YOUR PICTURE GALLERY IS NOW LOADING...
Peterborough Cathedral, or to be more precise,
the Cathedral Church of St Peter, St Paul, and St Andrew
Peterborough, was constructed between 1118-1238. A monastic church
was founded on the site in AD 655 by the Mercian king, Peada, but
this was destroyed by the invading Danish army in 870. This view is
of the west front.
The second version of the church was built in 972
as part of a Benedictine abbey, but this burned down in an
accidental fire in 1116. The third and current version has this nave
with a grand Italianate vista through the choir to the southern
Italianate ciborium and the apse, with an overhanging Italianate
While this scene of Medieval life was a reality,
the Benedictine monastery was enjoying a three hundred year span of
prosperity, until it was closed by Henry VIII in 1539. Two years
later Peterborough Abbey church became the cathedral of the new diocese of
The font, which marks the starts of a Christian's
journey in faith, stands at the centre of the nave (since being
moved there in 2008 from the north-west transept). This thirteen
century bowl was presumably thrown out with the dissolution of the
monasteries, and was only 'rediscovered' in the 1820s, in a canon's
garden. Now supported on a Victorian base, it was made from Alwalton
The hanging crucifix or rood was designed by
George Pace in 1975 with a figure by Frank Roper. The inscription in
Latin, 'Stat crux dum volvitur orbis', translates as 'the cross
stands whilst the earth revolves'.
The refurbishment which followed the rebuilding
of the tower in 1882 included the creation of the marble tesserae
floor, the ciborium or altar canopy, and the Cathedra (the bishop's
throne) seen here. A close-up of the stained glass windows at the
far end of the cathedral can be seen later.
Opposite the effigy of Abbot Benedict (abbot
between 1177-1193) is the mechanism of former cathedral chiming
clocks. Its earliest parts date back to the fifteenth century.
Following her death at Kimbolton Castle, in
January 1536, Katharine of Aragon was buried in the North Aisle near
the High Altar, whilst the other Tudor queen to be buried here, Mary
Queen of Scots, lay on the opposite side of the altar, though her
body was moved to Westminster in 1612.
Cromwell's soldiers destroyed all the
stained glass windows, plus the High Altar, the medieval choir
stalls and all the monuments and memorials in the cathedral in 1643.
The replacements are much lighter in tone and setting, making the
cathedral itself brighter inside than many others.
The apse ceiling was completed by Sir George
Gilbert Scott in 1856, although it is a reconstruction of the
earlier ceiling which was destroyed by musket fire from Oliver
Cromwell's soldiers in 1643.
All photos on this page kindly contributed by M Kessler.