Worcester Cathedral – Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary – 2, The Nave

Bank Holiday Monday in a Cathedral. Having explored the Cloister, we walked into the Nave. It was lovely that both doors from the Cloister, including the one with a wheelchair ramp, were wide open, as were the West Doors too. There was a group of youngsters skateboarding outside, and at one point they drifted into the Cathedral. No one pounced on them, thrust a leaflet under their noses, told them to remove their baseball hats – they were as welcome as anyone was else was. They had a wander round and explore, just like I did. There was a bunch of Welcomers by the North Door who were lovely – sold me a photo permit, gave us a leaflet, said ‘thank you’ when I used the donation point, and told us how to get into the Quire with a wheelchair (see the next blog). The main entrance from the City is through the  North Door. That is totally accessible, and has a very smart noticeboard.

Worcester was a Roman settlement, and there may well have been a church here. In Saxon times it was settled by the tribe of the Hwicce. In 680 the Diocese of Worcester was split from that of Lichfield, and the first bishop was a chap called Bosel, a monk of Whitby. He built a church here dedicated to St Peter. Dunstan, Ethelwold and Oswald did more building in the C10, and then Wulfstan (bishop 1062 to 1095) did more. Fascinating to think about how this Anglo-Saxon bishop survived as a bishop well into Norman times. We’ll visit his crypt later on this journey. The East End was rebuilt in the C13, and the Nave in the C14 – if you know what you are looking for, you can see that the North side was redone before the South. There was more restoration work after the Battle of Worcester in 1651, but it wasn’t until the Victorian period that there was major work done. Fortunately it was done well. It is a wonderful space – so why did I only take two photos which shows that? The West Window is a C19 Hardman window showing the Garden of Eden – apparently there is a pink giraffe if you look hard enough. I’ll take their word for it. The font is Victorian (1891), massive, and practically inaccessible. Julie is demonstrating this.

Lots of lovely memorials and tombs. The first is that of Robert Wilde and his wife Margaret Cooling. They were wealthy clothiers and lived at the Commandery. I realise that my notes on the Painted Chamber (a couple of blogs ago) didn’t give a date for the paintings – do I assume the Robert and Margaret regularly admired them? She died in June 1606, he died the following January.

This is the tomb of Sir John Beauchamp of Powick and Alcester and his wife Elizabeth Pateshull. He was born in 1330 and died circa 1389. His coat of arms is, to quote the notice, “Gules (red) fesse (band) between six martlets” and hers’ “Argent (silver) fesse (band) between two crescents”. “The Beauchamp crest of ducal coronet Gules (red) a swan’s head Argent (white/silver) repainted incorrectly at a later date”.

Every blog post should have a mystery – when the chap with the camera realises he didn’t get a decent enough photo of the memorial to work out who is being memorialised. (There should always be an excuse to go back!)

The Moore monument is to a family of drapers and clothiers in the city in the time of Elizabeth I. Their fortunes were laid by farming out spinning and weaving with local farmer’s wives and cottagers, they then dyed the cloth and sold the finished article. Soon they had connections in London and with the Continent. The figures are not identified on the monument. They are probably John Moore and his wife Anne on the right, their son and daughter John and Margaret in the centre, and their son Thomas in his Aldermanic robes with is wife Mary. Thomas was the last to died in 1655 at the age of 79.

Judge Littleton, born (1422) and died (1481) at Frankley in Worcestershire. He was Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1447 and Justice of the Common Pleas in 1466. His book on Tenures, with the commentary of Sir Edward Coke, became the standard work on Real Property Law. He has been called the Father of our English laws. The memorial to Bishop Edmund Freake, successively Bishop of Rochester, Norwich and Worcester, 1516-1591. The notice tells me that on the foot of the tomb is the signature of Anthony Tolly (1546-1594) a Worcester craftsman. Apparently this is the second oldest signed monument in England. I also like the idea of going from Rochester to Norwich to Worcesrer – I wonder how much he ever visited his dioceses and cathedrals?

Richard Edes was Dean from 1597 to 1604. Before then he had been appointed Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth I in 1598, when he was already “held in great admiration at court for his preaching and excellent and polite discourse.” In 1603 he became a Chaplain to James I, and was invited to become one of the team of Divines who undertook the translation of the Authourised Version, but he died before the work got very far. There is a portrait of him at the Bodleian at Oxford, and he is buried in the Lady Chapel (not here where his memorial stands).

This memorial to Richard Solly is rather a sad one. “Whilst on a tour of pleasure with his family, was seized with an inflammation of the intestines, which in five days terminated his life at Malvern.” When you do the maths you realise his first child had her third birthday the day before he died, the second was just two, and the third was only five months old. Frances, his wife, came from an Irish family – so I hope there was someone to be with her and care when she found herself in Malvern with a seriously ill husband and three tiny children. The family must have had money, so that would have helped – I hope their faith comforted them too. I’d love to know the story of Jane Cazalet too – died unmarried at the age of 56. I wonder if she had loved someone who died too young?

Bishop Henry Philpott (1807-1892) had charge of the See during the Victorian restoration of the Cathedral – now he looks after the tables.

There is a memorial to Edward Elgar and a memorial window – the Dream of Gerontius.

A defib, with Prayer Book in case it doesn’t work!

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