England Churches and Monasteries Part I

St. Paul’s Cathedral
The cathedral is one of the landmarks of London and probably the city’s main attraction. It is the cathedral of the Bishop of London and the parish church of the Commonwealth. The first church stood on the site of today’s cathedral as early as 604, but it burned down in 1087. The new building lasted until the 14th century. Old St. Paul’s was an impressive sacred building with its 142 m high bell tower. This is only a stump left after a lightning strike in 1561. In 1628, when the church was in very poor condition, Charles II commissioned the architect Inigo Jones to renovate it, but he was unable to complete it because of the Civil War. Christopher Wren was the next architect to submit designs for renovation and build the St. Paul ‘ s Cathedral was restored for over 35 years after the Great Fire in 1666. His son set the keystone of the dome.
During a tour of the cathedral, the domed room and the high altar are particularly interesting, as well as the choir with its ceiling paintings and the largest crypt in the world.

Church in London
The church between Fleet Street and the Thames was built in the 12th century as the headquarters of the Knights Templar. Important negotiations for the signing of the Magna Charte took place here. In the 14th century, after the persecution of the Templars, the church passed into royal possession and from then on initially housed law schools. Temple Church was partially destroyed during World War II, but was later restored.

Westminster Abbey in London

The famous church in the London borough of Westminster is actually called The Collegiate Church of St. Peter. The British kings are traditionally crowned and buried in this church, so the church does not belong to any denomination. On the site of a former Benedictine abbey, the church was built between 1045 and 1065 by Edward the Confessor. In 1245 today’s Westminster Abbey was built by Henry III. built in the early Gothic style. The two main towers were built by Christopher Wren between 1722 and 1745.

St Mary-at-Lambeth in London
The little church is on the south bank of the Thames and has a small tower from the 14th century. Inside there is a small museum on the history of garden architecture. Captain Bligh is buried in the courtyard, he once provoked the mutiny on the Bounty.

St Mary-le-Strand in London

Charles Dickens’s parents were married in this church in the West City. It has a pulpit made of gibbons and a crypt with fine stucco work.

St. Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe in London

The church was built by Sir Christopher Wren between 1686 and 1693 and is also located in the west of the City of London near St. Paul’s Cathedral. The interior had to be renewed after 1940, but the ceiling is still very worth seeing. The striking name (Church of St. Andrew by the cloakroom) refers to the house of the royal cloakroom master, which was located nearby until 1709.

St. Bartholomew-the-Great in London

The oldest parish church in London was founded in 1123 and was originally part of an Augustinian monastery. After surviving the Great Fire of 1666 unscathed, it was used industrially in the 18th century and restored from 1850 onwards. The tower was built in 1850 and its five bells are the only fully preserved medieval bell in London.

All Hallows-by-the-Tower in London

This church is a rich architectural and historical site. The side wall with the organ dates from the 7th century, the round arches below the organ are even older. The clock face of the church tower is said to have melted in the great fire in 1666, although the fire was contained shortly before reaching the church.

St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London

The church with its beautiful porch with Corinthian column shapes is located on the northeast corner of Trafalgar Square. It was built in 1220 and was originally surrounded by fields, only 400 years later the surrounding areas were built on. The present church was built by James Gibbs between 1722 and 1726.

Old Church in London
Located at the end of Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, the church has a 13th century More Chapel; the church survived the bombing raids in 1941 almost unscathed. The famous humanist and Lord Chancellor Thomas More lived not far from the church in the 16th century.

Chapel of St. Father ad Vincula
in London
Many executed people are buried in this chapel in the Tower of London, including Thomas More.

St. Olave’s Chapel in London

West of Trinity Square is this chapel, built in memory of the Norwegian King Olaf. The current building dates from the 13th century. London’s chronicler Samuel Pepys had his wife buried here and was buried next to her 34 years later.

All-Hallows-by-the-Tower in London

An archway of this sacred building, which was built on foundations from the Anglo-Saxon period, dates back to the Roman period. In the crypt there is a museum with Roman and Anglo-Saxon exhibits

Lincoln Cathedral
One of the most impressive cathedrals in England is in the city of Lincoln. The sacred building is characterized by three mighty towers, through which it dominates the cityscape almost completely. Today the Lincoln Cathedral presents itself in a mixture of English late Gothic and Early English style.

York Minster
York Minster is the largest Gothic church in England. In 627 the Saxon King Edward built a small wooden church in York. Today’s cathedral was built on the same site from the 13th to the 15th century and combines several styles. The immense glass window area inside the building creates a breathtaking sight.

The St. Nicholas Cathedral
The St. Nicholas Cathedral is one of the smallest cathedrals in the country and is characterized by its special spire, the construction of which there are only four times on the whole island and which is called the Lantern Tower.

Monasteries in the north of England
Numerous monasteries in the north of England are wonderful testimonies to the social and power centers of medieval England. Although many of these small Norman settlements were destroyed by the Vikings in the 8th and 9th centuries, they flourished again at the beginning of the 16th century before being rebuilt by Henry III in 1536. Stripped of their power and completely dissolved by Thomas Cromwell. The most beautiful remnants of this time today are Fountains Abbey and St. Mary’s Abbey near York, Easby Abbey near Richmond (Northern England) and Kirkstall Abbey near Leeds.

Monasteries in the north of England