The UK is home to many fantastic buildings but possibly the most outstanding pieces of architecture are the cathedrals located in cities across the British Isles. Some have stood in towns and cities around the UK for centuries and have many different architectural styles from Early English Gothic to Renaissance and on to very modern looking buildings.
An example of the early Gothic style is Salisbury Cathedral, which was built after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 by William the Conqueror. 70 thousand tons of stone and three thousand tons of timber were used in its construction with an imposing spire added at a later date.
One of the country’s most famous cathedrals is St Paul’s in London, where Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married in 1981. Built at the end of the 17th century the famous dome can still be seen from various points in the city. The architect Sir Christopher Wren also gave the cathedral magnificent Corinthian columns and many tourists in London visit here throughout the year.
The power and wealth of some of the bishops in medieval times helped to influence the size and grandeur of the cathedrals, which are still giving visitors great pleasure today. A prime example is Winchester Cathedral, which is one of the largest medieval churches in the world with a nave over 160 metres long. Some of the finest wood carvings in Europe can be seen here as well as a magnificent 12th century bible.
Britain’s cathedrals are also renowned for the sound of their bells and a fine example of this can be heard at St Magnus Cathedral in the Orkney Islands. This is the most northerly of Britain’s cathedrals and is also the only one with a dungeon. A poignant memorial can be seen here remembering the lives of hundreds of sailors killed when their ship the Royal Oak sank at the start of World War II.
The UK is blessed with so many fantastic cathedrals from Canterbury to Cardiff and Wells to York. All have their unique features and tales to tell that will interest visitors of all ages and denominations.
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