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The history and construction of the durnham cathedral

Carileph’s Cathedral

Anglo-Saxon[ edit ] Legend of the founding of Durham depicted on cathedral The see of Durham takes its origins from the Diocese of Lindisfarnefounded by Saint Aidan at the behest of Oswald of Northumbria around 635.

The see lasted until 664, at which point it was translated to York.

The see was then reinstated at Lindisfarne in 678 by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Among the many saints produced in the community at Lindisfarne PriorySaint Cuthbertwho was Bishop of Lindisfarne from 685 until his death on Farne Island in 687, is central to the development of Durham Cathedral. The diocese of Lindisfarne remained itinerant until 882, when a community was reestablished in Chester-le-Street. The see had its seat here until 995, when further incursions once again caused the monks to move with the relics.

According to local legendthe monks followed two milk maids who were searching for a dun -coloured cow and were led into a peninsula formed by a loop in the River Wear.

At this point Cuthbert's coffin became immovable. This trope of hagiography was offered for a sign that the new shrine should be built here.

A more prosaic set of reasons for the selection of the peninsula is its highly defensible position, and that a community established here would enjoy the protection of the Earl of Northumberlandas the bishop at this time, Aldhunhad strong family links with the earls.

The magnificent Durham Cathedral: 10 facts you may, or may not have, known

Nevertheless, the street leading from The Bailey past the Cathedral's eastern towers up to Palace Green is named Dun Cow Lane due to the miniature dun cows that used to graze in the pastures nearby.

Initially, a very simple temporary structure was built from local timber to house the relics of Cuthbert. The shrine was then transferred to a sturdier, probably wooden, building known as the White Church. This church was itself replaced three years later in 998 by a stone building also known as the White Church, which was complete apart from its tower by 1018.

Durham soon became a site of pilgrimage, encouraged by the growing cult of Saint Cuthbert. King Canute was one early pilgrim, granting many privileges and much land to the Durham community. Durham Cathedral from the north Nave in 2010 The present cathedral was designed and built under William of St. Carilef or William of Calais who was appointed as the first prince-bishop by King William the Conqueror in 1080.

Construction of the cathedral began in 1093 at the eastern end. The choir was completed by 1096 and work proceeded on the nave of which the walls were finished by 1128, and the high vault complete by 1135. The chapter house, partially demolished in the 18th century, was built between 1133 and 1140. Three bishops, William of St.

Durham Cathedral: History & Architecture

CarilefRanulf Flambard and Hugh de Puisetare all buried in the rebuilt chapter house. In the 1170s, de Puiset, after a false start at the eastern end where the subsidence and cracking prevented work from continuing, added the Galilee Chapel at the west end of the cathedral.

The door is now blocked by the tomb of the bishop Thomas Langley. The Galilee Chapel also holds the remains of the Venerable Bede. The main entrance to the cathedral is on the northern side, facing towards the castle. In 1228 Richard le Poore came from Salisbury where a new cathedral was being built in the Gothic style. Le Poore employed the architect Richard Farnham to design an eastern terminal for the building in which many monks could say the Daily Office simultaneously.

  1. This was originally established as a song school around 1390.
  2. Carilef or William of Calais who was appointed as the first prince-bishop by King William the Conqueror in 1080.
  3. The Galilee Chapel also holds the remains of the Venerable Bede. This church was itself replaced three years later in 998 by a stone building also known as the White Church, which was complete apart from its tower by 1018.
  4. It was reburied under a plain stone slab worn by the knees of pilgrims, but the ancient paving around it remains intact. Durham Cathedral from Prebends Bridge.
  5. The survivors were shipped as slave labour to North America. It is separated from other sections of the church by two rows of massive, well-proportioned pillars, alternating between cylindrical and compound in shape.

The resulting building was the Chapel of the Nine Altars. The towers also date from the early 13th century, but the central tower was damaged by lightning and replaced in two stages in the 15th century, the master masons being Thomas Barton and John Bell.

Durham Cathedral

The location of the inner wall of the apse is marked on the pavement and Cuthbert's tomb is covered by a simple slab. However, an unknown monk wrote in 1593: The body of the saint was exhumed, and according to the Rites of Durham, was discovered to be uncorrupted.

It was reburied under a plain stone slab worn by the knees of pilgrims, but the ancient paving around it remains intact. Two years later, on 31 December 1540, the Benedictine monastery at Durham was dissolvedand the last prior of Durham — Hugh Whitehead — became the first dean of the cathedral's secular chapter. It the history and construction of the durnham cathedral estimated that as many as 3,000 were imprisoned of whom 1,700 died in the cathedral itself, where they were kept in inhumane conditions, largely without food, water or heat.

The prisoners destroyed much of the cathedral woodwork for firewood but Prior Castell's Clockwhich featured the Scottish thistlewas spared. It is reputed that the prisoners' bodies were buried in unmarked graves see further, '21st century' below. The survivors were shipped as slave labour to North America.

John CosinBishop of Durham who had previously been a canon of the cathedral, set about restoring the damage and refurnishing the building with new stalls, the litany desk and the towering canopy over the font.

An oak screen to carry the organ was added at this time to replace a stone screen pulled down in the 16th century. On the remains of the old refectory, the Dean, John Sudbury founded a library of early printed books. Consequently, after Cosin's refurbishment, there was little by way of restoration or rebuilding.

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When work commenced again on the building, it was not always of a sympathetic nature. In 1777 the architect George Nicholson, having completed Prebends' Bridge across the Wear, persuaded the dean and chapter to let him smooth off much of the outer stonework of the cathedral, thereby considerably altering its character. Wyatt also renewed the 15th-century tracery of the Rose Window, inserting plain glass to replace what had been blown out in a storm. The four candlesticks and overhanging tester c.

  • The see had its seat here until 995, when further incursions once again caused the monks to move with the relics;
  • The door is now blocked by the tomb of the bishop Thomas Langley.

Two large batik banners representing Saints Cuthbert and Oswald, added in 2001, are the work of Thetis Blacker. Mark Angus' Daily Bread window dates from 1984. In 1986, the cathedral, together with the nearby Castle, became a World Heritage Site. Interior views of the cathedral were featured in the 1998 film Elizabeth. The remains of some of these prisoners have now been identified in a mass grave uncoverered during building works in 2013 just outside the Cathedral precinct near Palace Green.

Durham Cathedral was featured in the Harry Potter films as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardrywhere it had a spire digitally added onto the top of the famous towers. Architectural historian Dan Cruickshank selected the cathedral as one of his four choices for the 2002 BBC television documentary series Britain's Best Buildings.

The Lumiere festival was repeated in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Please improve this section by adding secondary or tertiary sources. September 2009 Learn how and when to remove this template message Floor plan There is evidence that the aisle of the choir had the earliest rib vaults in the country, as was argued by John BilsonEnglish architect, at the end of the nineteenth century.

  • The survivors were shipped as slave labour to North America;
  • Durham Cathedral from Gilesgate;
  • Langley re-roofed it, added stone shafts to each of the marble pillars, and prevented it slipping into the river by strengthening the foundations with huge buttresses on the outside.

Since then it has been argued that other buildings like Lessay Abbey provided the early experimental ribs that created the high technical level shown in Durham. Interestingly there is evidence in the clerestory walls of the choir that the high vault had ribs. There is controversy between John James [ disambiguation needed ] and Malcolm Thurlby on whether these Rib vaults were four-part or six-part, that remains unresolved.

The building is notable for the ribbed vault of the nave roof, with some of the earliest pointed transverse arches supported on relatively slender composite piers alternated with massive drum columns, and lateral abutments concealed within the triforium over the aisles. These featues appear to be precursors of the Gothic architecture of Northern France a few decades later, doubtless due to the Norman stonemasons responsible, although the building is considered Romanesque overall.

The skilled use of the pointed arch and ribbed vault made it possible to cover far more elaborate and complicated ground plans than before. Buttressing made it possible to build taller buildings and open up the intervening wall spaces to create larger windows. Saint Cuthbert 's tomb lies at the east in the Feretory and was once an elaborate monument of cream marble and gold. It remains a place of pilgrimage.