Chester Cathedral

From Leasowe we drove into Chester. When Adrian was in his twenties he spent a year working in England and Chester was one of the towns he worked in, at a hotel called The Chester Grosvenor.

We didn’t go straight to The Chester Grosvenor Hotel; instead we started our tour of the town at the Chester Cathedral. The Cathedral is massive. It would be easy to get lost in it, as it is that big.

Although the Cathedral boasts a lovely stained glass window it wasn’t the item that really caught my attention. Decorating one of the walls from floor to windowsill is an amazingly lovely mosaic. It captured my imagination. It was totally astonishing to look at. I was mesmerised by the intricate details. I stood there so long lost in the work Adrian walked off. Several moments later I looked up to see him walking back to me so I picked up my camera to take some photos of him. A man standing not far from me asked if ‘I was taking photos of that man’ ‘Yes’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because we are married’ ‘Oh, well that is ok then.’ He turned and walked away. When Adrian reach me he asked ‘what was all that about?’ ‘Honestly I don’t know.’ When I told Adrian the whole story he laughed. “I keep telling you, you take too many photos of me.” “No I don’t.”

The Cathedral did seem to be a mish mash of things. There was a ladies chapel up a winding stairway, tucked nicely out of sight.

Off to one side is a room where the Consistory Court was held. The Consistory Court dealt with a wide range of cases. Anything from non-payment of church fees to witchcraft, really anything the church took an interest in. The information board told us about some of the cases. Elizabeth Sutton’s name was mention twice. She sued for slander twice and won both times. (The first time Maria Williams called her ‘a rotten queen and her son a lousy bastard.’ It didn’t say what was said the second time.)

The room is the oldest surviving example of an ecclesiastical court. It started around 1541 and was first set up in the Lady Chapel and moved to where it now sits in 1636. It was set up to guard the moral and religious conduct of churches in the area. The court had a lot of power and it could and did sentence people to be burned at the stake.

Other things seemed to be dumped anywhere. Not knowing the long history of the Cathedral I can’t really say if this is the case or not. Each piece may have a long loving story to tell as to why they are where they are. It just didn’t make sense to me.

As like the Manchester Cathedral the Pulpitum and the Quire area was amazing. I could only imaging how many people spent their life working on the woodcarvings. There is so much detail in everything.

Like most of the old buildings in England there is a massive maintenance bill. There was an information board letting everyone know the organ alone needed to be rebuilt at a cost of £1 million. It was probably a good price considering the main base of the organ was installed in 1553.

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Not far from the organ there was a half built Lego replica of the Cathedral. I could make out so many of the items I had been looking at earlier.

There was a lovely old man telling everyone how they could buy a Lego brick to add to a small section. When the little section was ready it would be added to the larger Lego building. The money raised by the building of the replica went to the rebuilding of the actual Cathedral. Adrian handed over £2 and placed two pieces on the little section, which was going to be a window when it was finished. What a great fun way to raise money.

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