Southwell Minster, Southwell, England

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Southwell Minster, Southwell, England
Grade I listed historic structure.

"Southwell Minster (/ˈsʌðəl, ˈsaʊθwɛl/) is a minster and cathedral, in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, England. It is situated six miles from Newark-on-Trent and thirteen miles from Mansfield. It is the seat of the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham and the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

In 1884 Southwell Minster became a cathedral proper for Nottinghamshire and a part of Derbyshire including the city of Derby:126–127. The diocese was divided in 1927 and the Diocese of Derby was formed. The diocese’s centenary was commemorated by a royal visit to distribute Maundy money. George Ridding, the first Bishop of Southwell, designed and paid for the grant of Arms now used as the diocesan coat of arms.

The nave, transepts, central tower and two western towers of the Norman church which replaced the Saxon minster remain as an outstanding achievement of severe Romanesque design. With the exception of fragments mentioned above, they are the oldest part of the existing church.

The Nave is of seven bays, plus a separated western bay. The columns of the arcade are short and circular, with small scalloped capitals. The triforium has a single large arch in each bay. The clerestory has small round-headed windows. The external window openings are circular. There is a tunnel-vaulted passage between the inside and outside window openings of the clerestory. The nave aisles are vaulted, the main roof of the nave is a trussed rafter roof, with tie-beams between each bay – a late C19 replacement.

By contrast with the nave arcade, the arches of the crossing are tall, rising to nearly the full height of the nave walls. The capitals of the east crossing piers depict scenes from the life of Jesus. Two stages of the inside of the central tower can be seen at the crossing, with cable and wave decoration on the lower order and zigzag on the upper. The transepts have three stories with semi-circular arches, like the nave, but without aisles.

The western facade has pyramidal spires on its towers – a unique feature today, though common in the C12. The existing spires date only from 1880, but they replace those destroyed by fire in 1711, which are documented in old illustrations. The large west window dates from the C15. The central tower’s two ornamental stages place it high among England’s surviving Norman towers. The lower order has intersecting arches, the upper order plain arches. The north porch has a tunnel vault, and is decorated with intersecting arches.

The choir is Early English in style, and was completed in 1241. It has transepts, thus separating the choir into a western and eastern arm. The choir is of two stories, with no gallery or triforium. The lower storey has clustered columns with multiform pointed arches, the upper storey has twin lancet arches in each bay. The rib vault of the choir springs from clustered shafts which rest on corbels. The vault has ridge ribs. The square east end of the choir has two stories each of four lancet windows.

Southwell (/ˈsaʊθwɛl, ˈsʌðəl/) is a town in Nottinghamshire, England, the site of Southwell Minster, the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham. A population of under 7,000 rose to 7,297 at the 2011 Census. The origin of the name is unclear. It lies on the River Greet, about 14 miles (22 km) north-east of Nottingham. Other historic buildings include prebendal houses in Church Street and Westgate and the Methodist church, which has a right of way beneath it, so that the upper floor seats more than the lower. The workhouse (1824) was a prototype for many others. Owned by the National Trust, it shows its appearance in the 19th century. Behind the Minster is a partly ruined palace, once a residence of the Archbishop of York. It includes the recently restored State Chamber, Cardinal Wolsey’s former dining room, and gardens among the ruins." – info from Wikipedia.

Summer 2019 I did a solo cycling tour across Europe through 12 countries over the course of 3 months. I began my adventure in Edinburgh, Scotland and finished in Florence, Italy cycling 8,816 km. During my trip I took 47,000 photos.

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By Billy Wilson Photography on 2019-05-27 09:58:01
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hugh McInnes is a well-seasoned traveller and loves to share his experiences of travelling by a campervan in Australia. He has written quite amount of guides and experiences about camper renter travel in Australia and New Zealand.