Part of the Ilkeston Cam "Days Out" Series

Lichfield - Part 01 - The Cathedral
w/e 06 October 2019
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

The Cathedral

We had a few hours in Lichfield recently and obviously our first port of call was the cathedral, the only mediaeval cathedral in England to have three spires. Although there was blue in the sky there was a hint of drizzle in the air hence the spots on the camera lens in this picture.

South Side

We had actually approached the cathedral from near to the southeast corner and walked along the road by the southern elevation, marvelling at the enormous size of the building and thinking of how it was built many centuries ago without the aid of modern technology and equipment. Royalist troops barricaded themselves inside the cathedral to withstand a siege during the Civil War and the building was damaged by cannon fire which destroyed the central tower.

PlaqueCharles IIRestoration continued through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and was completed in 1901. In an alcove on this side of the cathedral is a statue of Charles II and a plaque in the stone plinth reads as follows:
"After the ravages of the Civil War, Charles II gave money and timber towards the repair of this cathedral. His statue was placed in the principal position on the west front where it remained until the 19th century restoration."
West End

It is the west front of the cathedral though that is really impressive which is decorated with over one hundred ancient statues as well as other carvings in the stonework around the doors.
North Aisle

We were greeted on entering the cathedral and presented with a leaflet containing a plan pointing out specific features within its walls. It is just as impressive inside as out and this is the view along the north aisle of the Nave.
Wall Painting

Following the plan we passed St Stephen's Chapel and entered the Chapter House to view one of three mediaeval wall paintings left after the Reformation and the Civil War.
Lichfield Angel

Also in the Chapter House is the Lichfield Angel, an 8th century sculpture found during excavations in the Nave.
Herkenrode Glass

In the Lady Chapel at the far end of the cathedral are a number of stained glass windows known collectively as Herkenrode Glass. These are 16th century windows from the Abbey of Herkenrode and are considered to be among the best examples of Flemish glass in Europe.
St Chad

In front of the Lady Chapel is the Shrine of St Chad. The notice on the right says that the modern icon of St Chad provides a contemporary focus for the place of St Chad in the life of the cathedral today. St Chad along with the Blessed Virgin Mary is one of the saints to whom the cathedral is dedicated.

There are many treasures and important historical things to be seen in the cathedral. Here are just three. Top left - the St Chad Gospels, one of the most ancient books in the British Isles dating from the 8th century. Bottom left - the Sleeping Children, a memorial sculpture of Ellen Jane (died 1815) and Marianne (died 1813) by Sir Francis Chantrey who was commisioned by the widow of their father Prebendary William Robinson, Rector of Stoke upon Trent and Swynnerton and who had died in 1812. Mrs Robinson had lost her entire family within the space of three years and the sculpture came to the cathedral in 1817 where her father was Dean. Right above - a view from the Nave of the Screen by Francis Skidmore showing the angels who visited St Chad.
High Altar

Through the Screen in the previous picture the High Altar can be seen and this closer view shows the triptych altarpiece with its high relief scenes from Oberammergau. The original altar was removed in the late 18th century and was replaced about a hundred years later in 1895 during the extensive restoration by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

After spending some time looking around the cathedral we moved on to discover more of the city.
Forward to Part 02

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