Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Fit For A Queen

P IS FOR ?



PETERBOROUGH!


Well P was an easy choice for me. Peterborough is my birthplace and the city where I spent the formative years of my life. It has changed much over the years, especially since 1967 when the city was designated as a New Town. A constant at the very heart of the city is Peterborough Cathedral. Here is an extract from the cathedral's website which summarises its fascinating history :

"A monastic church was founded here by King Peada in 655 AD, destroyed by the Danes in 870, rebuilt as part of a Benedictine Abbey and re-consecrated in 972, burned down in an accidental fire in 1116 and re-built in its present form between 1118 and 1238. The porch was added about 1380, the eastern extension around 1500 and the central tower was re-built in the mid 1300's and again in the 1880's. In 1539 the monastery was closed by Henry VIII, but 18 months later in 1541, the church became the Cathedral of the new Diocese of Peterborough, with the last abbot as the new bishop, and Peterborough became a city.

In the Civil War much damage was done to the Cathedral by Cromwell's troops, and the Lady Chapel, Chapter House and Cloister were destroyed; only fragments of the stained glass windows were saved and these were later pieced together to form the apse windows. The choir stalls, bishop's throne, marble floor and high altar were all created by the Victorian architect Pearson after the tower had been re-built. In the 1960's new figures were added to the West Front and in the 1970's the spectacular hanging cross was added to the Nave. Since the disastrous fire of November 2001 a massive cleaning and restoration programme has been undertaken, but there is still an expensive and endless task remaining to maintain the building and fulfil its purpose."

My photo is of the West Front. Whenever I return to Peterborough to see my parents, I try to make time to have a stroll round the cathedral and its grounds and enjoy the atmosphere of peace and serenity that you can find find there. Not just one but two Queens were buried there - Catherine of Aragon and Mary,Queen of Scots. Queen Mary's body was exhumed in 1612 when her son, King James I of England, ordered she be re-interred in Westminster Abbey. I think that my visits to the cathedral and a marvellous history teacher inspired a life long interest in that period of history. I am fascinated by that era and those personalities.

This is my post for this week's ABC Wednesday the creation of Denise Nesbitt. Please pop over their now for more Ps.

20 comments:

  1. What a beautiful building. I can understand why you want to take a stroll around it whenever you're in town.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well as much as I appreciate your interest in the period, I'm glad that exhuming bodies is a less commonplace perhaps in this century. Or is it?

    Rob

    ReplyDelete
  3. The cathedral is magnificent so I'm assuming the reat of Peterborough is too. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's beautiful, I love that style of architecture.

    ReplyDelete
  5. An impressive building. Thank you for the history that accompanies the photo.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a magnificent cathedral...with so much detail...interesting info also...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Anna, My ex-husband's family had a summer cottage north of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. I'm guessing the original is better! Love the cathedral.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anna:
    After falling for 'The Tudors' series on HBO, it is fascinating to see that Catherine and Mary were both interred here. What a gorgeous psiritually uplifting piece of architectural history. I so love the tours that you take us on...... please include another in your June letter..... Please! Please!

    ReplyDelete
  9. A very beautiful and majestic church. Perfect choice for the letter P.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a beautiful building! It looks very wide, and ornate. I love to walk round the outsides of cathedrals, especially at this time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "re-built in its present form between 1118 and 1238. The porch was added about 1380, the eastern extension around 1500 and the central tower was re-built in the mid 1300's and again in the 1880's."

    This made me smile at my impatience with my own renovations, and we've only been poking away at them for less than two years. :)

    It is a stunning building and surely the heart of the community.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A beautiful building and a fascinating history! It's amazing that it has survived all that it has.

    ReplyDelete
  13. How beautiful! Thank you for the interesting narrative. It's wonderful to learn...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Having been to this way for years, nice to have the virtual tour and the potted history. Always learning.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is the kind of post I like best: Photos and a piece of history! Two years ago I was on a bustour in England, when we also went to Peterborough Cathedral. We all were impressed by the beautiful interior. Thanks for sharing. I can understand that you like to walk here!Thanks for sharing, Anna!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm reading a book about Katherine of Aragon right now! I'm only halfway through with it .. Now I know how it ends and where she's buried:)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have somehow never managed to go to Peterborough - must be one of the very few places in the UK which I simply don't know at all. The cathedral is a stunner so I will have to remedy that - thank you for the pics and the blog.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I know Peterborough very, very well! I have been to several Christmas services in the cathedral - concerts, too. It's a beautiful building.

    But whenever I take my camera into the precincts there is always building work and renovation going on! There was green netting all over that magnificent front last time. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you very much for sharing Peterborough with us. Your wrote a wonderful history of the city and your personal feeling to it got us even closer to it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I hadn't known about the New Towns until I checked your link - thanks for stocking my mind with that piece of information, I love knowing things like that. I also enjoyed the cathedral (and I think there's definitely something mythic in the it's-never-finished aspect).

    ReplyDelete

All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.