Thursday, November 12, 2015

Winchester Cathedral

Executive summary by darmansjah

Winchester Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral in Winchester, Hampshire, England. It is one of the largest cathedrals in England, with the longest nave and greatest overall length of any Gothic cathedral in Europe. Dedicated to the Holy Trinity, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and Saint Swithun, it is the seat of the Bishop of Winchester and centre of the Diocese of Winchester. The cathedral is a Grade I listed building.

Following the accession of Godfrey de Lucy in 1189 a retrochoir was added in the Early English style. The next major phase of rebuilding was not until the mid-fourteenth century, under bishops Edington and Wykeham. Edingdon (1346–1366), removed the two westernmost bays of the nave, built a new west front and began the remodelling of the nave. Under William of Wykeham (1367–1404) the Romanesque nave was transformed, recased in Caen stone and remodelled in the Perpendicular style, with its internal elevation divided into two, rather than the previous three, storeys. The wooden ceilings were replaced with stone vaults. Wykeham's successor, Henry of Beaufort (1405–1447), carried out fewer alterations, adding only a chantry on the south side of the retrochoir, although work on the nave may have continued through his episcopy. His successor, William of Waynflete (1447–1486), built another chantry in a corresponding position on the north side. Under Bishops Peter Courtenay (1486–1492) and Thomas Langton (1493–1500), there was more work. De Lucy's Lady Chapel was lengthened, and the Norman side aisles of the presbytery replaced. In 1525, Richard Fox (1500–1528) added the side screens of the presbytery, which he also gave a wooden vault. With its progressive extensions, the east end is now about 110 feet (34 m) beyond that of Walkelin's building.

After King Henry VIII seized control of the Catholic Church in England and declared himself head of the Church of England, the Benedictine foundation, the Priory of Saint Swithun, was dissolved. The priory surrendered to the king in 1539. The next year a new chapter was formed, and the last prior, William Basyng, was appointed dean. The monastic buildings, including the cloister and chapter house were later demolished, mostly during the 1560–1580 bishopric of the Protestant Robert Horne.
The Norman choir screen, having fallen into a state of decay, was replaced in 1637–40 by a new one, designed by Inigo Jones. It was in a classical style, with brass figures of James I and Charles I in niches. It was removed in 1820, by which time its style was felt inappropriate in an otherwise medieval building. The central bay, with its archway, is now in the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge; it was replaced by a Gothic screen by Edward Garbett, its design based on the west doorway of the nave. This stone structure was itself removed in the 1870s to make way for a wooden one designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who modelled it on the canopies of the choir stalls.

Restoration work was carried out by T.G. Jackson in 1905–12. Waterlogged foundations on the south and east walls were reinforced by diver William Walker, packing the foundations with more than 25,000 bags of concrete, 115,000 concrete blocks, and 900,000 bricks. Walker worked six hours a day from 1906 to 1912 in total darkness at depths up to 6 metres (20 ft), and is credited with saving the cathedral from total collapse.[19] For this he was awarded the MVO.

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