Monday, 18 March 2013

Coventry Cathedral

Last year I visited Coventry Cathedral with my parents and husband. I had no idea what to expect and didn't really know why my parents had suggested we go and visit it. They had travelled down from Scotland and we could have gone anywhere so why Coventry?

From the outside the cathedral looks quite interesting with old bits, new bits and stained glass windows which are usually my favourite bit about churches and cathedrals. 

Downstairs there is an exhibition and a very chatty and helpful man told us lots of information about the cathedral.

I was anxious to get upstairs to the main part of the building though to see what all the fuss was about.

One of the first things you see is a 72 foot high wall hanging by Graham Sutherland. It dominates the back wall of the building. It is tremendous.

You then walk into the Chapel of Christ in Gethsemane where you can see this beautiful shiny mosaic surrounded by irons thorns. There are some amazing tapestry cushions in this chapel, and indeed, scattered around the rest of the church.

The cathedral was designed by Basil Spence, who won a competition with over two hundred entrants to have his work chosen.

The Nave windows are simply stunning. On opposite sides of the building the pairs of windows represent growth from birth to old age with one side representing human and the other side the Divine.

No photo can show the beauty of this wonderful nave or just how impressive these windows are.

One of my favourite parts of the cathedral was the bowed baptistery window which consists of 195 panes in a range of colours.

Each pane is beautifully designed and constructed and it was hard not to take pictures of every one within range.

The Great West Window boosts the Screen of Saints and Angels, images are engraved onto the screen which is supported by a bronze framework hung by wires from the roof.

 As you can see, the old cathedral is visible through the massive transparent wall. This was an important part of Basil Spence's design and reportedly his first 'vision'. He wanted to link the old and the new cathedrals. Spence was adamant that the new cathedral should be built on a different piece of land to the old one in order to preserve the ruins.

Around and about the cathedral......

I would highly recommend a visit to Coventry Cathedral to everyone as it is a beautifully designed combination of the old and the new. My photos do not do it justice at all.

I love churches and cathedrals and have been to many but I have to say this is one of the best I have had the pleasure of visiting.

1 comment:

Karine S said...

What a magnificent cathedral! I like that it was built on new ground in order to preserve the existing historical components. It's really beautifully detailed.

I had a look at some of your work, it's really beautiful. I liked your previous post about working practice, I'm working on mine :-)

Great blog Ruth!

Karine (Tea Green Studio)