Finally, the windows. I am only going to show you a few glimpses of some of the windows, to be honest it is was quite dark inside this cathedral on this day (it was raining) and not easy to photograph the stained-glass. There are some lovely pieces so if you are able to visit then make sure you examine the windows or visit the Norfolk Stained Glass site which provided much of the information about the windows in Norwich Cathedral.
The Bauchon Window was designed by Maria Forsyth and made by Dennis King of G King & Son in 1964. The window given in honour of Julian of Norwich is in memory of Harriet Mabel Campbell (1874 – 53). The main lights depict Julian of Norwich, unusually dressed as a Benedictine nun, together with another eleven Benedictine Saints and other personages.
The tracery lights contain angels (some playing musical instruments) flanking a cross proclaiming “Pax.”
At the south east corner of the nave, next to the south transept, is the more spectacular of two doors leading from the priory cloisters into the cathedral church. This is called the Prior’s Door. The door dates to about 1300 and has a finely carved arch decorated with thin piers at its sides and decorated recesses in the arch. These recesses contain statues of Christ at the top, John the Baptist and possibly Aaron to the left, and David and Moses bearing a scroll detailing the Ten Commandments to the right. To the right of the doorway are three sedilia, or seats, recessed into the wall of the cloister. The wear and polishing of the stone from feet and bottoms is very noticeable!
Norwich Cathedral has more bosses than any other cathedral worldwide: some 1106, including those of Lyhart’s nave roof; those of the presbytery vault, added in 1480 by Bishop Goldwell; those of the transept vaults, added in 1509 by Bishop Nykke after a further fire; and those in the cloister. The bosses represent the largest collection of decorative roof bosses in Christendom, and depict scene from both the old and new testaments. Carved into the stone vaulting and then painted, each boss would have taken almost two weeks to complete. They represent a Christian view of the history of the world including carvings of Noah and the flood, the Nativity, the Crucifixion, the end of the world and the tales of judgement day.
There are some good examples of medieval art.
There are also bosses depicting mythical beasts and figures like the Green Man. It is thought that roof bosses such as these provided one of the earliest forms of theological education, at a time when illiteracy was high.
The east walk was built first in 1297, and aside from a Passion sequence and the Evangelists at the north end has mostly foliage bosses. Continue reading Norwich Cathedral Part III: Bosses
I said in my previous post that the exterior of this cathedral wasn’t that impressive. Mainly because it is so difficult to see the complete building. However, inside is another story. It is incredibly beautiful with wonderful windows, arches, bosses and oozing with history. With so many nooks and crannies it would take far longer than my couple of hours to explore. But here are some of my highlights:
The entrance to the cathedral is through the Hostry, the new visitor and education centre, built on the foundations of the medieval Hostry where guests would have been welcomed into the Benedictine monastery.
The brightly burnished copper font was formerly used in a Norwich chocolate factory.
The Jesus Chapel is decorated with the kind of wall painting that may once have covered most of the building. Continue reading Norwich Cathedral Part II: Interior