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Author Topic: Canterbury Cathedral  (Read 6152 times)
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John
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« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2015, 09:35:08 AM »

Last month H.M. the Queenie unveiled two new statues at Canterbury Cathedral. Carved by Nina Bilbey, these gleaming white figures of the Royal couple occupy external niches on the west front of the building. It's usually between 3 and 4 a.m. when I'm there, but today I managed to get some snaps in daylight. Impressive sculptures, for not only do they appear to have just one arm each, but the Duke of Edinburgh looks uncannily like Norman Tebbit. Even more uncanny is the fact that, unlike paintings where the eyes seem to follow you round the room, in his case he turns his whole head..

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Longpockets
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« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2015, 17:01:30 PM »

I think Phil the Greek looks more like Boris Karloff or the Mekon with a smaller head. Certainly a bit menacing.

I do not think it is a very good likeness of Her Majesty.
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2015, 11:44:12 AM »

Christchurch Gate's stonework has deteriorated rapidly over the past decades, so much so that it is now necessary to undertake extensive repairs.
As a preliminary, my first photo shows the current scaffolding and debris netting adorning this iconic structure so that experts can properly assess the extent of the damage and plan its restoration, which will cost several million pounds.
The restoration work will take place in two/three years time and will take at least two years to complete.
My second photo shows the gate in 2012.
I should mention that the Cathedral intends to provide a permanent main entrance via their *property adjacent to the Christchurch Gate.

*At various times a restaurant, a 'Starbucks' and, until fairly recently,  a Cathedral cafĂ©.

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John
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2015, 16:17:28 PM »

I should mention that the Cathedral intends to provide a permanent main entrance via their *property adjacent to the Christchurch Gate.

I have enough trouble as it is getting my van through that gate six times a week - don't think I'll be able to fit it through their shop doorway though  Grin
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #19 on: May 18, 2015, 17:38:17 PM »

I'm sure that they will make special provision for you, John!

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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2015, 17:51:01 PM »

Taken today from the Precincts, and a similar view by J.M.W. Turner:

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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2015, 17:56:41 PM »

Turner's sketch was done prior to 1801.  We know this because this was the year when a wealthy Canterbury banker, and alderman, James Simmons, 'requested' the Dean & Chapter to remove the two turrets at the front of Christchurch Gate as they were 'spoiling' his view of the Cathedral.  Rumour had it that he also liked to check the time on his pocket watch with the Cathedral clock!
The turrets were not replaced until the mid-1930's when the Friends of the Cathedral undertook a costly restoration and replaced them in the process.
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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2017, 15:30:10 PM »

Another photo of the Pentise at the Cathedral, this time a view along its interior.
(Note the interior of the roof construction.)

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Man of Kent1
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« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2017, 16:24:19 PM »

9 March 1641
'A report submitted to the House of Commons on this day considered the abolition of Dean and Chapters, including at Canterbury.'

 30 April 1649
'With the Civil War now won, the Commonwealth could turn their attention back to ideas first formed at the beginning if the Long Parliament.
As long ago as 1641, the concept of getting rid of Dean and Chapters was first mooted and now, finally, on this day a Parliamentary Ordinance formally abolished them all, including that at Canterbury.
(This would be acted upon in 1650.)'

14 February 1650
'Commissioners appointed by Parliament came to the city in order to survey and value the estate of the late Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of Christ in Canterbury.
Houses in the North and South Precincts - many converted from former monastic buildings - were included in the valuation.
Also surveyed were the cloisters, the water tower, the Treasury, the audit house and the Dean's library and chapel.
Whilst the houses were deemed suitable for re-sale, or rent, as dwellings, the other structures were solely valued for demolition materials, such as the lead on the roof.

(If this wasn't bad enough, an even more horrifying proposal was looming!)'

9 July 1652
'On this Tuesday, a committee was appointed by Parliament in order to select cathedrals for demolition, and it wasn't long before Canterbury Cathedral became the prime target.
This was the most extreme in a long line of proposals, made by the Commonwealth, designed to wind down and then eradicate the principal place of worship in the Church of England.'

{These edited extracts were taken from Paul Crampton's excellent 'The Canterbury Book of Days' (The History Press, 2011.)}

A miracle?
Fortunately, as we know of course, none of these proposals was ever carried into effect at Canterbury but it seems that it was a close-run thing.
Was the ghost of Becket responsible for thwarting the Commonwealth's plans?  I don't know the answer to that except to say, perhaps, that maybe it was the good old British 'Committee' system taking so long that it all ran out of time!

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« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2017, 21:31:54 PM »

Fascinating thread. Appreciate all the information and the pictures.  I took an MA  at the University of Kent at Canterbury, and though did most of the course work at home or in London, still used to visit Canterbury  on a regular basis in 1999-2000.

I am still quite curious to know what happened to all the treasure at St. Thomas A Beckett's shrine, Canterbury Cathedral,  when Henry VIII launched his attack on him on 16th November 1538 . Images of St Thomas A Beckett were removed from churches, manuscripts  and the Canterbury Cathedral shrine dedicated to him was dismantled. He was no longer deemed to be a 'saint'.

http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=3381.msg14001#msg14001

http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/digitisedmanuscripts/2011/09/erasing-becket.html#

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