Essex days ; Chelmsford Cathedral

by Veronica

St Cedd returned Christianity to East Anglia in England during the 7th C. This lovely old parish church in Chelmsford, Essex became a Cathedral in 1914. Look inside!

The church was built long after St Cedd arrived. It is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and was built over eight hundred years ago. Parts of it were rebuilt in the 15th and early 16th centuries. The church has a tower and the South Porch was extended after World War 2 as a tribute to American Airmen who served Essex so well during the War.

I spent a lovely half day in Chelmsford during my stay and the Cathedral is a must. 2 years ago, my oldest son proposed, down on one knee, to his lovely wife in the grounds of this beautiful place. What a location!

This is a soothing and peaceful place of worship.

Photos are all my own

The Exterior walls
The Exterior walls

SOURCE MATERIAL USED . c/o Chelmsford Cathedral pocket guide , with thanks.

 

The exterior walls are a mixture of pebbles, stones, brick and flint . Very unusual but rather attractive. There is a weather vane but I couldn't catch it on picture. It was about 90 feet up.  St Peter's Church,  Bradwell, Essex  is considered to be the first church in the area as it was the first church built by St Cedd when he arrived in Essex. It is still there too.

Old  building materials are the best!

An ancient door and window

At the West End
Ancient door
Ancient door
Arched window above the door
Arched window above the door

Look inside

The nave ceiling is beautiful.
The nave ceiling is beautiful.

The Ceiling

This ceiling was rebuilt in the 19th C after it collapsed during renovations.

The chancel

The 13th C chancel was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th C . The chancel is an early part of the restoration.

The chancel from the West End
The chancel from the West End
Icons of Our Lady, St Cedd and others
Icons of Our Lady, St Cedd and others

Stained glass windows

There are some stunning stained- glass windows. One of them in the North East Corner is called the  "Tree of Life"  window by Mark Cazalet and below it is a Crucifix by Helen McIldowie- Jenkins - beautiful work and tastefully done. The window is massive.

I loved the coloured glass windows. The work involved in making these must be enormous.

The Tree of Life Window
The Tree of Life Window
stained glass window
stained glass window
stained glass window
stained glass window

Cross and lights

This was so beautiful. People light tea lights and place them around this lovely Cross.

A memorial cross with tea lights
A memorial cross with tea lights

America

American tribute

American thanks window
American thanks window

Quote from window

"To the glory of God and in gratitude for tasks and friendship shared by the people of Essex with the United States Airforce between 1942 and 1945. This porch was enriched and beautified by Essex friends of the American people in 1955"

 

What an amazing tribute to the USA !  Very humbling ; What is left to be said!

America in stone
America in stone
Updated: 08/11/2016, Veronica
 
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Veronica 12 days ago

Good idea. Ancient recycling

frankbeswick 12 days ago

Recycling ancient building materials was common practice. There was much Roman construction in Essex, and as the Roman remains were still present they were re-used for Norman structures

Veronica 12 days ago

Colchester castle in Essex is built using stone and pebbles from the Roman temple on the same site. Therefore they have the curious thing of a Norman castle built using Roman materials.

frankbeswick 12 days ago

In Essex there is a shortage of stone that can be quarried, but there are some glacial gravels and pebble beaches. But traditionally, cob was used. This was a mixture of subsoil, clay, straw and/or lime. It is not used now by anyone other than green activists, and the preferred material now for most builders is brick from clay pits that utilize the extensive clays of South East England.

Of course, we in England love our traditional buildings,for good reasons.

Veronica 12 days ago

Derdriu
Essex doesn't have a plentiful supply of natural building materials and these would have been transported there. It is a coastal region so that would account for pebbles. I actually do like the way the material ae been used and as you say - yes striking. The blue is just beautiful . I love blue.

DerdriuMarriner 12 days ago

Veronica, That combination of brick, flint, pebble and stones is so striking! Everything else looks so inspiringly gorgeous, particularly the blue in the chancel. Do you know if the exterior materials were a common mix at the time, and if it still is appreciated and popular?

Veronica on 08/15/2016

there are some sad people in the world

frankbeswick on 08/14/2016

In my teaching career I only met anti-Catholic sentiment from a lapsed Catholic, but I remember that at one college anti-Irish racist talk in the staff room ceased when the instigator of the racist comments pointedly told the room, "Here is a man with Irish blood." No more need be said.

Veronica on 08/14/2016

I am going to Belfast for a holiday in two weeks ; I'll let you know.

Veronica on 08/14/2016

England has undercurrents of anti Catholicism. In N. Ireland they don't bother to hide it.


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