Ely Cathedral

In my last blog post, I went off on a tangent about religion, and how much I don’t need it in my life, in fact what I need are people to just care about each other. Not difficult.

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That said, I do love me some historical buildings – even if they happen to be religious.

This is Ely Cathedral, in Cambridgeshire. Ely was an important Christian centre from as early as the 7th century, and was founded by St Etheldreda, the daughter of an Anglo-Saxon King. Basically, its an old religious area.

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The cathedral itself was built from 1083–1375, is a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles. I remember going to visit quite often as a kid, and being a little girl in such a huge building was a memorable experience – although, even now, I can’t quite grasp how big it is. I can never seem to get any context when I’m inside, it just seems to go on and on.

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Last time I was in Ely, I decided to pop into the cathedral to take some photos. Like I said, I’m not religious, but I can appreciate incredible, historic buildings. The ceiling of the nave is an impressive feat of ceiling design.

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In fact, all of the ceilings are painted incredibly, and preserved so well.

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A lot of the cathedral is gated off, and members and paying visitors can explore more. The free bits are pretty good though, lets be fair.

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In one of the little side chapels, there are piles of hand-stitched cushions, featuring names and dates of various saints. Again, I appreciate the craftsmanship and the effort that went into every detailed design.

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As a child, I could never decide if stained glass windows appealed to me or freaked me out. I’m pretty sure I like them now, though I should admit the designs occasionally leave me feeling a bit disturbed.

If you’re in the area, Ely Cathedral is worth visiting – its rich, varied history, with Saxons, Danish invasions and even Jurassic finds in the area (an almost complete specimen of a Pliosaur was found nearby!), it’s a sweet little place.

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