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The Cathedral Church of Peterborough A Description Of Its Fabric And A Brief History Of The Episcopal See   By: (1839-1913)

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The Cathedral Church of Peterborough: A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See, written by Walter D. Sweeting, is a comprehensive exploration of one of England's most significant religious landmarks. This book provides a detailed and engaging account, uncovering the rich history and architectural magnificence of the Peterborough Cathedral.

Sweeting, an esteemed historian and expert in ecclesiastical architecture, effectively combines historical research and descriptive analysis to offer readers a captivating overview of the cathedral's origins and evolution. The narrative begins with an exploration of the very foundation of the church, delving into its Saxon roots and subsequent transformations throughout the centuries.

One of the greatest strengths of this book lies in Sweeting's ability to vividly describe the architectural features and details of the cathedral. Through meticulous research, he presents a comprehensive overview of the building's various styles, from the Norman Romanesque elements to the later Gothic additions. The book is accompanied by a series of stunning photographs, allowing readers to visualize the grandeur of the cathedral's intricate stonework and soaring arches.

In addition to its focus on the architectural aspects, Sweeting delves into the social and religious history that shaped the cathedral's identity. He sheds light on the role of the bishops and clergymen who played a crucial part in the development of the Episcopal See of Peterborough, and brings to life the stories of individuals associated with the cathedral throughout the ages.

One of the most commendable aspects of Sweeting's writing is his ability to cater to a wide range of readers. Whether one is a seasoned historian, an architecture enthusiast, or simply someone eager to learn about the rich heritage of Peterborough, this book offers a comprehensive and accessible narrative. Sweeting avoids the use of overly technical language, making this work easily approachable for readers with varying levels of expertise.

However, it is worth mentioning that there are moments in the book where some readers might feel overwhelmed by the extensive level of detail provided. While this level of thoroughness can be appreciated, those seeking a more concise overview might find certain sections slightly more laborious to navigate.

In conclusion, Walter D. Sweeting's The Cathedral Church of Peterborough: A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See is an exceptional exploration of an architectural gem and a significant piece of British history. Meticulously researched, eloquently written, and beautifully illustrated, this book offers a well-rounded understanding of the cathedral's construction and the intertwined narratives of the people behind its creation. It is a definitive resource for anyone seeking a deeper appreciation for the complex layers of history that reside within the walls of Peterborough Cathedral.

First Page:

[Illustration: Peterborough Cathedral, From The South east.]








First Published, February 1898 Second Edition, Revised, 1899. Reprinted, 1906, 1911, 1922, 1926.


The chief authorities consulted in the preparation of this book are named in the text. Besides the well known works of reference on the English Cathedrals, and the "Monastic Chronicles," there are several that deal with Peterborough alone, of which the most important and valuable are "Gunton's History" with Dean Patrick's Supplement, "Craddock's History," the monographs by Professor Paley and Mr Poole, and the Guide of Canon Davys. If I have ventured to differ from some of these writers on various points, I must appeal, in justification, to a careful and painstaking study of the Cathedral and its history, during a residence at Peterborough of more than twenty years.

My best thanks are due to Mr Caster of Peterborough, for permission to incorporate with this account the substance of a Guide, which I prepared for him, published in 1893; and to Mr Robert Davison of London, for his description of the Mosaic Pavement, executed by him for the Choir... Continue reading book >>

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