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Lichfield Cathedral

 

BACK TO WALES, CENTRAL ENGLAND AND EAST ANGLIA

 

 

The 3 spired Gothic Cathedral of Lichfield dates from 1200 and originally took 150 years or so to build.  It is a secular (ie non-monastic) foundation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to Lichfield Cathedral Website

 

 

 

 

The Old English Cathedrals

 

 

 

 

 

 

A royal history lesson - the whole line covers Norman and Plantagenet kings of England from William the Conqueror to the Black Prince's son Richard II (1367 - 1377 - 1399 (32)), the last Plantagenet King.  Then comes the crosier holding St Chad over the centre door, then a matching array of (pre-Norman) Kings of Mercia, including King Offa (780s), digger of the dyke designed to welsh-proof Mercia, who also briefly caused Lichfield to have an archbishop (presumably why he holds a mitre).  The selection shown above goes from the nasty Richard I to Chad and one of the Mercian Kings.  Henry III (1207-1216-1272 (65)) is the one holding the church model.  Paradox's guess is that these figures are the product of a Victorian workshop as they are too unweathered to be earlier.

 

List of all English Kings and Queens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles II of England (1630-1660-1685 (55)), with a canine weathered face, stands by the main South Door.  He donated both money and timber for the rebuilding of the cathedral, which had been more severely Cromwelled than most, mainly because it became a fought-over defensive structure.  Stained glass, stonework, the central spire and much roofing went.  Charles' money was not enough to repair the damage properly, and it was only in Victorian times that this got done.  Thisstatue of King Charles used to be where St Chad now stands on the west facade.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the exterior proportionality and look of Lichfield Cathedral leave a bit to be desired, there are no reservations about the magnificent interior nave vistas, which also score big bonus points for not having an heavy screen and organ cluttering up the vista.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter House for Dean and Canons rather than Abbot and Monks

 

 

 

 

Memorial to Lt William Hodson of "Hodson's Horse"

 

The last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar II (1775 - 1862 (87)), was hunted down in Humayun's Tomb (Delhi) and taken prisoner by a certain Lieutenant Hodson following the Indian Mutiny in 1857, a prelude to direct rule of India by the British from 1858. 

 

Hodson was the son of an Archdeacon of Lichfield.  After public school, Cambridge University and the Grenadier Guards he was tasked with raising and operating an irregular cavalry unit which became known as Hodson's Horse.   He was killed and buried at Lucknow in 1858, just a year after capturing Zafar. 

 

Monuments to dad Hodson and Major William Hodson of Hodson's Horse were later put up in the south choir aisle of Lichfield Cathedral.  This tableau illustrates Lt Hodson accepting the surrendered sword of "the King of Delhi".

 

 

 

 

The Lichfield Angel

 

Based on a photo by "Iskra" in Picasa

 

The "Lichfield Angel", just possibly part of the St Chad shrine, possibly an archangel, certainly painted, dates from the 700s and was discovered buried under the cathedral nave in 2003.  It is now on display in the cathedral.

 

 

The Lichfield Gospels - Mark (wot a lion!)

 

Photo courtesy ArtServe

 

The Lichfield Gospels date from the early 700s.  The work has 236 folios (pages) - 8 of which are illuminated.  The pages contain the Gospels of Matthew and Mark and the early part of the Gospel of Luke.  A second book disappeared at the time of Cromwell.

 

 

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