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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral - the ship of the fens
Ely Cathedral is also known as "the ship of the fens" as it can be seen for miles around dominating the wet fenland landscape.  In this respect it is not unlike Chartres in France.   It was once in the Isle of Ely but is nowadays part of Cambridgeshire. Ely is about 12 miles north of Cambridge along the A10. The cathedral and much of the city is on land that is above the surrounding fens.  There are good views from parts of the city. Although strictly a city, Ely feels more like a small market town.

West tower
View out of the west (main) door
There has been Christian worship on this site for nearly 1400 years.  Ely Cathedral came first with just a modest settlement around it. The city grew later. Work on the current cathedral started in the 11th century.

The Lady Chapel (closed for an exhibition today) is very light and airy.

Octagon tower
The cathedral is famous for its
wooden octagon tower.

Jesus and Mary Magdalene
The weather when we visited today, Feb 8th 2015, was bright and sunny with a blue sky. At about 7 to 8  degrees C it was milder than of late.

Like many cathedrals, there is an entry charge but I think this is waived on Sundays. We have free entry as we are on the Burwell parish electoral roll. We also have cards giving us free entry into Cambridge colleges such as Kings as we live within 12 miles.

The statue on the left of Jesus and Mary Magdalene is inside the cathedral.

A walk down through the meadow below the Kings School gives some splendid views of the cathedral. Parking in the car-park below the cathedral is free. I think it is free in other Ely car-parks too.

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