Pointing persistently to heaven: A guide to UK cathedrals
Power, glory, bloodshed, prayer: cathedrals in the UK are as much about human drama as spiritual sanctuary, as much about political wrangling as religious fervour. From Christian beginnings in the Middle Ages through Reformation, Renaissance and Modernity, the great cathedrals of Britain have been both battleground and place of quiet reflection; created for the glory of God for sure, but also for the glory of men. There’s a litany of great deeds and a list of secrets tied up in our national cathedrals and all are revealed within our guides, the ideal companions to the stories behind the greatest cathedrals of all. Whether you are travelling to view the buildings themselves or being an armchair enthusiast, let us take you on a journey.
Heavy hitters on the religious landscape, the famous cathedrals of East Anglia were a roll-call of riches, power, authority and influence in the Middle Ages and still attract hundreds of thousands of visitors today. In cathedral terms, they rank among some of the brightest and the best – Norwich, Lincoln, Ely, Peterborough and St Edmundsbury – along with their close neighbours Oxford – the smallest cathedral in England – and Lichfield – the final resting place of the 7th century St Chad and his multitude of angels. Here are wonderful treasures to be explored. From a building that was once the tallest in the world, surpassing even the monumental Great Pyramid of Giza, to one that is the final resting place for the digestive system of a legendary queen.