Plan your trip to Durham Cathedral Construction began on the magnificent structure in and was largely completed within 40 years. Remarkably, it is the only cathedral in England to retain almost all of its Norman craftsmanship, and one of few to preserve the unity and integrity of its original design. Must see attractions from the Britain Guide Open Treasure will open the doors to previously hidden spaces within the Cathedral Cloister, representing some of the most intact surviving medieval monastic buildings in England and home to the best preserved monastic library in the British Isles.
The Norman nave is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in England The Castle ruins Durham Cathedral is a wonderful reminder of the age of the Prince Bishops. In this building the three main innovations of the revolutionary Gothic style come together; pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses hidden above the aisle vaults.
The majority of the interior work was completed in only 40 years, with the result that the cathedral shows a remarkable unity of style not often found with large building projects from the medieval period. Durham is one of the high points of cathedral architecture in this or any other land.
The cathedral was founded in AD by monks from Lindisfarne who had fled their island home when the Danish Vikings came calling. The monks needed a home for the relics of St. Cuthbertand they built a superb church on a rise above a bend of the River Wear.
Carileph, the second bishop of Durham, when the present building was begun in The choir begun by William was finished inand the nave was rebuilt under the reign of his successor as Bishop, Ranulf Flambard.
The nave is astonishing; the relatively slender composite piers alternate with massive drum columns, and the stone vaulting is the finest Romanesque example in Europe. In Flambard was imprisoned in the Tower of London by Henry I, but the bishop managed to escape by climbing down a rope from a high window.
It is possible that the "escape" was encouraged by Henry, but Flambard never regained the influence he had held under William II. His actions were not all self-centred; Flambard was responsible for building the hospital of Kepier in Durham, and founding several churches.
In he found time to invade Scotland. At his death in Flambard tried to mend a few fences by restoring privileges he had taken from the monks of Durham, but his lasting impression is of a man driven by greed and power.
In the body of St.
Cuthbert was finally laid to rest in the Cathedral proper. It had been kept in a nearby chapel until the church was being built. The monks inspected the body and found it in a state of perfect preservation possibly due to embalming.
Cumin had forged documents, purporting to be from the pope, naming him as the next bishop. The monks refused to accept Cumin, despite support for him from King David of Scotland. Several monks escaped and fled to Rome to ask the pope for clarification.
The pope denounced Cumin and ordered the monks to elect a new bishop. Cumin was captured in the following year by a force of nobles under the Earl of Northumberland.
In the Galilee Chapel was begun at the western end of the cathedral. This chapel was a "Lady Chapel", intended for the use of women, who were not allowed to enter the cathedral proper.
Abortive attempts were made to erect a lady chapel at the eastern end of the building, but the foundations kept collapsing. Some [males] interpreted this as a sign that St. Cuthbert objected to the presence of women so close to his tomb behind the high altar at the eastern end.
Whatever the reason, once the Galilee Chapel was moved to the west, work was able to proceed without further problems. The result is a wonderful piece of ecclesiastical architecture, a low rectangle that is essentially a church in its own right, with zigzag arches supported on shafts of dark Purbeck marble.
More Controversy In the Archbishop of York attempted to inspect the treasury of the monks of Durham, who were at that time awaiting the appointment of a new Bishop. As soon as Anthony Bek was named Bishop of York the furious Archbishop ordered him to excommunicate the monks.
Bek refused, whereupon the Archbishop attempted to excommunicate the Bishop too!
Bishop Bek did not stay in the good books of the monks, however; in he demanded the right of visitation to the priory which lay next to the cathedral The monks refused, so Bek had them imprisoned.
The dispute eventually died down after Edward I intervened. A great Central Tower was constructed in the s, and the Chapel of the Nine Altars was begun finished This chapel is unusual in that the floor level is lower than that of the choir aisles, but the result is an impression of great height, enhanced by the slender Purbeck marble shafts that stand free of the windows and wall arcading.
From the chapel the tomb of St. Cuthbert is approaching by mounting a platform. A tragedy occurred in when a tightrope walker was employed by the Prior of Durham to entertain the monks.
The man attempted to walk along a rope stretched between the Central Tower and one of the Western Towers, but he slipped and fell to his death.
This lovely carved screen, largely paid for by the powerful Neville family, was created in Caen, France, and shipped to Newcastle.The latest Tweets from Durham Cathedral (@durhamcathedral).
The Shrine of St Cuthbert; the Tomb of the Venerable Bede; a living place of worship, welcome and hospitality at the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Durham, UKAccount Status: Verified. Construction of the nave at Durham Cathedral began in and lasted until Flambard is made Bishop of Durham Ranulf Flambard is .
Today's Durham Cathedral was built by William of Calais, the first bishop appointed by William the Conqueror in William of Calais started the construction of the Cathedral in Discover the rich history of cathedral-building in Britain. The Cathedrals of Britain. many of the masons came from Durham whose cathedral was also under construction.
It was founded by. – Most building work is completed. – The monastery is surrendered to the Crown, ending hundreds of years of monastic life.
– Durham Cathedral is re-founded with the last Prior becoming the first Dean, and twelve former monks becoming the first Canons. 16th century – The Book of Common Prayer is introduced.
The Cathedral is often described as 'England in stone' as its history is intrinsically linked to England's history. From Archbishop Langton's role in the Magna Carta negotiations to the power struggle between King Henry II and Archbishop Thomas Becket, Canterbury Cathedral's history is as rich as it comes.