Exploring Gloucester Cathedral’s extraordinary architectural achievements

 

Dr Nicola Coldstream, architectural historian and council member of OHCT, conducted a fascinating tour of Gloucester Cathedral on 18th June.

Despite the wet weather we began with an explanation of the early cathedral structure at the east end which was followed by a careful demonstration of how the Norman arch choir had applied to it a new set of perpendicular clothes.

Both styles are clearly visible and are an eloquent example of how a plain building over time acquired a layer of decoration unsurpassed in Gothic architecture.

The tour included the extraordinary feats of stone engineering to counteract the load of the tower (huge embedded flying buttresses) and the support of the vaulted ceiling over the crossing (flying arches).

We looked at the 14th-century stained glass in the huge east window, and the smaller windows in the Lady Chapel that commemorate local composers Herbert Howells, Gerald Finzi and Ivor Gurney.

Before the tour concluded with cream tea in the Laud Room, we were able to examine in detail the tomb of Edward II (above) and the magnificent cloister.