(active 1084-1089 in Worcester)

Interior view

Cathedral, Worcester

The original church was founded in 680. Saint Oswald then built another cathedral in 983, and established a monastery attached to it. Saint Wulfstan (1062-1095), who was the only Anglo-Saxon bishop to remain in office after the Conquest, demolished the late tenth-century church, and started work in 1084 on a church, the large size of which had become necessary due to growing number of monks. By 1089 the crypt and that part of the building above it, was completed. Further parts of the Cathedral were built in Transitional and Gothic style in the twelfth century.

Wulfstan's building had aisles and a transept and ambulatory with polygonal radiating chapels. Since it was the most distinguished church in the diocese, it is likely that it was not just the clerical, but also the artistic centre of the "Severn Group" in the west of England. This group of Benedictine monasteries around the River Severn included Great Malvern (c. 1085), Tewkesbury (c. 1102), Gloucester (c. 1089), Pershore (c. 1092) and Evesham (12th century). Worcester cathedral left its mark on the churches of the younger members of the group.

While the large building, built in reddish sandstone, is largely Gothic, important sections of its Norman predecessor (crypt, base of the façade, arches, responds) still remains.

The photo shows the crypt.

View the ground plan of Worcester Cathedral, built by Wulfstan, begun 1084.

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