Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bristol Cathedral

A church has probably stood on this site for over a thousand years. About 1140 Robert Fitzhardinge founded the Abbey of St. Augustine. Of the original Abbey buildings, only the Chapter House and Abbey Gatehouse remain clearly to be seen; the rest is mostly occupied by Bristol Cathedral School. 

The eastern end of the Cathedral, especially the quire, gives Bristol Cathedral a unique place in the development of British and European architecture. The nave, quire and aisles are all of the same height, making a large hall. Bristol Cathedral is the major example of a 'hall church' in the United Kingdom and one of the finest in the world. 

Bristol Cathedral is much more than this fascinating building. It is a centre of Bristol's history, civic life and culture. It is the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Bristol, which stretches from Bristol to Swindon. 

In the south wall are the stairs down which generations of monks entered the abbey for prayers. The monks prayed every 3 hours. These stairs remind us all that at the heart of the life of the abbey there was always prayer and worship. This remains true for the Cathedral till this day. 

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