Cathedrals are architectural masterpieces. They span the centuries. They are exemplars of the skill of stone masons, carpenters and craftsmen, and the product of the vision of the architects that planned, designed and oversaw the construction of these vast buildings whose soaring naves defy gravity. It is hard to imagine the toil of those who built these magnificent buildings and the hardships they must have suffered, not forgetting those maimed or killed through accident.
Chichester Cathedral is described in its Welcome leaflet as ‘a work of art’. An understatement. Building commenced in 1076 (just ten years after the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest), and was completed in 1108. Subsequently there has been additional building at various times during the following nine centuries.
The beauty of such places is not measured solely in the overall scope of the interior or exterior, but is to be found in the small details too – aspects that too often we take for granted and pass by without a second glance. An example being the decorative stone work that surrounds the great West Door of the Cathedral – a small section of which is depicted in the image above. And in addition to being a detail ‘of’ this Cathedral, it stands on its own as a simple repeated pattern.