St Albans Cathederal

Every year OH's family meet for a family day during the May Bank Holiday. The day involves a picnic, activity and evening meal. This year's activity was a tour of St Alban's Cathedral. Now usually I feel very awkward in churches of any kind as I always feel I'm intruding into something I don't really understand. But going on a tour with a large group took away this feeling and I really enjoyed listening to the history of this magnificent building.
 Built on a Roman site the brickwork of the cathedral is a mixture of Roman brick, flint, medieval stonework and modern bricks. 
 The cathedral celebrates the largest congregation within the UK which should be celebrated. 

 The altar
 Examples of medieval painting. Cathedrals and churches today can be quite bland affairs compared to when the walls were ablaze with colour. Though the colours have faded you get the general idea.

 Light cascading down from above
 Close up detail on the arches
  These are new carvings up on the alter and they represent Saints, including several from the 20th Century. 
 The carving of this Choir Screen was simply stunning and I'm afraid I haven't done the detail as much justice as it deserves

 It wasn't just the walls that were brightly coloured. Here are two ceiling views 

 And a floor detail
 Throughout there were these amazing quilts inspired by the Book of Revelations. The topic was again not necessarily to my taste but the workmanship was incredible. 

The Lady Chapel was kind of heavenly 
 There had been a wedding in the Lady Chapel earlier that day and the flowers will still out. I had seen the bride earlier but thought it was rude to take a picture though she did look stunning. 
 Whilst I don't really like Church textiles you can't help but admire these banners
 I haven't done this Rose Window justice - it was simply stunning. The downside to going on a tour was that it was simply a case of snap and move on....

 Though at the end of the tour I did have a few moments where I could take a little more time over some photos and so experimented in black and white 
This is the head of a queen - they're not sure which one but possibly Queen Philippa who I'd never even head of, wife of Edward III
So there we have  quick snapshot of St Albans. I would highly recommend doing a tour of this or any other cathedral. You get such an insight into these amazing buildings which goes way beyond just being a place of worship. 

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