(active 1082-1106 in Ely)

Exterior view

Cathedral, Ely, Cambridgeshire

The Anglo-Saxon abbey church at Ely was founded in 672. In 1081, the office of abbot was conferred by William the Conqueror upon Simeon, a Norman, who started work on the Norman church soon after he was made abbot. The original building remains, except for the crossing and choir. The choir had aisles and three storeys, and probably terminated in a semi-circular apse. The east section probably was completed in 1106.

The nave is magnificent; though it took a long time to build, it remained remarkably true to the original design. The horizontal sequence of its storeys are proportioned in a 6:5:4 ratio. The exterior of the nave and side aisles are more lavishly decorated than the interior, and includes a sequence of blind arcades.

The photo shows the west façade.

View the ground plan of Simeon's building, Ely Cathedral, begun after 1081.

View the ground plan of the Gothic Ely Cathedral, 1330s.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.