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Gloucestershire Map

Gloucester Cathedral is a large handsome building with some very fine fan vaulted ceilings.

The present building was begun in 1089 by Serlo, a monk from Mont St Michel, to replace the church of what was then the Abbey of St Peter. The abbey had been founded by Osric, an Anglo-Saxon prince, back in 678-9 AD.

As ever, the building grew and was enhanced over the following centuries, until in 1540 it became a cathedral, after Henry VIII ordered the dissolution the monasteries.

Other notable events were: the coronation of Henry III at the age of only nine in 1216, and the burial of Edward II who had died in Berkeley Castle in suspicious circumstances in 1327.

The cathedral also boasts the earliest surviving fan vaults; those in the cloisters. These were designed between 1351 and 1377 by Thomas of Canterbury.

Please see the cathedral's official site for details of opening times, services, events, etc.

One of the most touching monuments is on the north side of the Lady Chapel. It commemorates Elizabeth Williams and her, presumably, stillborn baby. She died in 1622 when she was only 17, probably in childbirth.

She was the youngest daughter of Bishop Miles Smith, one of the translators and editors of the King James' version of the Bible.

Latin inscription on the monument can be translated as:

Husband, you carved in marble here your wife:
Thus you'd ensured her immorality,
But CHRIST my hope and trust was all my life;
So God forbids that I should mortal be.