Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Lichfield Cathedral - Staffordshire

Lichfield Cathedral has known some moments. I was privileged to be shown a painting of the cathedral done at the end of the English Civil War. The walls and crenellations around the cathedral were still there at that time, the moat was still only passable over one bridge, and the roof was missing because the Roundheads had destroyed it with cannon fire.

I showed my son in law the plaque on the wall in Dam Street that says General Brook of the Roundheads had died on that spot after a gentleman named Dyott had positioned himself on the roof of the cathedral, armed with rifle with the intention of causing 'some nuisance' to the besiegers. Mr Dyott not only shot the general in the eye, his family still live in the area and still own the gun.

St Chad came to Lichfield in 669 and built the church that still bears his name. Once he was a saint it was decided he needed a cathedral at least and the Normans began one in 1085. Some 110 years later it was replaced by the Gothic cathedral we see today.

The frontispiece of the cathedral is very splendid and there is much to admire inside. In 1530 the Abbey at Henkenrode in Belgium was dismantled and all of the magnificent medieval stained glass was transported to Lichfield and made the colourful scenes that have been enjoyed for many centuries. A few years ago the windows were replaced by plain glass whilst they were sent away for renovation. They are now proudly back in place.

WS13 7LD

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