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Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ely A History and Description of the Building with a Short Account of the Monastery and of the See   By: (1839-1913)

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In "Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ely," author Walter D. Sweeting provides a comprehensive history and description of Ely Cathedral, offering readers a vivid insight into its rich past and exquisite architecture. This engrossing book explores not only the building itself but also delves into the intriguing stories of the monastery and the exceptional See.

Sweeting's meticulous research and attention to detail allow readers to truly appreciate the magnificence and grandeur of Ely Cathedral. From its humble beginnings as an early Christian church to its growth into a remarkable Gothic structure, every aspect of the cathedral's evolution is explored. The author skillfully brings to life the people involved in its construction, from the architects and craftsmen to the various bishops who left their mark on Ely's history.

The book provides vivid descriptions of Ely Cathedral's stunning architectural elements, such as its soaring nave, intricately designed stained glass windows, and the famous Octagon Tower. Sweeting's prose effortlessly transports readers back in time, enabling them to envision the awe-inspiring beauty of the cathedral as it stood throughout different periods.

One particularly noteworthy aspect of the book is the attention given to the monastery associated with Ely Cathedral. Sweeting sheds light on the monastic community that dwelled within its walls and uncovers the daily life and routines of the monks. By providing this additional context, the author unravels a deeper understanding of Ely Cathedral's significance as not just a religious site but also as a cultural and societal hub.

Despite its heavily historical focus, Sweeting manages to inject a sense of narrative into the text, making it an engaging and accessible read for both cathedral enthusiasts and general readers alike. The author's passion for Ely Cathedral is palpable throughout, enhancing the overall enjoyment of the book.

Whether one is planning to visit Ely Cathedral or simply seeking a captivating exploration of architectural marvels, "Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Ely" provides an invaluable resource. Walter D. Sweeting's knowledge, combined with his engaging storytelling abilities, ensures that readers will come away with a deep appreciation for the beauty, history, and cultural significance of this remarkable English cathedral.

First Page:


A History and Description of the Building with a Short Account of the Former Monastery and of the See


THE REV. W. D. SWEETING, M.A. Vicar of Holy Trinity, Rotherhithe and Author of "Peterborough"

With XLVII Illustrations

[Illustration: ELY CATHEDRAL FROM THE SOUTH. Photochrom Co. Ltd. Photo. ]

[Illustration: The Arms of the See.]

London George Bell & Sons 1910 First Published June 1901. Reprinted 1902, 1910.


It is hardly necessary to give a complete list of all the authorities consulted in the preparation of this book. As specially valuable for Ely may be named the "Liber Eliensis" and the "Inquisitio Eliensis"; the histories of Bentham, Hewett, and Stewart; the "Memorials of Ely," and the Handbook to the Cathedral edited and revised by the late Dean; Professor Freeman's Introduction to Farren's "Cathedral Cities of Ely and Norwich"; and the various reports of Sir G. G. Scott. But numerous other sources of information have been examined, and have supplied facts or theories; and in nearly every instance, particularly where the very words are quoted, the authority is given in the text or in the notes.

My best thanks are due to the Dean of Ely for his ready courtesy in allowing free access to every part of the cathedral and for his solution of various difficulties which had presented themselves in comparing different accounts of the fabric... Continue reading book >>

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