Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire
At first glance you could be fooled into thinking Southwell Minster was a relatively modern building….those twin spires are very contemporary in style. In some ways you would be correct and others very wrong. There was a religious building here in Anglo Saxon times. Records of a building date to 627 and possibly earlier. Then in 1108 the Norman’s started a reconstruction programme. I guess the main structure is very much part of that. But history was to see many other changes and disasters at Southwell.
You do need to google the full history, but in a very simple outline here are some key facts. In the English Civil War the Minster was much abused, with the nave being used as stabling and other parts of the building as soldier accommodation. Charles 1st was also capture in Southwell. Just as the Minster was being restored in 1711, one of the Spires was hit by lightening, the resulting fire caused extensive damage.
1720 repairs again were started, some suggest that these repairs were very poor. A new programme of change was started and in 1805 the spires were removed in. Extensive restoration and architectural changes followed.. The Barrel Vaulting to the nave was added and the then in 1879 the twin spires were erected…… the spires that make Southwell’s exterior so distinctive.
Much of the restoration over the years has maintained its traditional original style, but sympathetically adding, a mix of the ancient with a slightly more modern look. All in all Southwell Minster is well worth a visit, as is a serious dig back into its rather troublesome history…… but here is a taster.
The Minster has many great glass windows. One of the most dramatic windows is one of those more modern additions. It is known as the Angel Window (or maybe that should be window’s). Installed in 1996 it is the work of Artist Patrick Reyntiens. I said dramatic….. but maybe awe inspiring in design and craftsmanship would be a more fitting description.
Maybe another location for your bucket list for when times are easier.
In the meantime…
Please Remember ….
Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other
(C) David Oakes 2020