I never weary of great churches. It is my favorite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.
– Robert Louis Stevenson
Today, I have been to Peterborough Cathedral with my class (in case I have not mentioned, I am training to be a Primary school teacher). This was my first visit to the Cathedral, despite living my entire 20 something years of life within 20 miles of it.
I know I am a bit of a history obsessive, I love the romance and the stories of time gone by. I love the notion of time and all the people that have seen and walked where I have. So, I know that I find Cathedrals and Castles and all historical buildings and sites to be more impressive than many people I know. I am the person who, for my 18th birthday, persuaded my Mum to take me to Althorp House (where Princess Diana grew up and is now laid to rest), for I love history. So, bear with me if this is not your idea of an exciting day trip!
A little about Peterborough Cathedral
Peterborough Cathedral began construction in 1118 (although on of my class though it might have been built in 1977, because “it’s really old and sort of rusty looking”), and took 120 years to complete. It was one of the tallest buildings in the area when it was constructed, and has many historical ties.
Our area (East Northants) is known for being particularly associated with the Tudor monarchy. Katherine of Aragon (Henry VIII’s first wife) died in Kimbolton Castle, around 30 miles from the Cathedral. She was buried within Peterborough Cathedral, and has a rather beautiful tomb that you can now visit.
Further, Mary Queen of Scots, has much of her story entwined with this area. During her trial for treason, she was sent to Fotheringhay Castle – which sadly no longer exists – in Fotheringhay village approximately 10 miles from Peterborough. She was found guilty and beheaded in the Castle, and her body buried within the Cathedral. Once James I came to the throne, he had his mothers body moved from Peterborough to Westminster Abbey. There is still a memorial to her within the building however.
As you can see, there is history, real English history surrounding this building. Yet that is not what draws me in. The thing that does that is the craftsmanship, all the people that have been involved to make the building as incredibly beautiful as it is now.
If you are ever in this area, I don’t entirely know why you would be as it is not really a tourist hot-spot – in fact, it is not a tourist place at all. Yet, people do still come here – Americans regularly come to my village (Islip) as it is where the people from Islip, Long Island originated. Along with much of the Washington Family (but that is another story). Anyhow, if for any random reason you do make it to East Northants, then definitely go to see Peterborough Cathedral. It is stunning and majestic. It is a place of hope and peace. A place of history and religion. And a place that needs to be seen, for it is simply beautiful.
Please visit the Cathedral if you are in the area; or any near you. So often we travel to far away countries and continents and visit place of Worship, yet not in our own backyards. And this one is definitely worth a visit.
All photos are credited to Gary Ullah, as all my pictures contain children from my class (plus, he is a far better photographer than I am!)
For more information see Peterborough Cathedral. (And now I sound like I work for the tourist board!)