Sunday, 5 April 2020

Behind the scenes in Westminster Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral, the distinctive neo-Byzantine building near Victoria Station, is a striking landmark. It has welcomed worshippers and tourists since the building was completed in 1903. There are, though, large parts of the building closed to the public - some of which I was fortunate to see on a Victorian Society visit last year. 

So, let's step out of the nave...

And into the sanctuary, behind the high altar. The cross in front of us is thirty feet high and was designed by the cathedral's architect, John Francis Bentley. Beyond it is a view along the nave. 

Next, a look into the sacristy. Here, services are prepared and priests don their vestments.

Further out of public view, we climb up into the clerestory, with striking views of the nave far below.

There are more than the views to look at, though. Here are the mosaic supplies, for maintaining all the decoration below.

Now that we're up here, it's time to head outside for a walk around the roof.

Once back inside, let's end our peek behind the scenes with some interesting reminders of past events, stored out of the way here. (I can never resist old signs!)

Your next visit might not include all these places, but the cathedral is full of incredible details and well worth a visit once we can head out and about again. Meanwhile, you can visit the public areas of the church remotely: take a virtual tour of the Cathedral here


Ralph Hancock said...

Westminster Cathedral and Birmingham University were the inspiration for George Lucas's fictional city of Theed in his film Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, about which I can remember nothing but its meticulously imagined scenery. Lucas is a serious fan of late 19th--early 20th century British architecture.

CarolineLD said...

I didn't know that! Maybe I should watch the film now :-)