As I posted our trip photos on Facebook, I had friends who kept saying “you must visit Ely Cathedral”. And we did. Our group of happy travelers boarded the bus early on Saturday and headed toward Cambridge and the small town of Ely. Our guide told us that people always wonder how this majestic cathedral was built in such a small out of the way village. It was founded by a very religious queen, Etheldreda, who had lived a rather complicated life. She restored an old church in 673 AD. The monastery flourished for 200 years and was destroyed by the Danes. Work on the present Cathedral began in the 11th century. There are many architectural styles in the cathedral which blend to create a place of great beauty.
The ceiling of the nave was installed as part of the Victorian restoration. It tells the story of the ancestry of Jesus. It is so beautiful.
Here are some other photos of the interior. Be sure to click to see a larger view.
I loved the Lady Chapel.
It is an open space flooded with light from the beautiful windows.
The chapel once had stained glass windows and painted statues in the niches. They were destroyed by Puritans during the Reformation because they rejected decoration in sacred spaces.
This is the altar and the statue of Mary above it. It was created by sculptor David Wynne and received mixed reviews. Some say it looks like Beyonce!!
The niches along the sides of the chapel have needle point cushions portraying the laborers who built the cathedral.
I saw a quilt when I viewed this floor.
There was a mix of modern and ancient sculpture.
This is another piece by David Wynne.
A crying cherub.
And this wall sculpture greets people as they enter the cathedral.
This is a closeup of an architectural detail on the exterior.
After visiting Ely, we got back on the bus and soon found ourselves in a rainy Cambridge. It did not deter the boaters on the river.
This is a view of King’s College.
We walked a bit in the rain and found a place to duck inside and eat lunch. We all gathered again for a tour of the King’s College Chapel. This Ruben’s painting of The Adoration of the Magi is behind the altar.
On Sunday, we headed for St Paul’s Cathedral for the morning service. We then hung around the area; ate lunch at the cathedral cafe, watched a marathon running through central London, attended the late afternoon evensong and walked a few blocks to the Ye Olde Cock Tavern where we all gathered for an end of the trip celebration.
It was a fun 12 days.