English Churches - Cambridgeshire

Ely Cathedral - Part 8


The Presbytery


The Presbytery is Early English with dark Purbeck marble pillars contrasting with the rest of the pale limestone.

Ely Cathedral

This was the site of the shrine of St Etheldreda. Destroyed in the Reformation the site is marked by a slate slab in the floor.

Ely Cathedral

The stone tomb canopy on the north wall is often mistakenly described as her shrine. These canopies were common common in the medieval period covering tombs of senior churchmen or members of the aristocracy. It is now thought this may have been part of Bishop Hotham’s tomb. The fragments of stone beneath it may have been part of Etheldreda’s shrine.
 
Ely Cathedral

Sir George Gilbert Scott was responsible for the elaborate reredos behind the high altar. This took 18 years to complete and cost £4000. Its five panels show the events of Holy Week beginning with Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper in the Centre and ending with Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha.

Ely Cathedral


Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral    Ely Cathedral

On either side of the altar is an intricately carved panel with roses.

Ely Cathedral

Even the candlesticks are good examples of Victorian Gothic work.

Ely Cathedral     Ely Cathedral

On either side of the presbytery are the tombs of the great and good, including Bishop Redman on the north side, with its elaborately carved canaopy.
 
Ely Cathedral

John Tiptoft, first Earl of Worcester with his two wives is on the south wall. He was Lord High Treasurer , Lord High Constable and Deputy Governor of Ireland under Edward IV.  He was also nicknamed the ‘Butcher of England’ as he was ferocious in carrying out punishment.

Ely Cathedral

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