04 August 2007

Tour of the Cathedral

Here's some of the pics from our tour of the cathedral on Tuesday, August 1st.

A view down the nave.

Just inside the side entrance is the memorial chapel for soldiers and sailors from Kent who have died in war. The regimental flags are on display.

Not nearly as crowded as Westminster Abbey, the cathedral does have quite a few memorials. This is the memorial for members of the Neville family who were the Earls of Warwick and prominent players in the Wars of the Roses.

These are a couple of the roundels from 'The Miracle Window' in the cathedral. They tell the story of a miraculous cure attributed to a pilgrimage to St. Thomas Becket's tomb in the cathedral. These windows are some of the only remaining record for how the earliest tomb of St. Thomas may have looked prior to its destruction on the orders of Henry VIII. The casket-shaped tomb pictured has holes in the side so that pilgrims could reach in and touch St. Thomas's casket.

This is the view of the ceiling of the Bell Harry Tower. Beautiful fan vaulting with the shield of the Dean and Chapter in the center.

This is the current memorial to St. Thomas erected on the sight of his martyrdom. In the 1980s, John Paul II and the Archbishop of Canterbury knelt in prayer here together upon the first papal visit to England since the Reformation.

These panels are in the cathedral's great West Window. The central panel of Adam 'delving' is some of the oldest stained glass in the cathedral -- probably 13th century. It shows Adam delving, or digging with a spade to grow food. Adam was condemned to have to struggle for his food for having eaten of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. In the 14th century, the Peasant's Revolt coined the slogan, "When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?"

This is the actual sight of St. Thomas Becket's shrine. A candle is kept lit always. If you look carefully, you can see ridges in the rows of tiles that form a square around the edge. These ridges were worn by the knees of knelling prilgrims who visited the shrine in the 300 years it existed before Henry VIII had it dismantled.

Canterbury Cathedral by night.

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