Saturday, 20th May, 2023

It was another absolutely beautiful morning. After breakfast at "Gregg's", we made our way to Durham Cathedral as we didn't have enough time to "do" it yesterday. Durham Cathedral is another totally awe-inspiring building with something to see at almost every step. Building began in 1093, making parts of it 900 years old.

This is a replica of the Sanctuary Knocker which adorned the North Door of Durham Cathedral for centuries. It takes its name from the fact that, in the Middle Ages, people who had committed a great offence could touch the knocker and would be granted sanctuary for 37 days, during which time the person had to choose between trial and voluntary exile. The hideousness of the monster's features was designed to ward off evil from the place of sanctuary at Durham Cathedral.

St Cuthbert (who is buried in the cathedral)

Looking toward the east end from the west end

St Aidan embarks on his mission from Iona.

St Aidan is received at Bamburgh Castle by King Oswald

St Aidan

St Cuthbert preaches in a mountain village.

St Cuthbert

The Norman pillars are enormous!

The Venerable Bede (buried at the cathedral) instructing his disciples.

The Venerable Bede

The Tomb of the Venerable Bede

This magnificent organ case was built in the 1680s by Bernard Schmidt, known as 'Father Smith'.
This case sat above the entrance to the Quire until 1847, when it was moved. Although spectacular to look at, the case is no longer in use.

The Cloister

This part of the cloister was used in one of the "Harry Potter" movies.

Another view of the cloister

The Chapter House

The Medieval Clock

The Bishop's Throne. Legend has it that Bishop Hatfield had it built one inch higher than the throne of the Pope!!

The High Altar (not as high as the bishop's throne though!)

The Quire

The Transfiguration Window was installed in 2010.

The Shrine of St Cuthbert

The windows on the wall of the east end

The Nativity

Once again, Satoshi opted to experience the tower tour. This time there were 325 steps!

"Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."

"O Thou of Little Faith"
Peter loses confidence in himself as he walks on water toward Jesus.

The Illumination Window, by Mel Howse, was installed in 2019 in memory of Durham University student Sara Pilkington, who died in 2012 during her final year of University.

This altar frontal and three panels above were designed by Leonard Childs, embroidered by the Cathedral Broderers, financed by the Friends of the Cathedral, and put in place in October 1994.

This sculpture of the dead Christ alongside his grieving mother Mary is carved from beech wood with the addition of unpolished brass to represent light and life.

Unusually, the lectern depicts a pelican rather than an eagle.

A pelican is a symbol of Christ as the mother pelican will feed its chicks its own blood if necessary.

The Pulpit

The three photos above show details of the pulpit.

The Rose Window depicts Christ seated in glory (centre), the the twelve disciples, then the 24 elders (as described in Revelation 4:4).

This building is the 14th century monks' dormitory. The roof is orginal. It is now used as the Cathedral Museum.

The Neasham Cross - 13th century
Neasham, County Durham Sandstone
This carved cross is believed to have come from Neasham Priory, a Benedictine house founded in about 1150 for a community of nuns. One side of the cross shows the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, with the Virgin Mary and St John.
The other side shows Christ seated on a throne in Heaven, his hand raised in blessing. He is surrounded by three of the four traditional symbols for the Evangelists: a winged lion, a winged ox and a winged man. The symbol of St John, an eagle, is missing from the top.

This is the original doorknocker which used to be on the northern door of the cathedral.

The ceiling of the kitchen from the monastery.

St Cuthbert's comb was buried with him when he died in 687.

Hidden in his robes and undisturbed for over 1,100 years, this beautiful
'pectoral' (worn on the chest) cross is the earliest item found in St Cuthbert's coffin. It is made of gold, set with small pieces of garnet and shell. It shows signs of wear, with old repairs - one garnet has been lost and replaced with a piece of red glass - and Cuthbert may have worn it during his lifetime as an episcopal (Bishops') cross. It was either buried with him when he died in 687 or placed in the coffin in 698 when Cuthbert's sainthood was recognised.

This is the coffin in which St Cuthbert was placed in 698, eleven years after his death, when his body was discovered to be incorrupt and his sainthood recognised. The fragments were recovered from his tomb when it was opened in 1827.

Detail of above

We left the cathedral about lunchtime and headed towards Beamish. You can find out about our adventures there by clicking on the "Forward" button below.

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