Posts tagged ‘Somerset’

Revisiting the majestic Wells Cathedral ….. to capture some details

Columns which line the nave

If anyone was to ask me to name my favourite Cathedral, it would be a choice between these three: Wells in Somerset, Chichester in West Sussex and St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Pushed to say which would come out on top and I would have to say Wells Cathedral. Why? It has a very special atmosphere born out of the quite majestic architecture and the extraordinary detail of its design. The history and its setting in what is a small city just adds to its appeal.

Last week my wife and I enjoyed a short holiday in Somerset. We were staying about 10 miles north of Wells so another visit had to be included in our itinerary of places we wanted to see. I have been fortunate to visit and photograph the cathedral previously, but this time round I decided to concentrate on some of the details, which to me tell a story about the building and sum up very nicely why it means so much to me.

I could spend hours and hours in the cathedral and never be bored finding other compositions so another visit is very much on the cards. Until then here are a selection captured last week and if you would like to read my other blog entries about Wells Cathedral here are the links are below.

A Monochrome Masterclass and a visit to Wells

A quote by St. Francis of Assisi reminded me of Wells Cathedral

The Chapter House – making amends for a missed opportunity

Carved stone detail and pillar near the west door
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The Chapter House – making amends for a missed opportunity

Chapter House-8

Doorway to The Chapter House

The last time I visited Wells Cathedral back in 2015 I did not go and see, let alone photograph, The Chapter House. Why, I cannot tell you, as it is arguably one of the finest features of this glorious building and one not to be missed, but somehow I did!

Earlier this week I made amends and as well as photographing other parts of the cathedral I spent quite some time in The Chapter House, walking up and down the famous staircase, which is often referred to as the ‘Sea of Steps’. As you might imagine this is a very well photographed subject so trying to make an ‘original’ image is nigh on impossible. Nevertheless its beauty, its proportions and its truly majestic architecture are quite breathtaking. I hope you enjoy this collection of images.

Chapter House-9

The ‘Sea of Steps’ staircase leading to The Chapter House

Chapter House-3

The Chapter House vestibule

Chapter House-7

The central column and roof inside The Chapter House

Chapter House-4

Another view of the Chapter House ceiling

Chapter House-5

Looking up – taken from the vestibule

Chapter House-2

‘Study’ inside The Chapter House

Chapter House-1

A more abstract view of the ‘Sea of Steps’

I have copied this extract from the Cathedral’s website about the history of The Chapter House –

‘The Wells Chapter House is the only octagonal chapter house to be built as a first storey on top of an undercroft, which was the ‘strong room’ of the cathedral. A crypt would not have been practical because of underground water. The undercroft itself, with its rugged supporting pillars, was certainly constructed by 1266, just after the completion of the West Front but work, first on the staircase (1265-1280) and then on the Chapter House itself(1286-1306), proceeded slowly.’

For my other posts about Wells Cathedral do click on the links below.

A quote by St Francis of Assisi reminded me of Wells Cathedral

A Monochrome Masterclass and a visit to Wells

As always do click on an image to view a larger version

Another entry with more images of Wells Cathedral will follow soon.

 

A quote by St. Francis of Assisi reminded me of Wells Cathedral.

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”
― St. Francis of Assisi

Scissor Arches

The Scissor Arches

I came across this quote recently and I couldn’t help but think of some of the truly magnificent cathedral buildings in this country. One in particular came to mind; – Wells Cathedral in Somerset, arguably one of the most beautiful in England and without question a favourite of mine.

Looking down the nave and up towards the Scissor Arches, one can only marvel at the work of the labourer, the craftsman and the artist. The use of hands, heads and hearts are all very evident.

For the historians, the site of Wells Cathedral can be traced back to 705, although construction on the present cathedral began in around 1175. The scissor arches were added in 1338-48 and they resolved a real problem. As well as being quite beautiful they stopped the complete collapse of a tall tower which had been built in 1313 on weak foundations.

Photographically speaking the great Henri Cartier-Bresson said –

‘It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head’.

Remarkably similar to the quote by St Francis of Assisi don’t you think?