Friday, 20 January 2017

Wakefield Cathedral - The Interior

A view to the east along the Nave

The exterior of Wakefield Cathedral, completely restored and extended by Victorian and Edwardian architects respectively, shows none of its mediaeval masonry but, once inside, the various arcades, arches and clerestory reveal stonework from the 12th to the late 15th century – as seen in very many of the mediaeval churches that I had previously visited.

A view to the west along the Nave

Without a basic plan/guide to direct me around the interior, which is normally available in the smaller parish churches, I just spent half an hour walking around to get a general appreciation of the architectural styles used in the nave, choir and the modern east end and to take a quick look at the lavish details that can be seen all around the church – formed from a variety of materials.

A view to the east along the Choir

Starting in the Nave, various experts have been able to determine that the columns of the arcades – which are variously circular, octagonal and quatrefoil in section – range from Norman and Early English to Decorated Gothic in architectural style and that all of the overlying arches and masonry above them were built in the early part of the 14th century.

A view to the west along the Choir

Moving into the Choir, the chancel arch is considered to be of the same early 14th century date but its arcades are 1450-75 – according to
Sir Nikolaus Pevsner – and the clerestory to the mediaeval church was apparently built at the same time.

 A view of the  lierne-vaults in the Sanctuary

In the Sanctuary, built in 1904, it is the magnificent lierne-vaults that really catch the eye, along with various decorative stones that have been used in a fine array of monuments and memorials.

A monument in Wakefield Cathedral

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