What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Ely Cathedral

=How to get there.=–From Liverpool Street or St. Pancras. Great
  Eastern Railway.
=Nearest Station.=–Ely.
=Distance from London.=–70-1/2 miles.
=Average Time.=–Varies from 1-3/4 to 3-1/4 hours. Quickest train 1 hour
  38 minutes.

                     1st     2nd     3rd
=Fares.=–Single  11s. 3d.   ...   5s. 11-1/2d.
          Return  20s. 0d.   ...  11s. 11d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Bell Hotel” and others.

Ely is situated on an eminence in the midst of the flat district forming the centre of the county of Cambridge, and was originally a settlement termed by the Saxons Eleg or Elge, i.e. “an eel,” from the number of eels found in the fenny district around. St. Etheldreda, daughter of a king of the East Angles, founded an abbey here, where she died in 679, being afterwards canonised as a saint. The monastery was destroyed by the Danes in 870, and did not regain importance till one hundred years later.

In Hereward the Wake Kingsley tells us how gallantly the Isle of Ely was defended against the attacks of William the Conqueror, but the chieftain was at last forced to surrender, and the monastery was seized. Ely was created a bishopric by Henry I. in 1107.

The cathedral is one of the most beautiful and remarkable in England. The oldest portion was erected in the reign of William Rufus and Henry I., and additions were continually made to the fabric until 1534, so that it contains an almost unbroken series of the architectural styles prevailing from the Conquest, yet so wonderfully has the design been managed that no disagreeable effect is produced.

The nave of the cathedral, considered one of the finest specimens of Norman work in England, was completed about 1174, and the west front, built by Geoffrey Ridel, the third bishop, about ten years later. Originally there stood a square tower in the centre of the building, but this fell in 1322, crushing three arches of the choir. The repair of this misfortune was undertaken by the sacrist, Alan de Walsingham, who erected in 1342 the octagonal tower now existing.

The choir contains much rich decorated Gothic; and the east end of the cathedral, with its two tiers of lancet windows, is very beautiful. Another most interesting feature is the Lady Chapel, with a magnificent fan-vaulted roof; the walls were originally decorated with countless niches and statues of saints and martyrs, not one of which escaped the destroying hand of the Puritan.

[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. ELY CATHEDRAL.

The remarkable octagonal tower was rebuilt in 1342 by Alan de Walsingham.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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