I’d been inspired by a photograph I’d seen online to go and see this impressive looking cathedral with its three spires for myself. I’d also read about the tours of the towers that the Cathedral offered, but in the end the changeable weather made me decide to forego looking into that on the day I visited. The first cathedral on the site was founded in 700AD and the spires were completed after the Cathedral had been around for 600 years.
As is the case with many religious buildings it has been destroyed and sections torn down and rebuilt throughout the centuries, encompassing many different architectural styles. It already has an impressive look, adorned with so many statues of kings, prophets, saints etc. that it’s hard to take them all in. They are really from the 19th century, replacing those that were destroyed or missing.
Inside it really is a striking building with some beautiful stained glass windows. A few of my favourites are those shown below.
The Chapter House, built in the 13th century, was particularly impressive, especially this central column.
It was also here that you can find the Lichfield Angel, an 8th century carving of the Archangel Gabriel which was discovered in 2003.
There was also a selection of items from the Staffordshire Hoard on display as well, including this lovely item.
One area which was interesting because it presented a different viewpoint of the Cathedral was St Chad’s Head Chapel. Built in the 1220s it was where the head of St Chad, the Cathedral’s patron, would have been kept. Not only does it now house some lovely stained glass windows, including these depictions of musical angels said to be telling the story of how St Chad was visited by angels before he died…
…but it is accessed by a short staircase onto a gallery landing which gives an excellent view of the Cathedral below.
I liked the South Transept and St Michael’s Chapel for its excellent collection of military memorials (the Chapel was dedicated to the Staffordshire Regiment in 1926). This monument was very striking…
…as was this screen though for different reasons. It commemorates the Zulu war and you can hopefully make out that it incorporates Bantu spears and Zulu shields.
It is a very impressive cathedral and I would recommend a visit, particularly if you’re able to take one of the tours (as well as the tours of the Towers they offer tours of the library on select days). Entry to the Cathedral is free though the taking of photos for personal use requires a small fee.
You can find many more photos of the Cathedral here.
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