is over there. I think the problem might be the scale of miles on the map. My map of England is the same size as my map of the United States. You can see the problem. On the map of England, 1 inch equals 1 inch (a slight exaggeration, of course.) Unlike the States, where one inch equals a thousand miles (another slight exaggeration). In this country, I can ride on a train (going west from Minneapolis to Great Falls, Montana) for 23 hours and see nothing but weeds and a few elk and sunflowers. Not a cathedral, castle, or abbey in sight.

Because I've not yet been to Ely Cathedral, this website will give you better information than I could. Here's an excerpt:

"The near-legendary founder of this Cathedral was Etheldreda, the wife of a Northumbrian king who established a monastery on the spot in 673 A.D. Etheldreda's monastery flourished for 200 years until it was destroyed by the Danes. It was re-founded as a Benedictine community in 970.

"The present structure dates from 1081 and is a remarkable example of both Romanesque and Norman architecture. It was during the early part of the 12th Century the existing monastic church achieved Cathedral status and since that time there have been various additions, changes and restorations throughout the centuries."

Note: My ancestors were the nice Danes, not those responsible for the destruction of the monastery. :-)

Ely Cathedral is definitely on my must-visit list.

Have a great weekend, everyone!



Denise said...

Amazingly beautiful.

Terri D said...

I will go visit Mr. Crawley's website when done here. Is he any relation to the Downton Abbey Crawleys? :)

When we were in Italy, visiting cathedrals and museums, I was so amazed at the architectural details in the buildings from the early 1000s, and that it took 100 years to build some of them. That means the artisans who carved the window arches, etc., had to learn from the men who were there at the beginning because the carvings are nearly identical, yet common sense tells you one man didn't do them all. That those huge buildings with amazing arches and peaks got built at all is a miracle. How did they accomplish all that beauty without technology and machinery? I am blown away by it all.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

We were at Ely the other week and I'll do a post about it soon. It is stunning - and quite unusual. When you say 'nice' Danes, you mean your ancestors weren't amongst those hairy ones that came over here and beat up the poor old Anglo-Saxons? Of course, all Danes are nice now - they gave us Lurpak and Lego, after all. Tim Crawley certainly does some work doesn't he? Wow!!!

Vee said...

Absolutely stunning photo! How nice of Mr. Crawley to give you permission to use it. I have visited his site...lots of interest there. Who knew that women could have such grand projects way back then?! Sometimes I am guilty of thinking that the people of former times were "less" than they are today. Stupid of me. Yes, I know that this cathedral is not an original, but still. I saw a church spire that rose above the treeline recently and was awestruck...yet it was a nothing in comparison to this.

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh my goodness this is truly magnificent. The work and vision involved is amazing. Hug B

TexWisGirl said...

(nice danes made me laugh!)

Eileen H said...

That really is a beautiful photo.
Mr. Crawley is probably thrilled you wanted to use his photo!

Anonymous said...

How amazing. I hope you will enjoy the weekend. It is really hot//dry in Georgia.

L. D. said...

It is a beautiful cathedral inside and out. It would be a must see if I were closer.

Pamela Gordon said...

It is magnificent! I will visit Mr. Crawley's site. And I'll look forward to Mike Biles post on it soon. Enjoy the weekend!

NanaDiana said...

That is an amazing cathedral, Judy. I am sorry you missed it and didn't realize how close you were.

I have tried to explain to MyHero that maps are NOT all equal..and even in the same Atlas the scale can change from state to state.

Hope you have a wonderful night- xo Diana

LV said...

Such magnificent cathedrals that I will never see. Have not been to England.

Roan said...

Looks like a good choice for you list. Beautiful!

J_on_tour said...

Mr Crawley seems a fascinating character with an amazing CV. Externally Ely is quite unique as far as UK Cathedrals go. Due to transport issues, it's not easily accessible for me and have only ever seen it twice. Once from the railway and then going back the other way exactly one week later !
The problem with the UK is not the distance but there is so much variety of what to see and do which is why I haven't been inside Ripon Cathedral, Castle Bolton, Skipton Castle ....... lol

Ruth Kelly said...

Oh my, those cathedrals in England are so beautiful and big.


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