What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
Gloucester and Its Cathedral
=How to get there.=–Train from Paddington. Great Western Rly. =Nearest Station.=–Gloucester. =Distance from London.=–114 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 2-3/4 to 3-1/2 hours.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 19s. 0d. 12s. 0d. 9s. 6d. Return 33s. 3d. 21s. 0d. ...
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Bell Hotel,” “New Inn Hotel," “The Wellington Hotel,” and others. =Alternative Route.=–None.
Gloucester is one of the most thriving cities in the south of England. It has been a town of some description from quite early times, for the British had a fortress on the site which the Romans are believed to have occupied as a strong position on the road into Wales. The Danes repeatedly made incursions into this part of the country, and Gloucester suffered very much from their ravages; but probably through the fact that the kings of Mercia instituted a palace and priory there, the city seems to have had sufficient strength to recover after each disaster. Gloucester was even of sufficient importance for Edward the Confessor to have kept his courts there for a considerable time. Being in the west country, it naturally suffered severely during the parliamentary struggle, and a great portion of the city was destroyed. But although the town lost many of its old buildings at this time, it has still a good deal of antiquity to boast, and for this reason alone is attractive to the stranger. Its main streets are modelled on the Roman plan of a cross, the four arms bearing the names North, South, East and West-gate Streets.
The cathedral is not many minutes’ walk from the railway station, and is remarkable for its influence upon the English architecture which succeeded it, for it directed the course of the curvilinear movement in the direction of the Perpendicular style of Gothic. After remaining uncopied for a few years, the new style spread over the length and breadth of England. The east window is remarkable as being one of the largest in the world. Portions of the cathedral may possibly date from pre-Norman days, but according to the records, the earliest date is 1088. The tower was completed in 1518, and is with the cloisters almost without equal in this country for beauty and perfection. The cathedral contains the tomb of Osric, King of Northumbria, which was recently opened and found to contain the bones within a wooden coffin.
[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. GLOUCESTER CATHEDRAL.
Showing the east window, which is one of the largest in the world.]