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Title: Ely Cathedral
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ely Cathedral" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

[Transcriber's Note: Text surrounded by +plus signs+ is in blackletter
typeface in the original book. Text surrounded by _underscores_ is in
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brackets, e.g. [=E], represents a macron.]





[Illustration: THE PRIOR'S DOORWAY]


[Illustration: Ely: Hills & Son

Thos. Kell Sculpt. London


[Illustration: +Ely Cathedral.+


+Ground Plan of the Choir of Ely Cathedral.+

The first three bays are in the Decorated style, about the same date
as the Octagon (1337-1361). The Norman bays which they replaced were
injured by the fall of the central Tower in 1322. The six eastern bays
(the Presbytery) are in the Early English Style, and were built by
Bishop Northwold (1235-1252).

Having entered the South aisle of the Choir by the iron gate marked 1
on the plan, and passed, on the right, the monuments of Bishop Allen,
and the Stewards, we come to 2. Bishop de Luda's monument (1298)
restored on the north side by Dean Peacock. 3. Bishop Barnet's tomb
(1373). 4. Tomb of John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, and his two wives
(1470). 5. Tomb of Bishop Hotham (1337) who left money for the
rebuilding of the three Decorated bays of the Choir. 6. On the south
side of the aisle is the monument erected in 1879 to Canon Selwyn. 7.
Bishop West's Chapel, built about 1534, containing the graves of
Bishops West, Keene, and Sparke, and on the south side the remains of
seven benefactors of the monastery removed from the Conventual Church
in 1154; and built in the north wall is the tomb of Cardinal de
Luxemburg, Bishop of Ely, who died 1443. 8. In the Retro-Choir is the
tomb of Dr. Mill, Canon of Ely, and Regius Professor of Hebrew at
Cambridge, who died in 1853. 9. Grave of Bishop and Mrs. Allen (1845).
10. The east wall on which are traces of painting of which no account
can be given. 11. Bishop Alcock's Chapel, containing his grave; he
died in 1500; he was founder of Jesus College, Cambridge. 12. Tomb of
Bishop Northwold, founder of the Presbytery, who was Abbot of Bury
before he became Bishop of Ely; died in 1254. 13. The monument
formerly placed over Bishop Hotham's tomb, but supposed to be part of
the shrine of St. Etheldreda as adapted by Alan de Walsingham. 14.
Tomb of Bishop Kilkenny (1250). 15. Tomb of Bishop Redman (1505). 16.
The Reredos, designed by Sir G.G. Scott, presented by John Dunn
Gardner, Esq., in memory of his wife (1851). 17. The spiral Staircase
leading to the organ loft: the organ was built by Hill and Son, of
London. 18 and 19. The Stalls--very ancient, though the carved panels
above them are modern; the north side represents a series of pictures
from the New Testament; on the south side are illustrations of the Old
Testament; they were carved by Abeloos of Louvain. The sub-stalls are
new. 20. The oaken Screen designed by Sir G.G. Scott.

For further particulars see "Hand-Book to the Cathedral," published by
Messrs. HILLS AND SON, Minster Place, near the western entrance to the





+The Monastic Buildings, &c.,+







[Illustration: HILLS & SON PRINTERS ELY]


+The Rev. the Dean and Chapter of Ely,+













[Illustration: ST. ETHELDREDA.]



When this Work first appeared as a candidate for public favour in
1852, the Compiler had but faint hopes of its ever attaining a
position of usefulness which the sale of the several editions has
proved it to have done. His constant aim has been to render it a
faithful as well as a convenient and useful companion to strangers and
others when examining this interesting Cathedral; and, in order to
render each succeeding edition more complete, his study has been to
give from time to time the best information in his power upon the
improvements which have for many years been in progress. He tenders
his best thanks for the kindness of many friends who have afforded him
information, and has availed himself of the important remarks of the
late Sir G.G. Scott at the Etheldreda Festival in 1873, and of the
valuable work of Mr. Stewart to correct as well as to verify and
support his own statements, for which his grateful acknowledgments are
due. The whole has been revised, and some additions have been made,
which he is induced to hope will enhance its value, and render it more
worthy of public favor.

_April, 1880._



This Hand-book is intended simply as a "guide" for those who visit Ely
for the purpose of seeing the Cathedral, the remains of the ancient
Monastery, and other objects of similar interest.

The Compiler acknowledges himself greatly indebted for much valuable
information to the elaborate works of Mr. Bentham and Mr. Millers;
and, although he is conscious that his task has been performed but
imperfectly, he still ventures to hope that, in the absence of the
larger works above referred to, his little compilation will prove both
interesting and useful.

_May, 1852._



Introduction                                        Page 1

Historical Summary                                      14

The See of Ely                                          17

List of Abbots, Bishops, &c.                            19

Officers of the Diocese                                 22

Dean and Chapter                                        23

List of Priors and Deans                                24

List of Clergy and Officers                             26

The Cathedral--West Front                               27

               Galilee or Portico                       30

               Interior of the Tower                    31

               South-west Transept, Baptistry, &c.      34

               Nave                                     35

               Nave Aisles                              40

               Transept                                 45

               Octagon                                  49

               Choir                                    58

               North Aisle of Choir                     77

               Retro-Choir                              80

               South Aisle of Choir                     81

               Lady Chapel, or Trinity Church           88

               Upper parts of the Church                91

               Exterior                                 91

               Dimensions of the Cathedral              99

The Monastic Buildings, &c.                            101

               Prior Crauden's Chapel                  105

The Bishop's Palace                                    110

St. Mary's Church                                      112

The Grange                                             115

St. John's Hospital                                    115

Appendix I. The Cathedral Organ                        117

        II. Statement of Restorations, &c.             120


_Copied, by permission, from "Good Words."_

       Stone upon stone!
       Each in its place,
       For strength and for grace,
       Rises stone upon stone!

     Like a cluster of rods,
     Bound with leaf-garlands tender,
     The great massive pillars
     Rise stately and slender;
     Rise and bend and embrace
     Until each owns a brother,
     As down the long aisles
     They stand linked to each other;
     While a rod of each cluster
     Rises higher and higher
     Breaking up in the shadow,
     Like clouds that aspire.
     While here in the midst,
     'Neath the great central tower,
     The strength and the unity
     Mingle in power,
     And the mystery greatens:
     Nowhere in the place
     Can the eye see the whole,
     Or the sun light the space.
     And here the gloom gathers,
     And deepens to dense,
     While yonder the white light
     Breaks sharp and intense.

       Unity! Mystery!
       Majesty! Grace!
       Stone upon stone,
       And each stone in its place.



The introductory chapter of a book is often passed over without the
careful perusal it very frequently deserves, when, perhaps, its
purpose is to promote a better understanding of the subject contained
in the main portion of the work. In the present instance our object is
to give our readers an outline--a very brief one it is true--of the
history and foundation of the monastery at Ely twelve centuries ago,
which led to the subsequent erection of one of the noblest Cathedrals
in the kingdom, in order to enable them to understand more fully some
of the remarks in our description of this grand edifice as we now see
it. To those who desire a more elaborate detail or fuller description
than we can offer in our limited space, we would recommend a reference
to _The History and Antiquities of Ely Cathedral_, by the Rev. James
Bentham; or a more recent work, _The Architectural History of Ely
Cathedral_, by the Rev. D.J. Stewart, M.A., formerly Minor Canon of

Christianity was first introduced into East Anglia about the end of
the sixth century, by Redwald, the grandson of Uffa, founder of that
kingdom; but it appears that little progress was made in his time,
although Ethelbert, king of Kent, is said to have founded a monastery
at Ely about A.D. 604. Eorpwald, and after him, Sigebert, sons of
Redwald, greatly promoted the cause of Christianity, and it was during
the reign of Sigebert that the truths of the Gospel spread over the
kingdom; three monasteries were founded, one at Bury St. Edmunds,
another at Burgh Castle, near Yarmouth, and a third at Soham; and the
first Bishop of East Anglia was consecrated. The pagan king of Mercia
frequently disturbed the tranquility of the kingdom, and Sigebert and
his cousin Egric (to whom Sigebert had resigned his kingdom) were both
slain in repelling an invasion. Anna met with the same fate; he was a
prince greatly esteemed for his good qualities; he married Heriswitha,
sister of St. Hilda, the foundress of Whitby Abbey, and had a numerous
family, among whom may be named Sexburga, who was married to
Ercombert, king of Kent; Withburga, who founded a nunnery at Dereham;
and Æthelryth, or, as she is more commonly called, Etheldreda, the
renowned foundress of the monastery at Ely, who was born about the
year 630, at Exning, in Suffolk, a short distance from Newmarket.

Before commencing our sketch of the life of Etheldreda, we may by way
of explanation say that what is now the Isle of Ely, was "anciently
called _Suth Girwa_,"[1] and is a large tract of high ground
en-compassed with fens that were formerly overflowed with water, of
which Ely is the principal place, and gives name to the whole. The
boundaries as now recognised are Lincolnshire on the north, Norfolk on
the east, Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire on the west, and
Cambridgeshire on the south, of which county it forms the northern
portion, with a jurisdiction partially separate; within its bounds
there are, besides the city of Ely, several towns and villages, as
Wisbech, March, Chatteris, &c. and the former great waste of marsh
and fen has become, by means of drainage, a fertile corn-growing
district of great importance. Ely is believed to have taken its name
from _Elig_ in the Saxon tongue, signifying a willow; or from _Elge_
in the Latin of Bede the historian, from the abundance of eels
produced in the surrounding waters. We now continue our sketch.

[Footnote 1: Bentham's History, i. 47.]

Etheldreda, or Audrey, a princess of distinguished piety, devoted
herself to the service of God in early life, but urged by her parents,
was married to Tonbert, or Tonberet, Earldorman, or Prince of the
South Gyrvii, or Fenmen, A.D. 652, who settled upon her the whole Isle
of Ely as a dower. Three years after her marriage Tonbert died, and
left Etheldreda in sole possession, who, after a short time, committed
the care of her property to Ovin, her steward, and retired to Ely for
the purpose of religious meditation, for which it was well adapted, as
being surrounded by fens and waters it was difficult of access. She
was again solicited to enter the marriage state, and, although for
some time reluctant, she was induced by her uncle Ethelwold, then king
of East Anglia, to give her hand to Egfrid, son of Oswy, king of
Northumberland, and she afterwards became queen by the accession of
her husband to his father's kingdom. After the lapse of twelve years
she gained the permission of her husband to withdraw from his court,
and retired to the Abbey of Coldingham, where she took the veil;
thence withdrew to Ely, and repaired the old church founded by
Ethelbert, at a place called Cratendune, about a mile from the present
city, (of which place however nothing is now known); but, shortly
after, a more commodious site was chosen nearer the river, where the
foundations of her church were laid, and the monastery was commenced.

The history of this distinguished princess as related by various
writers, would be interesting and amusing, if space allowed; it is to
be found in _Bede's Ecclesiastical History_, in the _Liber Eliensis_,
a very valuable manuscript written or compiled by Thomas, a monk of
Ely, who lived in the twelfth century; and Mr. Bentham also relates it
at some length in his work;[2] but it would extend far beyond the
limits allowed in this sketch; we have, however, we hope given
sufficient to throw some light upon remarks we may make in subsequent
pages. She governed her house in such a manner as to gain the esteem
both of its members and the inhabitants of the surrounding country;
living and dying an example of piety and holiness, for we read that
"in her last sickness, when sensible of her approaching end, she was
calm and composed, and retained her memory and understanding to the
last, and expired in the very act of her calling, in the presence of
her flock; and whilst she was instructing them how to live, by her
example also taught them how to die."[3] She was interred, in
accordance with her own wish, in the grave-yard of the monastery, but
after a period of sixteen years her remains were translated, with much
reverence and ceremony, to the church she had founded. The account of
this translation might interest some of our readers, but is too long
for insertion here.

[Footnote 2: Bentham's History, i. 45, &c.]

[Footnote 3: Ibid. i. 59.]

The following lines, written at an early date, picture the fen country
as a series of lakes and water-courses, (as it was until drained six
centuries after,) studded with islands, on one of which the monastery
of Ely stood, and the music of its '_nones_' or '_vespers_' sounding
soft and sweet over the solitude.

     Sweetly sang the Monks at Ely,
       Knüt, the king, row'd nigh:
     "Listen how the winds be bringing
     From yon church a holy singing!
       Row, men, nearer by."

     Newborn sunbeams kiss the turrets
       Of the minster high,
     All the beauties of the morning,--
     Grey at first, then golden dreaming,--
       Deck the vernal sky.

     Loudly sang the Monks of Ely
       On that Thursday morn:
     'Twas the Feast of "God Ascended"--
     Of the wond'rous drama ended;--
       God for sinners born!

     Hark! "_I will not leave you orphans,
       I will not leave you long_,"
     Grand the minster music sounded
     And the fen-land air resounded
       With the holy song!

     Sweetly sang the Monks at Ely
       Knüt, the king, row'd nigh:
     "Listen to the angels bringing
     Holy _thoughts_ that seem like singing!
       Row yet nearer by."

We will now continue our narrative, briefly taking in review the
history of the monastery as it is handed down to us. About A.D. 673
Etheldreda commenced the foundation of a monastery for both sexes, and
was installed the first abbess; she gave the whole Isle of Ely to the
monastery as an endowment, and died A.D. 679. She was succeeded by her
elder sister Sexburga, then a widow, who died A.D. 699, and was buried
beside her sister in the church of the monastery. Erminilda, daughter
of Sexburga, and widow of Wulfure, king of Mercia, next succeeded; and
the fourth abbess was Werburga, daughter of Erminilda, the time of
whose death is not known. Although St. Etheldreda's monastery
continued to enjoy a regular succession of abbesses for nearly two
centuries, not a single name of its superiors is preserved; protected
by its situation in the midst of waters, it was little molested by
external troubles until A.D. 870, when it was destroyed--like that of
Peterborough--by the Danes, the monastery burnt, and the inhabitants
put to the sword.

After the destruction of the monastery a century elapsed before steps
were taken for its restoration. At length Ethelwold, then Bishop of
Winchester, who is spoken of as "a great builder of churches and of
various other works," re-founded the monastery in the year 970, by the
direction of Edgar "the peaceful," who then sat on the throne of
England. After some time Ethelwold arranged with the king for the
surrender of the whole district of the Isle of Ely, by way of purchase
and exchange, for the use of the monastery. The king, for certain
considerations, gave his royal charter[4] restoring the revenues,
rights, and privileges to the monastery for ever. This charter (which
was afterwards confirmed by king Edward the Confessor,) formed the
base of that temporal power given to the church and monastery of Ely
by St. Etheldreda, and exercised (with some interruption) by the
abbots and bishops down to the year 1836, when it was discontinued by
an Act of Parliament.

[Footnote 4: This Charter is given at length in the Saxon language,
with an English translation, in the Appendix to Bentham's History.]

On the re-foundation of the monastery it was placed under the
Benedictine rule, which required the separation of the sexes, whereas
under the previous order both men and women had resided in the same
establishment. Brithnoth, prior of Winchester, was instituted as the
first abbot of the restored monastery, by Ethelwold, and appears to
have been zealous in his duty; he governed the house eleven years, but
in the year 981 he met an untimely death at the instigation of
Elfrida, queen dowager of king Edgar. He was succeeded by Elsin,
Leofric, Leofsin, Wilfric, Thurstan, (the last Saxon abbot, who
surrendered the monastery to the Conqueror in 1071,) Theodwin,
Godfrey, (a monk, as Administrator _ad interim_,) and Simeon, the
ninth abbot, who was a relative of king William, and prior of
Winchester; he recovered for his monastery some of the lands which had
been given to the Normans during the siege of the fen district. This
was the "Camp of Refuge" for all the English who refused submission to
the arbitrary rule of the foreigners, and thus it was the last strong
hold of the Saxons, and cost the Norman king much loss of time, blood,
and treasure, before he obtained possession, which was, however, at
last effected by the treachery of the abbot Thurstan. Simeon, though a
very old man when he was appointed abbot, laid the foundation of a new
church (the present Cathedral) A.D. 1083, as his brother Walkelin,
bishop of Winchester, had done there about four years before; he lived
to the age of one hundred years, and died in 1093; after this a
vacancy of seven years occurred, during which the revenues were
claimed for the use of the king (William II.) after whose death the
work was continued by Richard, the tenth and last abbot, who was
appointed on the accession of Henry I. A.D. 1100, and governed the
monastery seven years, and his church is said by Thomas of Ely[5] to
have been one of the noblest in the kingdom, and a marvel of
architectural skill; and was sufficiently far advanced to allow him to
translate into it on the 17th of October, 1106, the remains of
Etheldreda and her companions and canonized successors, placing them
behind the high altar in the new presbytery, with great pomp and
ceremony. Further progress was made under Hervè le Breton, formerly
Bishop of Bangor, who was appointed administrator to the monastery
after the death of Richard.

[Footnote 5: Liber Eliensis, ii.]

Hitherto, spiritual jurisdiction over the Isle of Ely had been claimed
by the Bishop of Lincoln, but Abbot Richard obtained the consent of
the king (Henry I.) to a scheme for converting the abbacy into a
bishopric; and after much negociation, the change was effected in
1109, by the appointment of Hervè (then administrator) as the first
Bishop of Ely. He set himself energetically to the task of settling
the government of his See, and of apportioning the lands and revenues
of the monastery between the monks and himself, with a keen eye to his
own interests and those of his successors.

At the time of the conversion of the abbacy into a bishopric, when the
Conventual Church became a Cathedral, the number of monks was about
fifty, though the usual number was seventy; of these the chief in
subordination to the Bishop, was the Prior, (sometimes styled the Lord
Prior) who had the superintendence over all the inferior members; and
next, the Sub-Prior, or Prior's deputy, to assist him when present and
act for him in his absence. The other officers were, the Sacrist, who
had the care of the books, vestments, plate, and ornaments belonging
to the church, as well as the superintendence of the buildings; the
Cellarer, who procured all the necessaries for the living of the
community; the Chamberlain, who provided their clothes, beds, and
bedding; the Almoner, who distributed the charities of the monastery;
the Precentor, who regulated the singing and the choristers; the
Hosteller, who entertained strangers; the Infirmarer, who had the
charge of the sick; and the Treasurer, who received the rents and
other means of revenue, and made the disbursements.

We have endeavoured briefly to bring down our history from the period
of the introduction of Christianity into East Anglia, and the
foundation of the monastery, to the time when the present Cathedral
was commenced and some way advanced; we will follow it up with a brief
account of the periods of erection of this noble edifice, reserving
the more particular description of the several parts for our survey of
the building.

There is no Cathedral in England which possesses finer examples of the
various successive styles of ecclesiastical architecture than that of
Ely; affording excellent opportunities of judging of the comparative
merits of each. The Norman portion of the building--the Nave and
Transept--is lighter in character than earlier examples of the same
style; indeed, in many places it bears marks of transition from the
round to the pointed style. Of each of the several periods of what is
usually termed Pointed, or Gothic, Ely Cathedral possesses pure and
perfect specimens: the Galilee, or western porch, and the Presbytery
were built when the Early English style was perfected: the Octagon,
the three bays of the stalled Choir, and the Lady Chapel, when the
Decorated English prevailed: and the chapels of bishops Alcock and
West when the Perpendicular style was adopted. "It will be thus seen
that this remarkable structure completely illustrates the history of
church architecture in England from the Conquest to the Reformation,"
viz., Norman, A.D. 1066-1150; Transitional, 1150-1200; Early English,
1200-1300; Decorated, 1300-1460; Florid, or Perpendicular,

[Footnote 6: The periods were thus divided by the late Mr. Sharpe:
Norman, A.D. 1066-1145; Transitional, 1145-1190; Lancet, 1190-1245;
Geometrical, 1245-1315; Curvilinear, 1315-1360; Rectilinear,

The Cathedral was commenced, as before stated, in A.D. 1083, by
Simeon, in the Norman style; the Choir, with its apse or semicircular
end--altered however to a square end before it had proceeded far--the
central Tower, the great Transept, and part of the Nave were begun by
him, but were not finished at his death in 1093; of this work, only
the ground-story of the great Transept now remains; the original plan,
as was usual in Norman churches, comprehended an eastern arm of
moderate length, a Transept, with a central Tower at the crossing, and
a Nave; the Choir usually occupying the crossing and one or more bays
of the Nave, the eastern arm being used as a presbytery or sanctuary.

After a delay of seven years, the work was carried on by Abbot Richard
(1100-1107), who probably completed them, with the exception of the
Nave, which was finished about 1174, affording a fine specimen of
later Norman, and by its extension westward gave the church the form
of a Latin cross, then much used. It is not improbable that the
Conventual Church, which the new building was intended to supersede,
stood on the site of the present Nave, and was removed from time to
time to make room for the new and enlarged building then in progress.

A few years later the great western Tower with the wings, forming a
second Transept, were begun, but whether by Bishop Harvey or by the
monks themselves during the episcopate of Bishop Nigel (1133-1169), we
cannot say; they were carried on during the episcopate of Bishop Ridel
(1174-1189), and completed as high as the first battlements during
that of his successor, Longchamp (1189-1197), producing a fine example
of what is called the Transitional style. During this latter period
the Romanesque had been rapidly giving way to the Pointed style, and
thus as the building progressed one style merged into the other.

After some years further progress was made towards the west, as the
Galilee, or western porch, is stated to have been erected by Bishop
Eustace (1198-1215), of whom it is recorded that "he built from the
foundation the new Galilee of the Church at Ely, towards the west, at
his own cost." "This has given rise to much difference of opinion.
Some persons think that by the 'Galilee towards the west,' is meant
the western porch, while others holding that so fine a work is
inconsistent with so early a date, suppose the Galilee to have been
the northern half (now lost) of the western Transept.... My own
impression has always been that it was the west porch which still
exists."[7] Be this as it may, it is a beautiful specimen of the Early
English style; and Bishop Northwold (1229-1254) took down the east end
of the church and lengthened it by the six eastern arches, usually
called the Presbytery, with its magnificent eastern façade, in the
same style; they were begun A.D. 1234, and finished and dedicated in
1252, being "one of the noblest pieces of architecture of that
glorious architectural period." About the same time a spire of timber
covered with lead was erected on the Tower.

[Footnote 7: Lecture on Ely Cathedral by the late Sir G.G. Scott, at
the Etheldreda Festival, Oct. 1873.]

We now come to the period in which the "two great and famous
productions of the fourteenth century--the two special objects of
pride which our Cathedral boasts--the Lady Chapel and the central
Octagon, with the three adjoining bays eastward,"[8] were erected;
"each work is of the highest and of undisputed merit, and forms a most
marked feature in the building;"[9] affording most admirable specimens
of the Decorated English style. In 1321 the foundation stone of the
vast and magnificent Lady Chapel was laid by Alan de Walsingham, then
sub-prior, in the time of Bishop Hotham (1316-1337), the work was
continued under Bishop Montacute (1337-1345), and finished in 1349,
under Bishop L'Isle (1345-1362). In the year following the
commencement of this work the fall of the great central Tower took
place, ruining the adjoining bays all round, and especially those of
the Norman Presbytery. This catastrophe was not altogether unexpected,
for the monks had discontinued the use of the Choir and held their
services in St. Catherine's Chapel, in the western part of the
Cathedral. The Tower fell with such noise and violence as "to make the
whole city to tremble, and to cause men to think that an earthquake
had taken place." The work of rebuilding was soon undertaken, and
under the skilful directions of the same Alan de Walsingham (who was
doubtless the architect of both these erections,) the grand work was
accomplished; the stone-work of the Octagon was finished (if indeed it
ever was quite finished) in 1328, and the woodwork and roof about
1342. The plan of the Octagon included in its area one bay on each of
its four sides. The expense of rebuilding the three bays on the
eastern side was defrayed by a sum of money left by Bishop Hotham.

[Footnote 8: Ibid.]

[Footnote 9: Ibid.]

The spire erected on the western Tower by Bishop Northwold was taken
down in the latter part of the fourteenth century, and was replaced by
an octagonal story, flanked with turrets, in the Decorated style,
above which a spire was again placed. This was an injudicious step,
and has been thought to have been the primary cause of the ruin of the
north-western Transept, the great additional weight being more than
the four supporting arches (which were lofty) were intended to bear.
Of the period when the Transept fell, or was taken down, we have no
record; but the character of the buttress on the site of the western
wall shows that it must have been at an early period, probably about
A.D. 1400, as the strengthening arches placed within the original ones
appear to have been erected a few years after.

We have no further additions to the fabric to particularise in this
sketch, with the exception of the chapel of Bishop Alcock,
(1486-1500), in the Perpendicular style; and that of Bishop West
(1515-1533), in the same style, but when it was approaching to
Renaissance; but the alterations of windows and other parts, together
with necessary repairs, have been numerous and various at different

The Choir was under the Octagon until 1770, when it was removed to the
east end of the church; it was again altered in 1852 to its present
position. Many costly and extensive restorations[10] and alterations
have been made within the last thirty-five years, and others are still
in progress. The Galilee, or western porch, has been cleansed and
floored, and the arch of communication with the Tower beautifully
restored; the western Tower has been strengthened, the interior thrown
more open, a painted ceiling put up, and a new floor laid; the
south-west Transept has been opened, repaired, ceiled, paved and
cleansed; the apsidal Chapel of St. Catherine has been rebuilt and
paved; the roof of the Nave has been re-covered with lead, the
interior walls have been cleansed, a new and beautiful painted ceiling
completed, and a new floor laid in the Nave and aisles; the Octagon
and Lantern have undergone a thorough repair, and the decoration of
the dome and lantern has been effected; the great Transept has been
repaired, the polychrome roof re-painted, and a new floor laid in the
northern portion. The whole of the eastern portion of the church has
been cleansed and restored; the beautiful Purbeck marble pillars have
been re-polished; the floor of the Choir has been re-laid with veined
and black marble combined with encaustic tiles; an enriched oaken
screen has been erected at the entrance of the Choir, near which a new
and elegant stone pulpit has been placed; the original stalls have
been repaired, and improved by the introduction of a series of carved
panels, and new sub-stalls erected; and a new and elaborate reredos or
altar screen has been placed in the Choir. More than eighty windows,
exclusive of the eight lights at the east end of the church, have been
filled with stained glass by various artists, and several others,
which had for many years been stopped up, have been re-opened; the
organ has been very considerably enlarged and improved, put into a new
and elegant case, and placed in another position; and several stoves
have been introduced for warming the Cathedral when necessary. The
whole has been done at considerable expense, to meet which the funds
have been raised by subscriptions, towards which the late Bishops
Sparke, Allen, Turton, and Browne, the late Deans Peacock and Goodwin,
the Canons and their families and connections, with many noblemen,
gentlemen, and others, have been contributors: the capitular body have
done much towards the work in general, but particularly towards the
repairs of the fabric, the enlargement of the organ, and the warming
of the Cathedral. For a more detailed account of works and expenses we
refer our readers to Appendix II. at the end of the work.

[Footnote 10: The Restorations, which have been for some years in
progress, have been executed throughout with the most scrupulous care,
preserving every portion of uninjured surface, and re-producing what
is mutilated or destroyed as nearly as possible in exact conformity
with the indications of the ancient work afforded by the parts which
remain, and in the same material. They were at first carried out under
the directions of the late Dean Peacock, assisted from time to time by
Professor Willis, and by the occasional advice of Professional
friends: but towards the end of the year 1847, Sir G.G. Scott was
appointed architect to the works, and under his direction the
rearrangement of the Choir was effected, and other restorations in
progress carried out until his death. The windows have been filled
with stained glass chiefly through the munificence and exertions of
the late Canon E.B. Sparke.]

       *       *       *       *       *

St. Etheldreda's church was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin; the
church erected by Ethelwold to St. Peter and St. Etheldreda; but since
the Reformation the dedication of the Cathedral has been to "The Holy
and Undivided Trinity."

       *       *       *       *       *



673   Foundation of the Monastery for men and women, married and single,
      by Queen Etheldreda. Etheldreda, first abbess, succeeded by
      (1) her sister Sexburga.
      (2) Erminilda, daughter of Sexburga.
      (3) Withburga, daughter of Erminilda.

870   The Monastery destroyed by the Danes.

970   The secular clergy, who had returned to Ely, dismissed by Ethelwold,
      bishop of Winchester, and the monastery reconstituted for monks
      only under the rule of St. Benedict. Brithnoth first abbot.

1071  The Abbey, after a long defence by Hereward, surrendered to William
      the Conqueror by Abbot Thurstan.

1083  The building of the present Cathedral commenced with the
      south-eastern Transept, by Abbot Simeon, brother of Walkelin of

1109  Erection of the Diocese of Ely, Hervè le Breton being appointed the
      first Bishop. Building of the Nave, Transepts, Tower and Choir
      continued through the twelfth century.

1215  (about) Erection of Galilee Porch.

1235  Erection of the Presbytery, eastward of the Choir, by Bishop
      Northwold. A spire erected on the Tower.

1321  Building of the Lady Chapel (Trinity Church) commenced.

1322  Fall of the Central Tower, followed by construction of the Octagon
      and Lantern, by Alan de Walsingham. Western portion of the
      Choir reconstructed by Bishop Hotham.

1330  (about) Prior Crauden's Chapel and the Guest Chamber, now the
      Deanery, erected.

1340  The Stalls, the work of Alan de Walsingham, placed in the Octagon,
      the position of the Choir before the fall of the central Tower.

1400  (about) William de Walpol, prior, erected the great gate of the Abbey
      (Ely Porta). About this time erection of the Octagon or Campanile
      on the West Tower, followed by the strengthening of the piers below.

1440  Erection of the Cloisters, and towards the end of the century, Bishop
      Alcock's Chapel.

1534  Bishop West's Chapel.

1541  The Abbey dissolved by Henry VIII. and reconstituted as a Chapter
      of Dean and Canons. Robert Steward last Prior and first Dean.
      The conventional [Transcriber's Note: so in original, probably
      should be "conventual"] buildings sold and destroyed, portions only
      reserved for residence of Dean and Canons and other officers. The
      Guest Chamber used as the common Hall of the College, but converted
      at a later period into the Deanery.

1642  Dean Fuller deprived by the Parliament. During the Rebellion Ely
      occupied by Cromwell's soldiers, and the Cathedral said to have
      been used for stabling their horses.

1649  Commissioners under the Commonwealth survey and cause further
      destruction of the conventual buildings.

1676  Pavement of the Nave restored by Mr. Clopton.

1699  Fall of the north-west angle of the north-eastern Transept;
      rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren.

1754  Extensive repairs of the roof of the Octagon and Choir by Bishop
      Mawson, and Deans Allix and Thomas.

1770  The stalls transferred from the Octagon to the Presbytery by Essex,
      architect, and important repairs of the fabric executed.

1771  Publication of Bentham's "History and Antiquities of Ely Cathedral"

1801  The upper parts of the Tower repaired.

1823  The Nave, Octagon, Lantern, and Transepts coloured, and the Stalls
      painted. This was done at considerable expense, and deemed at
      the time a great improvement.

1831  A new Organ put in the old case.

1842  A fire accidentally commenced in the roof of the Nave adjoining
      the Tower, but was soon extinguished. The roof of the Nave
      re-covered with lead.

1845  Commencement of the modern Restoration of the Cathedral under
      Dean Peacock. St. Catherine's Chapel rebuilt. South-western
      Transept restored. Interior of the western Tower opened and

1847  Sir G. Gilbert Scott appointed architect. The stalls removed
      westward and Choir re-arranged. Painting of the Nave ceiling
      commenced, &c. A large number of stained windows introduced.

1851  The Organ re-modelled, enlarged and removed to the triforium.

1857  The east windows filled with stained glass.

1858  Restorations continued under Dean Goodwin. The Reredos erected.
      The Lantern reconstructed as a memorial to Dean Peacock. Western
      entrance repaired. Commencement of pavement of the Nave, &c., &c.
      Foundations of the South Aisle of the Choir repaired.

1867  The Organ further enlarged and improved, towards which some of
      the inhabitants of the town contributed £80 for a sub-base of 32
      feet tone [Transcriber's Note: so in original; possibly "of stone."].

1870  Restorations continued under the present Dean. Foundations of
      south-east Transept and south side of the Choir repaired. Western
      Tower braced with iron bands. Pavement of Nave and Aisles
      completed. Further additions to stained glass in Choir. Fourth
      stained window placed in the Octagon.

1873  Celebration of the Bissexcentenary or Twelve-hundredth anniversary
      of the foundation of the Monastery.

1874  Commencement of the decoration of the Octagon, Lantern, &c.

1875  Several new sculptured figures placed in the Octagon, and the
      decoration of the Octagon and Lantern completed and re-opened.

1876  The paving of the north Transept completed.

1878  The ceiling of the Baptistry painted by Mr. Parry.

1879  The corona of pinnacles on the exterior of the Octagon completed.
      A monument to Canon Selwyn placed in the South Aisle of the Choir.


+The See of Ely.+

Edgar "the peaceful," by his charter, as mentioned in the
Introduction, restored the powers and privileges enjoyed by the
Superiors of the monastery previous to its destruction by the Danes,
to the newly-appointed Abbot on its re-foundation by Bishop Ethelwold,
A.D. 970, and the Abbots of Ely successively exercised powers nearly
similar to a County Palatine, and after the change from an abbacy to a
bishopric, the bishops continued to exercise similar authority until
the reign of Henry VIII., when they were greatly abridged by an Act of
Parliament. The successive Bishops of Ely, however, until the year
1836, possessed a jurisdiction of considerable importance, and had
almost sovereign authority within the district known as the Isle of
Ely, which was styled "_The Royal Franchise or Liberty of the Bishops
of Ely_."

On the conversion of the abbacy into a bishopric A.D. 1109, a division
of the property and revenues took place, and the bishop took care to
protect his own interests and those of his successors, but the charge
and repairs of the church and monastery fell to the share of the prior
and monks, the bishop retaining a certain jurisdiction over them. The
County of Cambridge, with the exception of a few parishes, was
transferred from the See of Lincoln to the new See of Ely, and the
Manor of Spaldwick, in the County of Huntingdon, was given to the
Bishop of Lincoln in compensation. The See now comprises the Counties
of Cambridge, Huntingdon, and Bedford, and the western division of the
County of Suffolk, comprised in the Archdeaconry of Sudbury. It is
divided into four Archdeaconries, which are subdivided into
thirty-three Rural Deaneries, except the Isle of Ely, which is under
the peculiar Archidiaconal jurisdiction of the Bishop, and is divided
into two Rural Deaneries. There are five hundred and fifty-four
benefices in the diocese. The population of the whole is about
500,000; and the area in acres is 1,357,756.

The Bishop has patronage to a considerable extent; he appoints to the
Chancellorship, to the Registrarship, to the four Archdeaconries, the
Rural Deaneries, to four Canonries in the Cathedral, and several
Honorary Canonries; to the Mastership and one Fellowship of Jesus
College, to one Fellowship at St. John's College, to the Mastership of
St. Peter's College, and is Visitor of four Colleges, in Cambridge,
and of several schools; and has about fifty livings in his gift.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Arms of the See_--Gu. three ducal coronets or. These are derived from
the arms of the East Anglian kings.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following list of the Bishops, to which is prefixed the succession
of Abbesses and Abbots, is derived chiefly from Mr. Bentham's _History
and Antiquities of Ely Cathedral_.



673.  St. Etheldreda. Foundress, and first Abbess.
679.  St. Sexburga.
699.  St. Erminilda.
 ?    St. Werburga.



 970.  Brithnoth. First Abbot.

 981.  Elsin.

1016.  Leofwin, or Oschitel.

1022.  Leofric.

1029.  Leofsin.

1045.  Wilfric.

1066.  Thurstan. Last Saxon Abbot.

1072.  Theodwin. A monk of Jumièges.

1075.  [Godfrey, Administrator _ad interim_.]

1081.  Simeon. Founder of the Norman Church.

_Interval of seven years._

1100.  Richard. Completed the Norman Choir. Translated into it the remains
       of the sainted Abbesses. Commenced negociations for the conversion
       of the abbacy into a bishoprick. Died 1107.


1109.  Hervè, or Hervey, first Bishop. The abbey estates divided, and
       the See firmly established. Died 1131.

1133.  Nigellus, a Prebendary of St. Paul's, London. Treasurer to the
       King, Henry I. A Baron of the Exchequer. Died 1169.

1174.  Geoffry Ridel, Archdeacon of Canterbury. Chaplain to King Henry
       II. Baron of the Exchequer. Opponent of Becket. He built the
       lower part of the great western tower of the church.

1189.  William Longchamp, Chancellor of England. Papal Legate. Died
       at Poictiers, 1197.

1198.  Eustachius, Archdeacon of Richmond, Treasurer of York, and Dean
       of Salisbury. Chancellor of England. Founder of the Galilee or
       western porch. (See Stewart's Arch. Hist. of Ely Cathedral, p. 50.)
       Died 1215.

1215.  [Robert of York, chosen by the monks, but never consecrated, held
       possession of the temporalities of the See for five years.]

1220.  John de Fontibus, Abbot of Fountains in Yorkshire.

1225.  Geoffery de Burgh, Archdeacon of Norwich.

1229.  Hugh de Northwold, Abbot of St. Edmundsbury. This distinguished
       prelate built the magnificent Presbytery, or eastern portion of
       the choir. On the occasion of the dedication of the whole church,
       he entertained sumptuously the King, Henry III., Prince Edward his
       son, and many nobles and bishops.

1254.  William de Kilkenny, Archdeacon of Coventry, and Chancellor.

1257.  Hugh de Balsham, Sub-prior of the abbey. Founder of St. Peter's,
       the first endowed College at Cambridge.

1286.  John de Kirkeby. Treasurer of King Edward I. Canon of Wells
       and York. Archdeacon of Coventry.

1290.  William de Luda, (or Louth), Archdeacon of Durham. Prebendary
       of St. Paul's, of York, and of Lincoln. Sometime Chancellor. Died

1299.  Ralph de Walpole, Bishop of Norwich.

1302.  Robert de Orford, Prior of the convent.

1310.  John de Ketene, almoner of the church.

1316.  John Hotham, Chancellor of the king's (Edward II.) exchequer;
       Prebendary of York; Rector of Cottingham, in Yorkshire. Bishop
       Hotham was a munificent promoter of the great architectural works
       carried on under the rule of Prior Crauden, and from the designs
       of Alan de Walsingham, then Sacrist. In his time the Lady Chapel
       was begun; the Octagon completed; and the exquisite bays of
       the western Choir designed.

1337.  Simon de Montacute, Bishop of Worcester.

       The Monks had chosen Prior Crauden.

1345.  Thomas L'Isle, Prior of Dominicans at Winchester.

       The choice of the Monks, which had fallen upon Alan of Walsingham
       the illustrious architect, then their Prior, was again set aside
       by the Pope, 1361.

1362.  Simon Langham, Abbot of Westminster, and Treasurer of England.
       Afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chancellor. In 1368
       created Cardinal.

1366.  John Barnet. Treasurer of England. Had been Bishop of Worcester;
       afterwards of Bath, thence translated to Ely.

1374.  Thomas de Arundel, Archdeacon of Taunton. Appointed Chancellor
       of England in 1386; Archbishop of York in 1388, of Canterbury,

1388.  John Fordham, Dean of Wells; Keeper of the Privy Seal.

1426.  Philip Morgan, Bishop of Worcester. Died 1435.

1438.  Louis de Luxemburg, Archbishop of Rouen. Had been Chancellor
       of France and Normandy. Afterwards Cardinal.

1444.  Thomas Bourchier, Bishop of Worcester; translated to Canterbury
       1454. Cardinal, 1464.

1454.  William Gray, D.D., Archdeacon of Northampton. Chancellor of the
       University of Oxford. Lord Treasurer. Bishop Gray altered some
       of the aisle windows of the Presbytery.

1478.  John Morton, LL.D., Master of the Rolls. Archdeacon of Winchester.
       Lord Chancellor, 1479. Translated to Canterbury, 1486.
       Cardinal, 1493.

       Bishop Morton was the first to attempt to drain the Fens; hence
       "Morton's Leam," a drain extending from Guyhirn to Peterborough.

1486.  John Alcock, LL.D., Master of the Rolls. Bishop of Rochester;
       afterwards of Worcester; translated to Ely. Founder of Jesus
       College, Cambridge. Bishop Alcock built the elaborate mortuary
       chapel in which his remains lie buried, and much of the Episcopal
       Palace at Ely.

1501.  Richard Redman, D.D., Bishop of St. Asaph; then of Exeter.

1506.  James Stanley, D.D., Archdeacon of Richmond; Precentor of Salisbury.

1515.  Nicholas West, LL.D., Chaplain to King Henry VII. Dean of
       Windsor. Built a chapel bearing his name.

1534.  Thomas Goodrich, D.D., a zealous promoter of the Reformation.
       One of the revisers of the Translation of the New Testament. Lord
       Chancellor, 1551. Built Gallery of the Palace.

1554.  Thomas Thirlby, D.D., Bishop of Westminster; translated to Norwich;
       thence to Ely. Dispossessed for refusing the oath of supremacy
       to Queen Elizabeth, 1559.

1559.  Richard Cox, D.D., Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, and of
       Westminster. Died 1581.

_The See vacant Eighteen years._

1600.  Martin Heton, D.D., Dean of Winchester.

1609.  Lancelot Andrewes, D.D., Bishop of Chichester. Translated from Ely
       to Winchester, 1619. Author of the celebrated Book of Devotions.

1619.  Nicholas Felton, D.D., Bishop of Bristol. One of the Translators
       of the Bible.

1628.  John Buckeridge, D.D., Bishop of Rochester.

1631.  Francis White, D.D., Bishop of Carlisle; then of Norwich.

1638.  Matthew Wren, D.D., Bishop of Hereford; thence translated to
       Norwich; thence to Ely. Bishop Wren was confined in the Tower for
       18 years, in consequence of his firm support of the Royal Authority.

1667.  Benjamin Laney, D.D., translated from Peterborough to Lincoln;
       thence to Ely. Bishop Laney bequeathed an estate to trustees for
       putting out youths as apprentices.

1675.  Peter Gunning, D.D., translated from Chichester.

1684.  Francis Turner, D.D., translated from Rochester. Bishop Turner
       was one of the seven bishops committed to the Tower, and was
       deprived, as a non-juror, in 1691. Died 1700.

1691.  Simon Patrick, D.D., Dean of Peterborough; Bishop of Chichester:
       translated to Ely. Well known for his Devotional and Theological

1707.  John Moore, D.D., Bishop of Norwich.

1714.  William Fleetwood, D.D., Bishop of St. Asaph.

1723.  Thomas Greene, D.D., Bishop of Norwich.

1738.  Robert Butts, D.D., Bishop of Norwich.

1748.  Sir Thomas Gooch, Bart., D.D., Bishop of Bristol; translated to
       Norwich; thence to Ely.

1754.  Matthias Mawson, D.D., Master of Corp. Chris. College, Cambridge;
       Bishop of Llandaff: translated to Chichester; thence to Ely.

       Bishop Mawson was the first to make a road practicable for wheeled
       carriages from Cambridge.

1771.  Edmund Keene, D.D., Bishop of Chester. Effected great improvements
       in the Palace at Ely.

1781.  James Yorke, D.D., Bishop of St. David's; translated to Gloucester;
       thence to Ely.

1808.  Thomas Dampier, D.D., Bishop of Rochester.

1812.  Bowyer Edward Sparke, D.D., Bishop of Chester.

       On the death of Bishop Sparke the temporal jurisdiction exercised
       within the Isle of Ely by the Bishops ceased by Act of Parliament.

1836.  Joseph Allen, D.D., Bishop of Bristol.

       The additions to the Diocese of the Counties of Huntingdon and
       Bedford, and the Archdeaconry of Sudbury were made in 1837.

1845.  Thomas Turton, D.D., Dean of Peterborough; afterwards of
       Westminster, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge.

1864.  Edward Harold Browne, D.D., Canon of Exeter; Norrisian Professor
       of Divinity at Cambridge. Translated to Winchester, 1873.

1873.  James Russell Woodford, D.D., Vicar of Leeds, Chaplain in Ordinary
       to the Queen.

+Diocese of Ely.+

_The Lord Bishop._

The Right Rev. JAMES RUSSELL WOODFORD, D.D., The Palace, Ely, and Ely
House, Dover Street, London, W.

_Chancellor of the Diocese._

Worshipful Isambard Brunel, Esq., D.C.L., 4, Stone Buildings,
Lincoln's Inn, London, W.C.


_Ely_,        Ven. William Emery, B.D., The College, Ely.
_Bedford_,    Ven. Frederick Bathurst, M.A., Biggleswade. Beds.
_Huntingdon_, Ven. Francis Gerald Vesey, M.A., LL.D., Huntingdon.
_Sudbury_,    Ven. Frank Robert Chapman, M.A., Stowlangtoft Rectory,
                     Bury St. Edmunds, and Ely.


William Johnson Evans, Esq., Ely.

_Chaplains to the Bishop._

Rev. H.M. Luckock, D.D., Canon of the Cathedral.[11]

Rev. H.F. St. John, M.A., Trinity College, Cambridge, Dinmore House,

Rev. A.R. Evans, M.A., Oriel College, Oxford.[12]

Rev. V.H. Stanton, M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.[13]

Rev. J. Watkins, M.A., St. John's College, Cambridge; Gamlingay
Vicarage, Sandy.

Rev. Francis Paget, M.A., Senior Student and Tutor of Christ Church,

[Footnote 11: Examining Chaplain.]

[Footnote 12: Domestic Chaplain.]

[Footnote 13: Examining Chaplain.]

[Footnote 14: Examining Chaplain.]

_Proctors in Convocation._

Rev. Canon Hopkins.
Rev. Canon Birkett.


J.B. & H.W. Lee, Esqs., 2, Broad Sanctuary, Westminster.
William Johnson Evans, Esq., Ely.

_Diocesan Architect._

Arthur Blomfield, Esq.


+The Dean and Chapter.+

When the abbacy was converted into a bishopric, A.D. 1109, the office
of Abbot merged into that of bishop, and an officer called the Prior,
or Lord Prior, became the head of the community; he presided in
chapter, and governed generally the affairs of the monastery; and in
the reigns of some of our kings he was summoned to sit in Parliament.
The first Prior after this alteration was Vincent, and there followed
in succession thirty-six others, the last of whom, Robert Wells
otherwise Steward, surrendered the monastery, with its goods and
possessions, into the hands of King Henry the Eighth, at the general
dissolution in November, 1539. Agreeably to the powers vested in him
by Parliament, the king, by letters patent dated September 10th, 1541,
"did grant his royal charter for erecting the Cathedral Church of the
late monastery of _St. Peter and St. Etheldreda_ at Ely into a
Cathedral Church, by the name and title of "_The Cathedral Church of
the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely_" to consist of one Dean, a
priest, and eight Prebendaries,[15] priests, with other ministers
necessary for the celebrating Divine service therein." And "did ordain
the said Cathedral Church to be the Episcopal See of the Bishop of Ely
and his successors, with all the honours and privileges of an
Episcopal See and Cathedral Church. And that the said Dean and
Prebendaries be one body corporate, have perpetual succession, one
common seal, be the Chapter of the then Bishop of Ely, and his
successors, and be called '_The Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral
Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely_:' also did give and
grant unto them the whole site of the late dissolved monastery, with
all the ancient privileges, liberties, and free customs of the same,
and nearly all the revenues thereof." Robert Steward, the late Prior,
was made the first Dean, since whose time twenty-three others have
held the office exclusive of the present Dean, who was appointed in
December, 1869.

[Footnote 15: By an Act of Parliament passed in 1840, the number of
Prebendaries was in future to be reduced to six, two of which stalls
were to be attached respectively to the Regius Professorships of Greek
and Hebrew in the University of Cambridge.]

We append a list of the Priors and Deans of Ely.


 1. Vincent.
 2. Henry.
 3. William.
 4. Tombert, or Thembert.
 5. Alexander.
 6. Solomon.
 7. Richard.
 8. Robert Longchamp.
 9. John de Strateshete.
10. Hugh.
11. Roger de Brigham.
12. Ralph.
13. Walter.
14. Robert de Leverington.
15. Henry de Banccis.
16. John de Hemingston.
17. John de Shepreth.
18. John Saleman.
19. Robert de Orford.
20. William de Clare.
21. John de Fresingfield.
22. John de Crauden.
23. Alan de Walsingham.
24. William Hathfield.
25. John Bucton.
26. William Walpole.
27. William Powcher.
28. Edmund Walsingham.
29. Peter de Ely.
30. William Wells.
31. Henry Peterborough.
32. Roger Westminster.
33. Robert Colville.
34. William Witlesey.
35. William Foliott.
36. John Cottenham.
37. Robert Wells, _alias_ Steward, last Prior, and first Dean.



1541.  Robert Steward, or Wells, M.A., last Prior.

1557.  Andrew Perne, D.D., Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge.

1589.  John Bell, D.D., Master of Jesus College, Cambridge.

1591.  Humphrey Tindall, D.D., President of Queen's College, Cambridge.

1614.  Henry Cæsar, or Adelmare, D.D.

       Dean Cæsar was a great patron of Music. A musical Service, known
       as "Cæsar's Service," but written by John Amner, Organist, is
       preserved among the MSS. in the Cathedral Library.

1636.  William Fuller, D.D. In 1646, Dean of Durham.

1646.  William Beale, D.D., nominated but never admitted; Master of St.
       John's College, Cambridge. Died at Madrid, 1650.

_A vacancy of ten years._

1660.  Richard Love, D.D., Master of Bene't College, Cambridge.

1661.  Henry Ferne, D.D., Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; in 1662
       Bishop of Chester. Died five weeks after his consecration.

1662.  Edward Martin, D.D., Master of Queen's College, Cambridge. Died
       a few days after his institution.

1662.  Francis Wilford, D.D., Master of Bene't College, Cambridge.

1667.  Robert Mapletoft, D.D., Master of Pembroke Hall, Cambridge.

       Dean Mapletoft left several acres of land to augment the Stipends
       of the Singing Men.

1677.  John Spencer, D.D., Master of Bene't College, Cambridge.

1693.  John Lamb, M.A., Chaplain to King William and Queen Mary.

1708.  Charles Roderick, D.D., Provost of King's College, Cambridge.

1712.  Robert Moss, D.D., Fellow and Tutor of Bene't College, Cambridge.

1729.  John Frankland, D.D., Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

1730.  Peter Allix, D.D., Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge.

       Commenced important repairs in the fabric of the Church.

1758.  Hugh Thomas, D.D., Master of Christ's College, Cambridge.

1780.  William Cooke, D.D., Provost of King's College, Cambridge.

1797.  William Pearce, D.D., Master of Jesus College, Cambridge.

1820.  James Wood, D.D., Master of St. John's College, Cambridge.

1839.  George Peacock, D.D., Lowndean Professor of Astronomy, Cambridge.

       Extensive repairs and restorations were commenced in 1844.

1858.  Harvey Goodwyn, D.D. In 1869, Bishop of Carlisle.

1869.  Charles Merivale, D.D., D.C.L.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Arms of the Deanery_--Gu. three keys or. These were the arms of
Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, and from him assumed as the arms of
the monastery.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Dean and Chapter have the patronage of sixteen livings in this
diocese, three in the diocese of Norwich, and one in the diocese of
Rochester. They also appoint to the Minor Canonries and other offices
connected with the Cathedral.

       *       *       *       *       *

Service--On Sundays at 9 0, a.m., 11 0, a.m., and 4 0, p.m.

A Parochial Service at 6 30, p.m.

The Ordinary Daily Service at 10 0, a.m., and 4 0, p.m.

+List of Clergy and Officers.+


The Very Rev. CHARLES MERIVALE, D.D., D.C.L.   1869.


Thomas Jarrett, M.A.[17]                                 1854.
Benjamin Hall Kennedy, D.D.[18][19]                       1867.
William Emery, B.D.[20]                                  1870.
Edward Clarke Lowe, D.D.[21]                             1873.
Herbert Mortimer Luckock, D.D.                          1875.
Frank Robert Chapman, M.A.                              1879.

[Footnote 16: All have Residences.]

[Footnote 17: Annexed to the Regius Professorship of Hebrew in the
University of Cambridge.]

[Footnote 18: Annexed to the Regius Professorship of Greek in the
University of Cambridge.]

[Footnote 19: Proctor for the Chapter in Convocation.]

[Footnote 20: Vice Dean.]

[Footnote 21: Treasurer.]

_Honorary Canons._

William Bonner Hopkins, B.D.,                           1865.
Samuel Blackall, M.A.                                   1866.
Wm. Hepworth Thompson, D.D.                             1867.
Thomas Tylecote, B.D.                                   1867.
George Heathcote, M.A.                                  1868.
Alexander Ronald Grant, M.A.                            1868.
Frederick Bathurst, M.A.                                1869.
John Scott, M.A.                                        1869.
John Parker Birkett, M.A.                               1870.
Charles Gray, M.A.                                      1870.
Thomas Rawson Birks, M.A.                               1871.
Francis Gerald Vesey, M.A.                              1871.
Thomas Ed. Abraham, M.A.                                1872.
Jeremiah W. Haddock, M.A.                               1872.
C.W. Underwood, M.A.                                    1875.
Hon. A.F. Phipps, M.A.                                  1875.
G. Bulstrode, M.A.                                      1876.
H.I. Sharpe, M.A.                                       1876.
J.W. Cockshott, M.A.                                    1877.
C. Brereton, M.A., B.C.L.                               1877.
J.H. Macaulay, M.A.                                     1878.
W.T. Harrison, M.A.                                     1880.
W.M. Campion, M.A.                                      1880.

_Head Master of the Grammar School_--Rev. R. Winkfield, M.A.

_Second Master_--Rev. C. Bokenham, M.A.

_Precentor, Sacrist, and Prælector Theologicus._--W.E. Dickson, M.A.,

_Minor Canons._

George Hall, M.A.                                       1852.
William Edward Dickson, M.A.                            1858.
John Franey, M.A.                                       1870.
George Simey, M.A.                                      1874.


George Hall, M.A.
John Franey, M.A.
Richard Winkfield, M.A.
E.H. Lowe, M.A.

_Librarian_, George Simey, M.A., 1874.

_Chapter Clerk and Registrar_--W.J. Evans, Esq., Ely.

_Master of the Choristers, and Organist_--Edmund Thomas Chipp, Mus.

Eight Lay Clerks and Eight Choristers, and Twelve Supernumeraries.

The Choristers are educated in a School within the College, maintained
by the Dean and Chapter. _Master_--Henry Jackman, Battersea College.

_King's Scholars_--Twelve on the Foundation.

_Sub-Sacrists and Vergers_,--William Henry Southby; Henry Stone White.

_Bedesmen_--Six on the Foundation.

_Clerk of the Works_--Mr. R.R. Rowe.


+The Cathedral.+

     "Without--the world's unceasing noises rise,
       Turmoil, disquietude, and busy fears.
       Within--there are sounds of other years,
     Thoughts full of prayer, and solemn harmonies."

     _The Cathedral._

+The West Front.+

In taking a survey of this noble edifice it is better to commence with
the western front, which, as Mr. Millers observes, on account of its
height and breadth, should be viewed from a competent distance; a good
point of observation may be easily found on the Palace Green. Even in
its present state it must be admired for its impressive though
irregular grandeur, but when the north wing was standing,
corresponding with the south, which remains comparatively
perfect--before the erection of the octagonal story on the Tower, and
the Galilee or portico, which, however beautiful in itself, has no
proper connection with the rest--it must have presented a frontage
exceedingly grand, and inferior to but few others in the kingdom.
Such, we believe, was the original design, but succeeding bishops or
rulers made such alterations and additions as their tastes dictated,
and in the style then prevailing. This may in some measure account for
the alterations of windows and other parts from their original
designs, and the transitions from one style to another, producing
examples partaking of two periods, but not perfect in either.

The stone used in the erection of the Cathedral was brought from
Barnack, near Stamford, and is of a much harder nature than what was
commonly used; it gives proof of great soundness and durability in the
excellent preservation of some of the mouldings. The soft white stone
used for some of the interior decorations is called "clunch," and is
found within a few miles of Ely; it is well adapted for the purposes
to which it is applied, it is easily worked and capable of being
highly finished, but will not bear exposure to the weather. Most of
the pillars with their capitals and bases, as well as many of the
mouldings and ornaments in the Early English portion of the church,
are of Purbeck marble.

The lower portions both of the Tower and wings were built by Bishop
Ridel (1174-1189), and completed as high as the first battlements,
during the episcopate of his successor, Longchamp (1189-1197), who
however, spent none of his money on the fabric; the lower part of this
work is late Norman, but the upper portions show indications of
transition towards the pointed style. The architecture of the Tower is
worthy of attention, as it shews some beautiful specimens of arcading
in bands between rows of windows, all enriched with mouldings of
various kinds; the western face shows three rows of windows, the
others but two, as the lower one would have been hidden by the roof of
the nave and of the wing on each side, these last being originally of
a higher pitch than the remaining one now is. The upper band consists
of circular openings with quatrefoils in the centre, and above that is
a corbel-table. A spire of timber covered with lead was erected on the
Tower about the middle of the thirteenth century, but it was
afterwards removed, and the upper portion of the Tower, in the
Decorated style, was added, and it was again surmounted by a spire.
These additions were found to be injurious, and it became necessary to
strengthen the lower portions of the Tower to support it; nor is it
improbable that the fall of the north-western Transept was in some
degree owing to the great additional weight, or that it was so far
injured as to require removal. The spire was, we believe, finally
removed about the end of the last century.

The octagonal story does not harmonize with the lower portion. There
is a large window with transoms in each of the four principal sides,
the upper portions only being glazed; it is flanked by octagonal
turrets, which rise a little higher than the centre, they are faced
with shallow arcading and connected with the centre portion by small
flying buttresses; in each turret is a winding stair, but only that in
the south-eastern turret is used. In the top of this turret is placed
the clock bell.

The wings of the western Tower formed a second Transept to the church,
and were doubtless perfectly similar; the remaining wing has towers at
the angles; that at the south-west angle is larger than the other,
though they are of equal height, and rise considerably higher than the
wing. Both wing and towers are covered with ranges of arcading one
above another, commencing a few feet from the bottom; the three lowest
tiers are round-headed, the fourth are trefoil-headed, the fifth and
all above are pointed and profusely adorned with mouldings; and the
whole surface is enriched with diaper patterns. The roof was formerly
of a higher pitch, as may be seen by the marks on the Tower.

Some years ago there was a communication by a covered viaduct over the
road, between this Transept and the east wing of the Bishop's Palace,
which enabled him to visit the Cathedral under cover; and the road
over which it passed is still called "The Gallery."

"Mr. Stewart has pointed out the fact that the Galilee porch is not
parallel to the axis of the Nave, but has a marked inclination to the
north, while the Choir on the other hand (like that of Exeter),
inclines to the south. This doubtless was for a symbolical reason. The
ground plans of churches, by so frequently assuming a cross form,
typify the doctrine of the Atonement--the Choir or Chancel marking the
position of the Saviour's Head, the Transepts His Arms, and the Nave
His Body. By an expansion of this idea the Choir is made to bend
southwards to shew the inclination of the Redeemer's Head upon the
cross; while, as it would seem here the Porch is turned in an opposite
direction to indicate the position of His feet."[22]

[Footnote 22: Hewitt's description of Ely Cathedral, p. 13.]

+The Galilee[23] or Western Porch.+

[Footnote 23: The name "Galilee" is thus accounted for by the late
Rev. G. Millers in his "Description of Ely Cathedral," p. 43. "As
Galilee, bordering on the Gentiles, was the most remote part of the
Holy Land from the Holy City of Jerusalem, so was this part of the
building most distant from the sanctuary, occupied by those unhappy
persons, who, during their exclusion from the mysteries, were reputed
scarcely, if at all better than heathens."

Another writer gives as a reason for the name, that upon a woman
applying for leave to see a monk, her relation, she was answered in
the words of Scripture, "Behold he goeth before you into Galilee,
there you shall see him."]

This has been stated to have been erected by Bishop Eustace
(1198-1215), but although he is known to have made large additions to
the building and to have built the Church of St. Mary, it has been
thought the present building is not quite so early as that date, and
that it was "the work of some unknown benefactor, who had probably
seen Hugh de Northwold's presbytery, and determined to lengthen the
church westward as it had been extended in the opposite
direction?"[24] and that it occupies the site of a former building.
Sir G. Scott seemed to think it was the work of Bishop Eustace.[25]

[Footnote 24: Stewart, p. 53.]

[Footnote 25: Mr. Scott's Lecture.]

It is a beautiful specimen, and may fairly be ranked among the most
exquisite Early English works we possess. "Nothing," says Mr. Parker,
"can exceed the richness, freedom and beauty of this work; it is one
of the finest porches in the world."[26] Externally, both sides are
adorned with four tiers of arcading of different heights, one above
another; in front, the recesses of the arches are deeper, and were
probably intended for the reception of statues; some of them are
ornamented with dog-tooth mouldings, and have trefoils in the
spandrils. It is of two stories without windows in the sides; in the
upper story there is a triple lancet window at the west end, the
middle light being higher than the one on either side; the lower story
receives light through the western opening. The arch of entrance is
very elegant, and worthy of notice; it is receding, with rich and
various mouldings, which on each side rest upon slender columns; a
central group of shafts separates the opening into two smaller arches,
with good tracery in the tympanum. The length on each side,
internally, is occupied by two large pointed arches, comprehending
under each two tiers of subordinate ones, the upper tier of five and
the lower of three, which contains both outer and inner arches of
different heights, supported by very slender columns; all the shafts
were originally of Purbeck marble, with elegant capitals; the ribs of
the vaulting are of free-stone, but the vault is of clunch. The arch
of communication with the Tower is also very beautiful; it is similar
in form to the exterior arch, but the ornaments in the mouldings are
richer and more delicate: this has just been restored, and the Purbeck
marble pillars--some of which had disappeared and others had become
decayed--have been replaced by pillars of Devonshire marble with
Purbeck plinths and capitals; the vesica in the tympanum has been
filled with stained glass representing St. Etheldreda, the foundress;
the original oaken doors have been repaired, faced, and ornamented
with scrollwork in iron: this has been effected at a cost of more than
£1000. contributed by Mrs. Waddington, of Twyford House, Winchester,
as a memorial to her husband.

[Footnote 26: Parker's "Introduction to the study of Gothic
Architecture," p. 91.]

+The Interior of the Tower+

has been considerably improved by the removal of a floor which had
been inserted just above the lower arches, thus opening it to the
great lantern, bringing into view a series of beautiful colonnades
and arches, for many years hidden, except to those who explored the
upper portions, besides relieving it of the weight of a large quantity
of stone and materials.[27] The tops of the four fine arches which
originally supported the Tower can now be partially seen; they were
spacious openings, but are contracted by interior arches in a
different style, which were inserted in the early part of the
fifteenth century, for the purpose of strengthening the building. The
beautiful painted ceiling of the Tower was designed, and all its
essential parts executed, with a rare union of artistic skill and
archæological knowledge, by H.S. le Strange, Esq., of Hunstanton Hall,
Norfolk, at the expense of H.R. Evans, Esq., then Registrar to the
Dean and Chapter; the centre contains a figure of the Saviour in an
aureole: He is represented as holding a globe in His left hand, and is
surrounded by the sun, moon, and stars; on either side are Cherubim
and Seraphim bearing scrolls containing the words "Holy! Holy! Lord
God of Sabaoth." The eastern centre contains a shield on which is the
_dextra Domini_, the "right hand of the Lord," as an emblem of the
Creator; the corners are enriched with foliage, and the whole is
surrounded by a border containing the words "Thou art worthy, O Lord,
to receive glory, and honour, and power; for Thou hast created all
things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created." This was
finished in 1855. The floor, of which the pattern forms a labyrinth,
was completed in 1870.

[Footnote 27: At the time these works were in progress (Oct., 1845),
Mr. Bassevi, the eminent architect of the Fitzwilliam Museum, at
Cambridge, visited the Tower, and unfortunately fell from one floor to
another, and was killed. He was buried in the north aisle of the
Choir, and an elegant monumental brass, by Messrs. Waller has been
laid over his remains.]

The window over the entrance from the Galilee, was inserted A.D. 1800,
and improved in 1807 at the expense of Bishop Yorke, who filled two
portions of the upper part with stained glass, the other two being
filled at the cost of Dr. Waddington, then a Prebendary of the
Cathedral; the remainder has lately been completed by Mr.
Clutterbuck; the subjects are taken from the history of our Lord.
This, with the wall decoration below, has been done at the expense of
J.T. Waddington, Esq., and of his widow. Beneath the window are four
shields of arms; the upper one on the south side shows the arms of
Bishop Yorke impaled with the arms of the see; on the north side are
those of Bishop Yorke with those of Dr. Waddington; the lower ones
contain on the south, the arms of J.T. Waddington, Esq., and on the
north side, the same impaled with those of the family of Cocksedge, of
which Mrs. Waddington was a member.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before proceeding further the visitor should pause, and observe the
great length of the Cathedral, the noble appearance of the lofty
arches, and the sublime grandeur of the whole. When we look around and
see the lofty Tower with its decorated ceiling above; on the right,
the south-west Transept, rich in the extreme with its several arcades
of plain, intersecting, and trifoliated arches; and in front, through
the long vista of the Nave, the noble Octagon, and the enriched Choir,
to the extreme end of the church, we cannot but pause and admire the
skill of man shewn in such a work; but when we consider to whose
honour and glory such skill is exerted, we no longer wonder that man's
best energies should be called forth to construct and ornament such a

     "Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
     The pealing anthem swells the note of praise."--_Gray_.

May those who visit this temple for the purpose of examining it as a
building made with hands, ever bear in mind the great and solemn
purpose for which it was erected--the worship of Almighty God--and let
their aspirations of prayer and praise ascend to Him in thankfulness
for the privilege afforded to them of freely and openly worshipping
Him, who as freely invites all to become partakers of a home made
without hands, eternal in the heavens.

+The South-west Transept+

was, until a few years ago, separated from the Tower by a wall of stud
and plaster, and used as a receptacle for materials required for the
repair of the fabric, but is now thrown open in all its beauty; it has
been repaired and restored at considerable expense.

The architecture of this portion of the Cathedral is worthy of special
notice; the various forms of the arches, and the beautiful mouldings
and ornaments on some of them, cannot but attract attention. The
panelled ceiling has been painted by T. Gambier Parry, Esq., of
Highnam Court, Gloucester; the floor has been re-laid with encaustic
tiles and marble; a new font[28] in the transitional style, has been
placed here, at the cost of the late Canon Selwyn, and this Transept
will in future be used as the Baptistry of the Cathedral. Several
windows, which had for many years been blocked up with stone and
rubbish, have been re-opened, and those of the lower tier at the south
end filled with stained glass by Mr. Wailes:

     The west window contains--the Meeting of Jacob and Rachel;
     the Choice of Esther; and the Crowning of Esther; and was
     the gift of Dean Peacock.

     The east window comprises--the Meeting of Isaac and Rebecca;
     of Boaz and Ruth; and the Marriage at Cana: given by
     Hamilton Cooke, Esq., of Carr House, Doncaster.

[Footnote 28: A font, the gift of Dean Spencer, in 1693, formerly
stood under the third arch on the south side of the Nave, but having
no accordance in style with the architecture of the building, it has
been removed, and placed in a newly erected church at Prickwillow,
near Ely.]

Adjoining this Transept on the east is the apsidal +Chapel of St.
Catharine+, for many years in ruins, but rebuilt in 1848, and the
floor laid in a combination of marble and encaustic tiles, with
borders of incised Portland stone, the incisions being filled with
coloured cement; the windows have been filled with stained glass by
Mr. Wilmshurst:

     The east window, representing the Baptism of our Lord, by
     John, after a picture by Bassans; given by the Rev. W.G.
     Townley, of Upwell, Norfolk, as a memorial of his brother,
     R.G. Townley, Esq., of Fulbourn, for several years one of
     the representatives of the county in Parliament.

     The subject of the other window is from the words of our
     Lord, "Suffer little children to come unto me;" from a
     picture by Overbeck: the gift of Canon Selwyn.

We now proceed on our course, and enter

+The Nave,+

which is of ample dimensions, being 203 feet in length; it has a
lighter appearance than many churches of Norman architecture, and may
be considered a late specimen of that style, having been finished
about 1174. The length originally comprised thirteen bays, one of
which has been included in the plan of the Octagon; there are no
single cylindrical columns as in many churches, but the pillars are
clustered and alternate in size and pattern; the arches appear to be
somewhat higher than semicircular, being stilted, or some little way
rectilinear before they take the circular bend. Those of the second
tier comprehend in each two smaller ones, supported by a much lighter
column; each compartment in the upper tier is divided into three small
arches, the middle one being larger and higher than that on either
side of it. Over the whole aisle on each side runs a broad gallery
usually called the "triforium," lighted by Perpendicular windows in
the outer wall; and above is the "clerestory," or "clear-story,"
affording a narrow passage in the thickness of the main wall, lighted
by the original Norman windows; thus the height is divided into three
parts--ground-story, triforium, and clerestory; and the breadth into
the same number--nave, north aisle, and south aisle; probably designed
as a type of the Trinity, as it is thought by many that these
symbolical considerations were used in the building of churches in
early ages.

A new floor has been laid in the Nave[29] in a design which introduces
several kinds of stone and marble, each bay in a pattern differing
from the adjoining one; the large slab of marble which laid in the
second bay from the east, and from which the memorial brass has long
disappeared, remains _in situ_, it is not known to whose memory it was
originally placed, but evidently to some dignified ecclesiastic.
Towards the west the floor has been lowered so as to shew the bases of
the columns which had for many years been hidden. A semicircular
roof-shaft runs from the floor to the top of the wall between the
bays, but the roof, until lately, was open to view from the floor to
the rafters; a new painted ceiling has been executed,[30] which adds
much to the grandeur of the building.

[Footnote 29: Bishop Turton by his will left the sum of £500 towards
this object, and Bishop Harold Browne gave a like sum towards the
completion of the paving of the Nave and aisles.]

[Footnote 30: A portion of the expense of this work was defrayed by a
bequest by the Rev. G. Millers, a Minor Canon, augmented by the
liberality of his Executors to £400.]

This ceiling was commenced in 1858, by Henry Styleman le Strange,
Esq., of Hunstanton Hall, and the six western bays were designed and
the chief parts executed by him, and finished in 1861; his lamented
decease in the following year gave rise to some fears as to its
completion, but his friend T. Gambier Parry, Esq., undertook to finish
the work so ably begun, as a token of affection to his memory, and it
now presents a beautiful series of pictures in compartments, forming,
as it were, a carefully studied epitome of the sacred history of man
as recorded in Holy Scripture; and exhibiting specimens of skill and
taste executed by two gentlemen of independent fortune that may be
almost considered marvellous.

It may be mentioned that the ceiling is upwards of 200 feet long, and
is 86 feet from the floor, and the general size of the principal
figures in the painting is nine feet.

The central subjects are arranged in chronological order from the
west, each being surrounded by a border varying in form, and
containing a legend; in the ten western bays the subjects are
supported by figures which are for the most part representations of
Patriarchs and Prophets, carrying scrolls[31] upon which are written
words of their own, bearing more or less forcibly upon the coming of
the Messiah. The eleventh subject has, properly speaking, no
supporters, but the Shepherds and the Magi are so arranged as to carry
on the artistic effect of a central group with conspicuous lateral
figures. In the twelfth and last subject, the picture extends entirely
across the ceiling; in the centre is the Lord Jesus in His glorified
humanity, seated on a throne, round about which is a "rainbow like
unto an emerald." Above His head is the choir of Seraphim, painted in
prismatic colours, and reflected in the "sea of glass before the
throne." On the right and left are the figures of the twelve apostles
seated; beyond them, on the dexter side, are two archangels, St.
Gabriel, "the angel of redemption," holding the standard of the cross,
and St. Raphael, holding a sword with its point downwards, expressive
of victory and peace; at their feet rise three figures, typical of the
blessed received into glory. On the sinister side are also two
archangels, St. Uriel holding his sword downwards, and St. Michael
spearing the dragon, expressive of the condemnation of, and victory
over, sin. The figure of our Lord is connected with the tree of Jesse
by its last branches, which break into scrolls and golden fruit at His

[Footnote 31: In the key to the ceiling as represented in the two
following pages, we have placed the words of the legends under the
principal subjects, and the contents of the scrolls under the names of
the persons represented.]

The arch which separates the Nave from the Octagon has also been
decorated, as well as the wall which connects the arch with the
ceiling; the design contains the evangelistic symbols of St. Matthew
and St. John, and the text "Blessed be the Name of His Majesty for
ever, and all the earth shall be filled with His Majesty. Amen and

[Transcriber's Note: In the original book, the following text in
brackets is placed sideways along the right and left sides of a box
around the rest of the text. The top and bottom of the box are
represented here by a line of asterisks.]

[The heads forming the border represent the human ancestors of our
Lord, according to the genealogy in St. Luke's Gospel; they commence
at the Eastern end, and terminate at the Western, thus linking
together the Glorified Manhood, as exhibited in the last of the
pictorial representations, with the Creation of Man in the first.]

       *       *       *       *       *

     "Non nobis, Domini, non nobis, sed nomini tuo da gloriam."



     'I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright
     and morning star.'



     'Unto us a child is born: Gentiles shall come to thy light,
     and Kings to the brightness of thy rising.'

                       |              10.             |
    ST. MATTHEW.       |        THE NATIVITY.         |       ST. LUKE.
                       |  'The Word was made flesh,   |
     ST. MARK.         |  and dwelt among us: full of |       ST. JOHN.
                       |  grace and truth.'           |
                       |                              |
                       |                              |
      MALACHI.         |               9.             |      ZEPHANIAH.
'The Sun of            |      THE ANNUNCIATION.       | 'The Lord their God
Righteousness shall    | 'A Virgin shall conceive and | shall visit them.'
arise.'                | bear a Son, and shall call   |
                       | his name Immanuel.'          |
                       |                              |
     ZECHARIAH.        |                              |        NAHUM.
'I will bring forth my |               8.             | 'Him that bringeth
servant the Branch.'   |             DAVID.           | glad tidings.'
                       | 'Of the fruit of thy body    |
      JEREMIAH.        | shall I set upon thy         |       EZEKIEL.
'Unto David a          | throne.'                     | 'My servant David
righteous Branch.'     |                              | shall be a Prince.'
                       |               7.             |
                       |             JESSE.           |
        DANIEL.        |  'There shall come forth a   |       HAGGAI.
'He shall confirm the  |  rod out of Jesse, and a     | 'The desire of all
covenant.'             |  branch shall grow out of    | nations shall come.'
                       |  roots.'                     |
                       |                              |
                       |               6.             |
        MICAH.         |     THE MARRIAGE OF RUTH.    |       ISAIAH.
'Out of thee,          | 'The Lord make the woman     | 'There shall come a
Bethlehem, shall He    | like Rachel and Leah. Be     | rod out of the stem
come forth.'           | thou famous in Bethlehem.'   | of Jesse.'
                       |                              |
                       |               5.             |
        AMOS.          |         JACOB'S DREAM.       |       HOSEA.
'I will raise up the   | 'In thee and in thy seed     | 'O Grave I will be
tabernacle of David.'  | shall all the families of    | thy destruction.'
                       | the earth be blessed.'       |
                       |                              |
                       |               4.             |
       JONAH.          |   ISAAC CARRYING THE WOOD.   |        JOEL.
'Thou hast brought up  | 'Behold the fire and the     | 'I will pour out my
my life from           | wood, but where is the burnt | spirit upon all
corruption.'           | offering?                    | flesh.'
                       |                              |
                       |               3.             |
        MOSES.         |       NOAH'S SACRIFICE.      |       NATHAN.
'The Lord shall raise  | 'I do set my bow in the      | 'I will stablish
up a prophet like unto | cloud, to be a token of      | the throne of His
me.'                   | covenant between me and the  | kingdom.'
                       | earth.'                      |
                       |                              |
                       |               2.             |
         JOB.          |        THE FALL OF MAN.      |       BALAAM.
'I know that my        | 'Her seed shall bruise thy   | 'There shall come a
Redeemer liveth.'      | head, and thou shalt bruise  | star out of Jacob.'
                       | his heel.'                   |
                       |                              |
                       |               1.             |
       ABRAHAM.        |     THE CREATION OF MAN.     |       JACOB.
'My son, God will      | 'Which was the son of God.'  | 'The sceptre shall
provide himself a      |                              | not depart until
lamb.'                 |                              | Shiloh come.'

     "Sit splendor Domini Dei nostri super nos, et opera manuum
     nostrarum dirige super nos," &c.

       *       *       *       *       *

Traces of early fresco work may be seen on some of the arches of the
Nave, on both sides, and in all probability other parts were also

Before proceeding further eastward we will examine the

+Nave Aisles,+

commencing with that on the south, at the western end. We first
observe a range of small semicircular arches running under the
windows, with a chevron moulding over some of them; in the first bay
from the west there is a row of intersecting arches over them. The
vaulting is supported by semi-columns placed at the back of the
pillars on one side, and on the other by wall-shafts between the
windows, and forms a great contrast to the rich vaulting of the
eastern portions of the Cathedral. Several traces of early fresco work
may be observed in the vault of the tenth bay from the west, and in
other places.

Under the fourth window is a doorway, which is, on the exterior,
richly ornamented, filling all available space, the whole of the
imposts, arch mouldings and capitals being thickly sculptured with
interlaced carving. In the tympanum is a figure of the Saviour in an
aureole (or 'glory' of a pointed oval shape), held up by two angels
sitting, holding an open book surmounted by a cross in His left hand,
His right being elevated in the act of benediction. The mouldings
above, as well as the capitals, jambs, and pilasters, are enriched
with running foliage, and with a series of medallions containing
birds, animals, flowers, &c., some of which are very curious. This was
formerly the Prior's entrance from the cloisters; it now opens into a
private garden belonging to the Deanery.[32]

[Footnote 32: A new door, with scrollwork in iron, has been put in at
the cost of the Bedfordshire Archæological Society.]

Near this doorway stands a curious relic, deserving attention. It is
the lower portion of a stone cross with a square pedestal, found some
years ago at Haddenham, in the Isle of Ely, where it was used as a
horse-block; the inscription on the pedestal is in Roman capitals,
except the E, which is Saxon:


A translation of it is thus given by Mr. Bentham: "Grant, O God, to
Ovin, thy light and rest. Amen." On reference to the history of St.
Etheldreda, foundress of the monastery at Ely,[33] to which allusion
was made in the introduction to this work, it will be seen that her
steward bore the name of Ovin, and it is not improbable that the cross
was erected either to his honour during his life, or to his memory
soon after his death; probably in the early part of the eighth
century: this would make it earlier by nearly four hundred years than
anything else in the church. The Bissexcentenary, or twelve-hundredth
anniversary of the foundation of the monastery at Ely by St.
Etheldreda was commemorated by a grand Festival in October, 1873.

[Footnote 33: Bentham's History, i. 45, &c.]

The doorway at the east end of the aisle, under the last window,
formerly the entrance for the monks from the cloisters, now the south
entrance to the Cathedral, is also worthy of special observation; the
head is trefoiled, and ornamented with figures holding pastoral
staves; above, two dragons are represented with their necks entwined;
the mouldings are rich and various, and the capitals and jambs are
sculptured with grotesque ornaments. By some persons it has been
thought that these doorways were insertions, as they do not accord
with the lines of the adjoining wall, perhaps brought from some other
building, and re-erected here when the cloisters were built.

On the second pillar from the east end of the Nave in both aisles, may
be observed a niche with a canopy, indicating the position of the
rood-screen at the western extremity of the original Choir, which
extended eastward across and beyond the space now covered by the

The windows of the aisles, as also those of the triforium, were
originally Norman, but were altered at some subsequent period to a
later style; those, however, of this aisle have, with one exception,
been restored to their original form, and all are filled with stained
glass. We will endeavour to describe them in their order, beginning at
the western end of the aisle.

     _1st._ The days of Creation; Adam expelled from Eden; the
     punishment of Mankind; the Offerings of Cain and
     Abel--executed by Messrs. Henri and Alfred Gerente, of
     Paris; the contributions of Visitors to the Cathedral.

     _2nd._ The Building of the ark; the entry into the ark; the
     Flood; and Noah's Sacrifice--by M. Alfred Gerente: the gift
     of Mrs. Pleasance Clough, as a memorial of her aunt,
     Susannah, wife of John Waddington, Esq.

     _3rd._ The Annunciation; the Salutation of Mary and
     Elizabeth; the Birth of Christ--by Mr. Warrington: his own

     _4th._ The Tower of Babel and the Confusion of tongues--by
     Mr. Howes: the contribution of various tradesmen connected
     with the Cathedral.

     _5th._ Abraham visited by angels; the expulsion of Hagar;
     and the Blessing of Jacob--by Mr. Gibbs, his own gift.

     _6th._ The institution of the Passover; the Death of the
     firstborn; and the Exodus of the Israelites--by Mr. Howes,
     his own gift.

     _7th._ The fall of the walls of Jericho; the passage of the
     Jordan; and the return of the spies--by Mr. Wailes:
     presented by the Rev. G. Millers, as a memorial of his wife.

     _8th._ Samson slaying the lion; Samson carrying away the
     gates of Gaza; and Samson destroying the
     Philistines--executed and presented by M. Alfred Gerente.

     _9th._ The history of the Venerable Bede--by Mr. Wailes: his
     own gift.

     _10th._ David anointed; David playing before Saul; David
     chosen king; and David reproved by Nathan--by Mr. Hardman:
     presented by the ladies of the (then) Dean and Canons.

     _11th._ The Judgment of Solomon; the Building of the
     Temple; the Dedication of the Temple; and the Queen of
     Sheba's visit--designed and executed by the Rev. A. Moore,
     of Walpole St. Peter, Norfolk, at the cost of the Chapter.

We now turn our attention to the north aisle, and observe a range of
arches similar to those in the south aisle, but with the line of
chevron moulding in the eastern bay only; an intermission under one of
the windows marks the place where probably was a doorway for
communication with the church of St. Cross, but closed above two
hundred years ago, when the Lady Chapel was given for the use of the
parish of the Holy Trinity in lieu of that church which had become

The windows in this aisle retain their altered form; and all have been
recently filled with stained glass; in describing them we will
commence at the western end, as the subjects are arranged

     _1st._ From the history of our first parents--Adam tilling
     the ground; Cain ploughing the earth, and Abel attending
     sheep; Adam and Eve discovering the body of Abel--by Mr.
     Cottingham: presented by Mr. Bacon, Clerk of the Works to
     the Dean and Chapter, as a memorial of his father.

     _2nd._ From the history of Lot--Angels visit Lot; Lot
     entertaining angels; the multitude struck with blindness;
     Sodom destroyed; Lot's departure; Lot entering Zoar--by Mr.
     Preedy; as a memorial of the Rev. John Maddy, D.D., Canon of
     the Cathedral.

     _3rd._ From the History of Abraham--the Death of Sarah:
     Abraham purchasing the cave of Machpelah; and the Burial of
     Abraham--by Mr. Preedy: designed as a memorial of Mr.
     Freeman; given by his family.

     _4th._ From the Book of Judges--Gideon and the Angel;
     Gideon's present consumed; the Midianites put to flight--by
     Mr. Ward: subscribed for by some of Her Majesty's Judges who
     were educated at the University of Cambridge.

     _5th._ From the history of Samuel--Hannah praying; Samuel
     presented to Eli; Eli blesses Elkanah and Hannah; Samuel
     praying; Samuel called; Samuel telling his vision to Eli--by
     Messrs. Ward and Nixon: as a memorial of H.R. Evans, sen.,
     Esq., for many years Chapter Clerk; given by his family.

     _6th._ David and the Minstrels; executed by Mr. Oliphant,
     from designs by W.R. Dyce, Esq., R.A.: the gift of Mr.
     Thomas Ingram, Professor of Music, formerly a Chorister and
     Pupil in the Cathedral.

     _7th._ From the history of Elijah--Elijah feeds the prophets
     in a cave; Elijah praying for rain; Elijah visited by
     angels--by Mr. Wailes: presented by Colonel Allix, as a
     memorial of Dr. Peter Allix, a former Dean of Ely.

     _8th._ From the history of Elijah--Elijah fed by ravens;
     Translation of Elijah; Elijah's burnt offering--by Mr.
     Wailes: presented by J.J. Rawlinson, Esq., as a memorial of
     the Rev. G. Millers, Minor Canon, and author of a
     "Description of Ely Cathedral."

     _9th._ From the history of Elisha--Elisha healing the
     Shunamite's son--by Mr. Wailes: presented by the Rev. S.
     Smith and others, connections and legatees of the Rev. J.
     Griffith, B.D., many years Minor Canon of the Cathedral.

     _10th._ Events from the history of Hesekiah--by Mr. Wailes;
     presented as a memorial of Thomas Archer, Esq., of Ely, by
     his family.

     _11th._ From the history of Jonah--the People of Ninevah
     mourning; Jonah preaching; Repentance of the Ninevites--by
     Mr. Edgland; presented by C. Steggall, Esq., Mus. Doc.,
     designed as a memorial of his wife.

     _12th._ From the history of Daniel--Daniel interpreting
     Nebuchadnezzar's dream; Daniel before king Darius; Daniel in
     the lion's den--by M. Lusson, of Paris: designed to
     commemorate the establishment of a Savings Bank in Ely, in
     1839, being the contribution of certain subscribers,
     assisted by a special contribution from Canon J.H. Sparke.

A tablet on the wall, near the eastern window of this aisle, bears the
following inscription:--

      _Roger Clopton,
    Rector of Downham,
 Gave two hundred pounds,
By which The greatest Part
   of the Nave of This
       Church Was

The Nave and aisles do not now require a gift of this kind, having
been recently paved at considerable expense, but the floor of the
Octagon, South Transept, and Choir aisles will require a large sum to
complete them, and if some kind friends will follow the example of
Roger Clopton it will indeed be a timely benefaction, and now very
much to be desired as an important step towards the completion of the
work of restoration.

Before examining the Octagon we will make some observations on

+The Great Transept.+

This includes both arms, although for distinction it is frequently
spoken of as the north and south Transept. This is the oldest portion
of the Cathedral, having been begun by Abbot Simeon A.D. 1083, of
whose work, however, but little more than the ground story remains.
Before the fall of the Norman Tower in 1322, each arm was longer by
one bay, which is now included in the plan of the Octagon, in the same
manner as the Nave. Both arms have aisles, but those of the south, and
one in the north, are enclosed for various purposes. In each arm there
is a simple cylindrical shaft, of which no other specimen occurs in
any other part of the church. The capitals of the columns and the
arches above the lower tier are similar to those of the Nave. The roof
in both is of bare rafters with rich cornices, painted with flowers
and devices, and angels with wings expanded under the principals;
both arms have recently undergone a thorough repair, the rafters and
cornices have been re-painted and gilded in their original style,
which, with the stained glass lately inserted in the windows, produces
an amount of colour the effect of which is very striking.

We will first refer for details to the north arm; of which the western
aisle is open, and is lighted by three Norman windows, all of which
have been recently filled with stained glass:

     The south window--executed by M. Lusson, of Paris; the
     subjects taken from the Parables; as a memorial of the Rev.
     A. Moore, of Walpole, who designed and executed three
     windows in the Cathedral.

     The middle window, by the same artist; subject, the Good
     Samaritan: given by John Muriel, Esq.

     The northern window was executed by the Rev. A. Moore; the
     subject taken from the parable of the Prodigal Son.

At the north end of the Transept is a small colonnade, the arches of
which are irregular, those opposite the lower windows being higher
than the others to allow free passage to the light. At the north-east
corner is a doorway communicating with a staircase leading to the
upper parts of the church. In the year 1699 the fall of a portion of
the north-west corner took place, but it was so well rebuilt as not to
be discernable in the interior. The windows in the triforium on the
east side are original; those of the triforium on the west side, and
the upper ones at the north end, are Perpendicular insertions; the
rest are all in their original form, or have been restored to it;
those in the north end have been filled with stained glass:

     The two lower, and the western window of the second tier, by
     Mr. Wailes, at the cost of the late Canon E.B. Sparke.

     The eastern window of the second tier, by the Rev. A. Moore.
     The subjects of these four windows are incidents in the
     history of St. Paul.

     The windows in the upper tier--by Messrs. Ward and
     Hughes--also at the cost of the late Canon E.B. Sparke,
     contain figures of eminent persons in New Testament history,
     with arms, &c. in the tracery. Those in the western window
     represent Silas; Clement, bishop; Apollos; Judas Barsabas;
     Dionysius, areopagite; and Philip, deacon: in the eastern
     window, Titus, bishop; St. Paul; Timothy; St. Mark; St.
     Barnabas; and St. Luke.

The eastern aisle is divided by walls behind the columns into
compartments; the northern one forms a communication with the entrance
to the Lady Chapel; the middle one a vestry for the Grammar Scholars;
and the third a vestry for the Lay-Clerks; remains of fresco paintings
may be seen on the walls of both these compartments.

     The stained glass window in the middle compartment contains
     subjects from the history of our Saviour; executed by
     Messrs. Clayton and Bell: presented by--Heywood, Esq., as a
     memorial to his mother.

     The window in the third compartment, by the same artists,
     represents the Entombment and the Ascension, and is the gift
     of C.L. Higgins, Esq., of Turvey Abbey.

The floor of this portion has been recently re-laid by the munificence
of the late Canon E.B. Sparke.

We now cross the Octagon (which we will examine afterwards) to the
south arm of the Transept. At the south end is a colonnade, but
differing in design to that in the north arm, the arches being all of
equal height, but not so high as the others; over these is a row of
intersecting arches. It is probable that these galleries were added at
a period subsequent to the erection of the Transept, and intended as a
means of communication from one triforium to the other; in the south
east corner is a staircase leading to the triforium. Some remains of
ancient decoration may be observed on the walls and capitals, portions
of which have been renewed.

The eastern aisle was formerly divided by a wall behind each column
into three compartments, with wooden screens in front; but these were
all removed in 1814, when it was enclosed as we now see it to form the
Library, which is lighted on the east by three Early English windows,
and on the south by a Norman one. The western aisle appears to have
been closed for many years, as on the walls built in the arches (and
which until lately completely filled the openings,) there is an arcade
of intersecting Norman arches. Of this aisle, thus inclosed, one
portion is used as a vestry by the Vergers, having an entrance from
the south aisle of the Nave; the remaining portion as a vestry for the
Clergy. The carved oak door to this vestry deserves attention; it is
not exactly known whether it originally belonged to the Cathedral, the
carved devices are similar to those in the chapel of Bishop Alcock, in
the north aisle of the Choir; there is no doubt that it belonged to
some building erected by that prelate, if not to this, probably to the
chapel of Jesus College, Cambridge, of which Bishop Alcock was the
founder. It was found at Landbeach, and sent to the Cathedral by Canon

The windows of the western aisle and those of the clerestory on both
sides are in their original form, and so are those of the two lower
tiers at the south end, but the others are of later age; in the gable
is a low window of seven lights, very different to the upper windows
in the north arm: those in the south end and two in the western aisle
have been filled with stained glass:

     The eastern window of the lower tier of the south end, by M.
     Henri Gerente, contains incidents in the history of Joseph;
     presented by the late Canon E.B. Sparke.

     The western window by the same artist, contains incidents
     from the history of Moses: contributed by some of the then
     Lessees under the Bishop.

     The eastern window of the second tier, by Messrs. Henri and
     Alfred Gerente, contains subjects from the history of
     Abraham, with parallels: the gift of Incumbents of livings
     in the diocese, and in the patronage of the Bishop.

     The western window, by M. Alfred Gerente, contains subjects
     from the history of Jacob; the gift of Incumbents of livings
     formerly in the patronage of the Bishop, but not in his

     The gable window contains six figures of the Patriarchs,
     with a figure of our Lord in the centre; some of which were
     executed by Mr. Howes and others by Mr. Preedy: the gift of
     some of the Peers and Prelates educated at the University of

     The middle window of the western aisle, by M. Lusson; the
     subjects taken from the Book of Jeremiah: given by the Rev.
     G. Rous, Laverton, as a memorial of Dr. Hugh Thomas,
     nineteenth Dean of Ely.

     The north window is also by a French artist, and given by
     the late Canon E.B. Sparke.

The piece of tessellated pavement in the floor was found some years
ago between the Choir and the Lady Chapel, under the present level of
the earth, and was placed here for preservation; when the floor of
this arm of the Transept is re-laid, this may perhaps be again
inserted, or removed to some other place.

+The Octagon.+

We now come to this special glory of the Cathedral, "in which," says
Mr. Millers, "elegance, magnificence, and strength are so happily
blended, that it is impossible to determine in which respect it is
most admirable." We follow up the description nearly in his own words.
Here stood originally a square Norman tower, which in the year 1322,
from the unequal pressure of the four parts of the church, gave way
and fell eastward, crushing in its fall several adjoining arches. "It
could not have happened at a more favourable conjuncture; as the
convent was rich, spirited, and liberal; and though another great work
had been begun the preceding year, (the erection of a new Lady
Chapel,) the repair of this great dilapidation was immediately
undertaken, and completed in a few years, by Alan de Walsingham, at
that time sacrist,[34] an officer under whose particular charge were
all the monastic buildings. It has continued above five hundred years,
and may it yet continue a noble proof of his consummate skill as an
architect!" The conception was original, being perhaps the first
building of the kind ever erected. By throwing the weight upon eight
strong piers and arches instead of four, he has probably guarded
against the recurrence of a similar accident; at the same time he has
given a larger space, a more agreeable form, and greater scope for
embellishment, which is, however, most judiciously confined within
such limits as not to interfere with sober and impressive grandeur. No
one can behold it without admiring the skill which has suspended,
rather than supported, a very heavy timber roof over so wide an area
without a pillar.

[Footnote 34: He was made Sub-Prior, then Prior, and elected Bishop,
A.D. 1344, but the election was not confirmed.]

"It is not equilateral; there are four longer and four shorter sides,
alternate and respectively equal. Four lofty arches, in the four
longer sides, open into the four principal parts of the church:
alternately with these, in the four shorter sides, are as many more,
much lower, opening obliquely into the aisles above and below the
Transept. The arches are all supported by elegant clustered and
conjoined columns, and their capitals are wreaths of flowers and

In the shorter sides there is room for some ornamentation, but the
ornaments are chaste and not profuse. The four low arches in them are
under canopies resting on good carved heads, which remain perfect.
Those on the north-east are said to be intended for Edward III. and
his queen Phillippa, in whose time the building was erected; on the
south-eastern arch are represented the heads of a bishop and a priest,
perhaps meant for Bishop Hotham and Prior Crauden, superiors at the
period of erection. On the north-west arch are the heads of another
priest, apparently younger, and of some secular person with long hair;
the former is supposed to represent Alan de Walsingham, the skilful
architect of this noble work; and the latter the chief mason. On the
remaining arch are two figures, the meaning of which we can scarcely

A little above each of these lower arches are three brackets, or
corbels, with canopies; the original figures (if any) placed on these
brackets have long since disappeared, but the spaces have lately been
filled with sitting figures of the Apostles,[35] executed in stone by
Mr. Redfern, each holding a symbolical instrument. If we start from
the Choir and proceed to the right hand we shall find them placed in
the following order:--

      {  St. Matthew--box.
S.E.  {  St. John--chalice and dragon.
      {  St. James, minor--club.

      {  St. Philip--small cross.
S.W.  {  St. Paul--sword.
      {  St. Bartholomew--knife.

      {  St. Thomas--mason's square.
N.W.  {  St. Peter--keys.
      {  St. Andrew--cross.

      {  St. Jude--spear.
N.E.  {  St. James, major--pilgrim's staff.
      {  St. Simon--saw.

[Footnote 35: These were contributed by the Bishop of Carlisle (5),
Dr. Kennedy, Sir G.G. Scott, Captain Horton, Canon Underwood, and

There are also sixteen small stone heads, four connected with each
group of three Apostles, which are not very clearly seen, perhaps,
from the floor of the Cathedral, but which, when examined, shew by the
conventual prophetic cap given to them, that they are intended to
represent the sixteen Prophets of the Old Testament. Above these
canopies, in each of the four sides, is a gallery or passage with an
embattled parapet, and above that a large window of four lights with
geometrical tracery; it is extremely sharp pointed, and towards the
top each window is faced internally with a trellis or lattice-work of
stone, which adds to its elegance without intercepting the light.
These windows rise to the same height as the higher arches; they have
been filled with stained glass by Mr. Wailes, and the subjects are
chiefly representations of persons who were instrumental in the
foundation, erection, or restoration of the Cathedral, of the reigning
sovereigns at the respective periods, and of others who figured in the
traditionary history of the foundress.

     The window in the south-east angle is designed to
     commemorate the principal persons who figured in the
     traditionary history of the foundress. The figures in the
     upper tier represent Anna, father of St. Etheldreda; St.
     Etheldreda as queen; Tonbert, her first, and Egfrid, her
     second husband. In the lower tier, St. Etheldreda as abbess;
     Wilfred Bishop of York; St. Erminilda, the third abbess; and
     St. Sexburga, the second abbess. The tracery contains other
     figures and emblems, with the arms of the donor, the late
     Canon E.B. Sparke.

     The window in the north-east angle, in continuation of the
     same design, contains in the upper tier figures representing
     St. Withburga, St. Edmond, St. Werberga, fourth abbess of
     Ely, and Archbishop Dunstan. In the lower tier, Bishop
     Ethelwold; Brithnoth, Duke of Northumberland; Abbot
     Brithnoth, and King Edgar. The tracery contains the arms of
     the University of Cambridge, with other figures and devices:
     contributed by subscriptions from the Bachelors and
     Undergraduates of the University of Cambridge.

     The window in the north-west angle also contains eight
     representative figures, viz., in the upper tier, (reading
     from right to left) are William I., Henry I., Henry III.,
     and Edward II.; and under these, Abbot Simeon, who commenced
     the present Cathedral; Harvey, the first Bishop of Ely;
     Bishop Northwold, who erected the Presbytery; and Alan de
     Walsingham, the skilful architect of the Octagon. The
     tracery contains medallions in which are pictured the
     shrine of St. Etheldreda; Abbot Simeon laying the foundation
     stone of the Cathedral; Alan de Walsingham and monks weeping
     over the ruins of the central tower; the arms of the
     University of Cambridge, of the See of Ely, of Bishop
     Sparke, with other devices. Half the cost of this window was
     defrayed by subscriptions from some graduates of the
     University of Cambridge, and the other half by a portion of
     the accumulation of the money given by Bishop Sparke[36] for
     the east window.

     [Footnote 36: Bishop Sparke gave £1500 stock in the Reduced
     Three per cents. about 1833, but the east window was not
     completed until 1857; the amount had in the mean time
     accumulated considerably, and proved sufficient to defray
     the cost of the east window, of six windows in the
     clerestory of the Choir, of the four windows of the
     triforium of the Presbytery, and half the cost of the
     north-west window of the Octagon.]

     The window in the south-west angle also contains eight
     figures in the four principal lights, arranged in the
     following order--the Queen in her coronation robes; the
     Prince Consort in his robes as Chancellor of the University
     of Cambridge; and under these are represented Dr. Turton,
     the then bishop, and Dr. Peacock, the then dean of Ely;
     these figures being commemorative of the present extensive
     restorations: the other four represent King Edward III. and
     his queen Philippa, in whose reign the Octagon was built;
     and under these, Bishop Hotham and Prior Crauden, the great
     officers of the Cathedral at that period. The tracery
     contains the arms of the University of Cambridge in the
     centre, and on either side the arms respectively of those
     whose figures are represented in the window. The cost of a
     portion of this was graciously defrayed by Her Majesty;
     Bishop Turton and Dean Peacock gave the cost of their own
     figures respectively, and the remainder was paid by the
     capitular body.

Midway up each vaulting shaft is a canopied niche of unusual but very
beautiful character; these niches rest upon sculptured corbels
representing some striking incidents of St. Etheldreda's life, by
beginning at the right-hand side of the north-west arch, and
continuing our course to the right-hand round the Octagon, we may
examine them in detail.

     The first represents her marriage.

     The second, her taking the veil at the Monastery of
     Coldingham at the hands of Wilfred, bishop of York; her
     crown laid upon the altar.

     The third, her pilgrim's staff taking root and bearing
     leaves and branches over her whilst she slept by the way.

     The fourth, her preservation, with her attendant nuns, on a
     rock surrounded by a miraculous inundation, when pursued by
     the king and his attendants.

     The fifth, her installation as abbess of Ely, by Wilfred.

     The sixth, her death and burial.

     The seventh, a legendary tale of one Brithstan delivered
     from bonds by her merits.

     The eighth, the translation of her body.

These were probably placed there to break the apparent great
preponderance of vertical lines. The vaulting is of wood, and its
fan-shaped compartments terminate at a distance from the centre, thus
allowing an aperture thirty feet wide, over which rises the Lantern,
an exact octagon, having on each of its sides a large pointed window
of four openings with rich tracery, all filled with stained glass,
which has the effect of subduing the light; below these windows are a
series of panels with decorated heads, and under them another series
of smaller ones; above the ceiling is a chamber formerly used for
bells. The Lantern also is of English oak, and its construction a
curious piece of carpentry. The whole has been thoroughly repaired,
and in a great measure restored in exact conformity with the original,
at a considerable expense.[37]

[Footnote 37: This great work is designed as a memorial of Dean
Peacock, and a more fitting one could scarcely be found, as it is one
of the great works he had in contemplation. "The Dean and Chapter felt
that they could not propose any record of the zealous exertions of the
late Dean, so appropriate as the restoration of the central portion of
the Cathedral Church; which, after the great improvements executed
under his superintendence in the eastern and western portions of the
fabric, would form as it were a keystone of the whole work."
Subscriptions amounting to about £10,000, were given by many noblemen
as well as other friends of Dean Peacock; the capitular body
contributing very largely towards the work.]

When the white and yellow-wash was cleared away from the woodwork of
the Octagon and Lantern in 1850, some remnants of ancient colouring
were discovered. In the archives of the Cathedral are preserved the
accounts of the materials used in this painting, the prices of the
colours, and the wages paid to the workmen. The name of the principal
artist was Walter; he is dignified by the name of "Pictor," but he
only received Eightpence per week, "_præter mensam et robam_" the
"_roba_" being the painter's dress of the period, which was very like
a modern gentleman's dressing gown. The colouring of this "Walter"
between the years 1335 and 1351 seems to have been of a very simple
character. The only evidence of designs that remained in 1850 were on
the flat panels of the vaulting, which was covered with an imitation
of ordinary gothic flowing tracery. The pattern was a series of
quatrefoils painted in stone-colour on the wood, outlined black, and
filled with green. The bosses of the Lantern, which are not carved,
had been evidently painted and gilt, but the patterns of foliage were
rough and too much injured to afford any distinct composition.

The small amount of colouring which remained on some of the mouldings
of the Octagon was principally of a bright red, but only in small
patches, the ground-work having peeled off and the colour with it.

In attempting to describe briefly the recent decoration of the Octagon
and Lantern we cannot do better than quote the substance of a paper
read during the Conference in June, 1875, explaining the history and
nature of the ornamentation which has been carried out with such
loving care and artistic skill under Gambier Parry, Esq., who designed
the whole and painted the chief figures.

"The internal repair of the Lantern and Octagon was begun in February,
1874, and required a year for its completion. The ornamentation is in
the style of the fourteenth century. The central boss of the lantern
groining is a half-length figure of Christ in glory, considerably
above life size, and with the conventual clouding around it; it is
boldly carved in oak. The right hand is raised in the attitude of
blessing, and with the left the inner garment is drawn open to exhibit
the wound in the right side. Around this figure is painted a group of
Seraphim on a grey blue ground. The panels of the window hoods are
painted red, marking the distinction already made by the architectural
construction, and on them are painted Cherubim and golden stars. The
windows of the lantern were filled, some years ago, with coloured
glass, the colouring of which is harsh, and in strong contrast with
the mellow and rich painting of the woodwork, and injurious to the
general effect.

"Below the windows are thirty-two openings surmounted with rich
tracery. They are filled by panels on which is painted the angel
choir. The figures are composed in groups of four, under each window,
and are represented playing mediæval instruments. The two eastern and
two western bays are intended to be severally grouped together,
forming distinct series of eight figures. The instruments in the hands
of the figures over the transepts are the psaltery and cithern, the
regale, tabret, lute, violin, bagpipe and trumpet, (illustrating the
150th Psalm.) Below this range of figures are smaller panels, simply
ornamented with the sacred monogram, the cross and the crown, resting
on a fine and richly carved cornice, which forms the base of the
lantern. The groining of the Octagon forms eight hoods, four above the
windows, and four above the great arches of the Choir, Nave and
Transepts. Beneath these last are remarkable statues of the four
evangelists, about life size, seated in the attitude of writing, with
a pen in one hand and a long scroll in the other; a writing table by
the side of each figure with the ink horn attached to it by a strap,
and a loop to hold the pen, is very complete. The space between the
great arch and the groining of the Choir is filled with rich tracery,
on the central panel of which is painted the Crucifixion, with angels
holding the chalice and palm branch on the right and left. The long
spandrils of the groining are painted with conventional scrollwork of
leaves and flowers in a style contemporaneous with the architecture.
The monogram and crown of St. Etheldreda are found in several parts of
the ornamental design. The total expense of the decoration has been
about £2500."

An elegantly carved pulpit has been placed near the entrance to the
Choir; it is of Ancaster stone resting upon columns of Purbeck marble,
the front relieved by alabaster figures of St. Peter and St. Paul; the
steps are of Purbeck marble, guarded by very elaborate scrollwork in
iron. It was designed by Sir G.G. Scott, and executed by Messrs.
Rattee and Kett; the figures by Mr. Redfern, and the iron work by
Messrs. Potter and Son. It was supplied by a legacy left by the
daughter of Bishop Allen, and adds much towards the general

       *       *       *       *       *

Before leaving the Octagon the visitor would do well to contemplate
this portion of the building, as affording an extraordinary example of
the skill and judgment of the man who designed and carried into effect
so grand and unique a specimen of architecture, covering, as it does,
a large area without supporting columns; no heavy mass of stone-work
meets the eye, but the pillars, though strong and of great height are
so constructed as to give an appearance of lightness and elegance; the
vaulting is rich though simple, and the lantern above deserves notice
from its singular position, apparently without support, but starting
as it were from the ends of the ribs of the groining: taken as a whole
it may be fairly considered as without parallel in this country.

The architectural views from the Octagon in every direction are
exceedingly fine, and will repay the visitor for a pause of a few
minutes to notice them; on all sides are examples of great beauty and
variety. There are many other points in the Cathedral which afford
attractive scenes as shewn in the effects of light and shade, the
intersections of arches, perspective, &c., which may be found by the
visitor in his survey, if watched for, but we cannot undertake to
point them out.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next portion of the building to which our attention is attracted

+The Choir,+

which, previous to 1322 was under the central Tower, and extended,
including the rood-loft, from the second column at the eastern end of
the Nave, as it now is, (it then extended one bay further eastward,)
to about the same distance, or rather more, on the opposite side; and
after the erection of the Octagon was again placed there; in 1770 it
was removed to the six eastern arches of the Cathedral, the space
under the Octagon and the two bays eastward of it being used as a
sermon-place.[38] It was again removed in 1852, and now commences at
the eastern side of the Octagon, extending to the length of seven
bays, (the stalled portion occupying three of them,) leaving the two
eastern bays as a retro-choir.

[Footnote 38: Previous to the last removal, the custom was that only
one sermon was preached in the morning to the congregations severally
from the Choir, St. Mary's Church, and Holy Trinity Church, who
assembled together, and occupied generally seats provided by
themselves, in the Octagon and the two bays east of it, the third
being taken up by the screen dividing it from the Choir with the organ
loft over. The sermons were usually preached by the Canon in residence
at the time.]

This will be better understood by reference to the accompanying plans,
(for the use of which we are indebted to the kindness of the Editor of
the "Architectural Quarterly Review,") one shewing the position of the
Choir previous to the year 1770, and the other the arrangement made at
the last alteration.

[Illustration: GENERAL PLAN:

A Octagon, with the arrangement of Choir previous to 1770.
B Presbytery.
C The Nave.
D North Transept.
E South Transept.
F Part of Cloisters (ruined.)
G Western Tower.
H West Porch or Galilee.
I St. Catharine's Chapel.
K The Lady Chapel.
L The Font.
M Rood Screen.
N Foundations of Norman apse.
O Foundations of N.W. Transept.
P South-western Transept.]


_The black tint represents the Norman work of Abbots Simeon and
Richard, 1083-1106._

_The lined tint represents Bishop Northwold's work, 1229-1254._

_The dotted tint represents the work of Bishops Hotham, Montacute, and
L'Isle, 1316-1361._

A The Octagon.
B Choir, as now carried out.
C Nave.
D North arm of Transept.
E South arm of Transept.
F Lady Chapel.

a Altar.
b Bishop Alcock's Chapel.
c Bishop West's Chapel.
d Organ and Staircase.
e Part of Cloisters (ruined).
f Monuments.]

The new oaken screen at the entrance of the Choir will attract the
attention of the visitor, both by its elegant design and its skilful
execution; it is of open work, comprising a centre opening with brass
gates, through which is the passage into the Choir, under a pointed
arch, over this is rich tracery within a high pointed gable, having an
elegant foliated cross on the apex: on either side are three smaller
openings, each divided into two parts by a bar or transom, and
finished at the top with a gable; the openings below the transoms are
filled with elaborate grilles of brass foliage; a beautiful cresting
runs over the whole, with a high pinnacle of tabernacle work at each
end; several statuettes have been placed under canopies in each face,
which add considerably to the general effect. The screen was designed
by Sir G.G. Scott, and executed by Mr. Rattee; the statuettes by M.
Abeloos, and the brass gates with the foliage in the lower panels by
Mr. Hardman: the whole testifies highly to the taste of the designer
as well as to the skill of those who executed the several parts.

In making a particular survey of the Choir, it would perhaps be better
to examine carefully the architecture of the six eastern bays first,
and then the three western bays, which were built subsequently to the
others, before examining the reredos, monuments, &c.; this is simply a
suggestion, we leave the visitor to follow his own inclination, and
continue our description in the order of our course from west to east.

The architecture of the three first bays is greatly to be admired as a
specimen of the Decorated style, perhaps not surpassed by any other in
the kingdom; they were erected about the same time as the Octagon, and
most probably under the superintendence of the same skilful architect,
and for which purpose Bishop Hotham left a sum of money at his death;
they were built during the episcopate of his successors, Bishops
Montacute (1337-1345), and L'Isle (1345-1361). The lower columns are
nearly, the capitals entirely, of the same form with those of the
Octagon, but the arches are more ornamented, some of them having
bosses of foliage attached to their mouldings; and those of the
triforium are, as Mr. Bentham observes, "embellished with tracery work
of such elegance and delicacy as seems scarcely consistent with
strength." Between each of the lower arches is a corbel or elongated
bracket profusely adorned with foliage carved in high relief, richly
coloured and gilded; from this rises a column between the upper
arches, and from the top of this column spring the ribs of the
vaulting, which spread in lavish ramifications over it, dividing it
into angular compartments, and at the angles are flowers and other
ornaments, curiously carved, and originally were coloured. In the
spandrils of the lower and triforium arches (with the exception of the
first bay on the south side, which contains the arms of the see, those
of Bishop Hotham, and another shield), are sunk trefoils, some of
which are painted dark blue relieved with small stars in gold, having
an elegant appearance. The range of pierced parapet at the bases of
the triforium and clerestory has been entirely renewed; and on the
south side, the triforium roof (which on both sides is of bare
rafters,) has been recently painted and ornamented in a style similar
to those of the Transept. The windows in the clerestory are large,
filling the whole opening, having in each four lights with rich
tracery, and the same kind of trellis-work we noticed in the large
windows in the Octagon; these windows, on both sides have been
recently filled with stained glass, executed by Mr. Wailes, the
expense defrayed out of the balance of the accumulated fund for the
east window; the subjects are illustrative of two verses of the "Te
Deum," with figures of angels and the arms of the donor, &c., in the

     NORTH SIDE--"_The noble army of Martyrs_"--represented in
     the western window by figures of St. George, St. Agnes, St.
     Catharine, and St. Alban; middle window--St. Lawrence, St.
     Cecilia, St. Justin, and St. Prisca; eastern window--St.
     Ignatius, St. Polycarp, St. Lucian, and St. Stephen.

     SOUTH SIDE--"_The Holy Church throughout all the World_,"
     the Eastern Church being represented in the western window
     by figures of St. Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. Athanasius, and
     St. Gregory Nazienzen; the Western Church in the middle
     window, by figures of St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St.
     Augustine, and St. Gregory the great; the British Church in
     the eastern window, by figures of St. Columba, St. David,
     the Venerable Bede, and St. Augustine of Canterbury.

The absence of a bishop's throne is peculiar to this Cathedral; the
bishop occupies the return stall on the south side, and the dean that
on the north; those seats being generally appropriated to the dean and
sub dean. When the abbacy was converted into a bishopric (A.D. 1109)
the bishop took the seat previously held by the abbot, the prior
retaining his own; and, on the re-foundation in 1541, the dean took
the seat previously used by the priors, and here occupies
traditionally the side opposite to his customary position.

On the right hand of the entrance, therefore, is the seat of the
bishop, and on the left hand that of the dean, both surmounted by
lofty pinnacles of tabernacle work; and the ancient stalls, formerly
used under the Octagon, extend on both sides to the length of the
three western bays. These, which we believe form the sole existing
specimen of stalls of that date in England, have been cleansed from
their coats of paint and restored, and harmonise well with the new
work: the canopies are rich and elaborate, and the panels in the upper
portions have recently been filled with sculptured groups illustrative
of Scripture history, those on the north side from the New, and those
on the south side from the Old Testament; they are beautifully
designed, and contribute greatly to the good effect of the whole.
These sculptures have been executed in oak by M. Abeloos, of Louvain,
(with one exception, "the Nativity," by Mr. Philip,) and are the gifts
of various benefactors. They are placed in chronological order and,
as we proceed from west to east, the subjects may be noticed in the
positions described as follows.


The Annunciation.
The Salutation.
The Nativity.
The Presentation in the Temple.
The Adoration of the Magi.
The Murder of the Innocents.
The Flight into Egypt.
Jesus disputing with the Doctors.
The Baptism.
The Temptation.
The Miracle at Cana in Galilee.
The Transfiguration.
Mary anointing the Lord's feet.
The Betrayal.
Our Lord before Caiaphas.
Jesus mocked.
Pilate washing his hands.
Jesus scourged.
"Behold the Man."
The Crucifixion.
The Entombment.
The Resurrection.
Our Lord at Emmaus.
The incredulity of Thomas.
The Ascension.


The Creation of Man.
The Creation of Woman.
Adam and Eve in Paradise.
The Fall of Man.
The Expulsion from Paradise.
Adam and Eve at Work.
Cain killing Abel.
Noah building the Ark.
The Deluge.
Noah's Sacrifice.
Promise to Abraham.
Isaac carrying the wood.
Abraham's Sacrifice.
Isaac blessing Jacob.
Jacob's Dream.
Joseph sold by his Brethren.
The Burning Bush.
The Passover.
Moses striking the Rock.
Moses raising the brazen serpent.
Return of the Spies.
David anointed by Samuel.
Queen of Sheba's visit to Solomon.
Elijah's ascent to Heaven.

The sub-stalls are new, and of good design; the stall-ends in the
upper range have a series of statuettes of the principal among the
ancient benefactors, or of the builders of various portions of the
church, each under a canopy, and for finials they have figures of
angels with instruments of music. Each of the statuettes (where
finished) is represented as holding some type or model of the
particular portion with which its prototype is more intimately
connected. They were designed and modelled by Mr. J. Philip, and
executed partly by him and partly by Mr. Rattee; we append a list of
them in the order in which they are placed, commencing from the west,
as before:


St. Etheldreda.
King Edgar.
Abbot Simeon.
Abbot Richard.
Bishop Hervey.
Bishop Ridel.


Bishop Alcock.
Alan de Walsingham.
Prior Crauden.
Bishop Hotham.
Bishop Northwold.
Bishop Eustachius.

The fronts of the stalls are generally of open work, shewing the
hinged seats, or misereres as they are usually called, behind; in both
series of stalls these are curiously and grotesquely carved beneath.
On the faces of the stall-ends of the lower tier are various
emblematical devices, crests, and shields, beautifully carved; our
list is made in the same order as of the statuettes.


Crest of Dean Peacock.
Crest of the late Canon Sparke.
Crest of Canon Fardell.
Arms of Canon Ashley.
Bull--emblem of St. Luke.
Eagle--emblem of St. John.


Arms of the See of Ely.
Arms of Canon Selwyn.
Arms of Canon Mill.
Pelican--ancient Church symbol.
Lion--emblem of St. Mark.
Angel--emblem of St. Matthew.

An elegant brass lectern the gift of the late Canon Sparke, has been
placed in the Choir, as a memorial of H.S. le Strange, Esq., who
painted the ceiling of the Tower and the western portion of the Nave

The organ is placed in a position differing from that of most others
in England, although not unusual in Continental Cathedrals. The pedal
and swell organs have been placed in the triforium on the north side,
and the great organ, with the choir organ beneath it, project in front
of the third bay, resting upon an over-hanging chamber behind the
stalls. The organ was reconstructed, with great additions, by Messrs.
Hill and Son, of London, when the removal took place in 1851, and
several important additions were made in 1867, by the same firm.[39]
The magnificent organ-case, with its sculptures, was executed by Mr.
Rattee; the pipes in front have been gilded and ornamented by Mr.
Castell, of London, and much of the woodwork having been left in its
natural colour forms an agreeable contrast, and the effect produced,
from almost every point of view, is rich and beautiful; while from its
unusual position it loses little of its power or sweetness of tone,
but sends forth its pealing sounds reverberating through the lofty
arches with fine effect. We know nothing more sublime than the voices
of a congregation, guided and supported by such an instrument,
praising and adoring the great Creator and Father of all, and are led
to exclaim with the poet Milton--

     "There let the pealing organ blow,
     To the full voiced choir below,
     In service high and anthems clear,
     As may with sweetness through mine ear,
     Dissolve me into ecstacies,
     And bring all heaven before mine eyes."

[Footnote 39: See Appendix I.]

The division between the Early English work of Bishop Northwold and
that part generally spoken of as Hotham's work is marked by two steps
in the floor, and by two strong piers rising from the floor to the
vault, which were in fact the original Norman shafts near the
commencement of the apse or east end taken down by Hugh de Northwold,
eighth bishop, who added the six beautiful eastern bays at his own
expense; these form a pure and good example of Early English work, and
were completed A.D. 1252, and dedicated in the same year, in the
presence of King Henry III., and many nobles and prelates. This was
called the "Presbytery," or "Sanctuary," a common name at that time
for the east end of a church.

"The character of the three western bays is singularly yet beautifully
arranged to harmonize, in point of elevation of its parts, with the
six eastern arches; this and the very great excellence of the details,
render this part of the edifice a most valuable study."[40] The
absolute contact here of the two styles, Early English and Decorated,
affords the spectator an opportunity of contrasting them, and of
judging of the comparative merits of each. By many, the eastern bays
are preferred for their chaste and elegant appearance, not being so
profusely ornamented as those of the western ones, but, as Mr. Millers
observes, "everything seems in its proper place and fitly
proportioned: all harmonize, and taken altogether, give a general
character of lightness and elegance. This is nowhere more conspicuous
than in the roof; the plain ribs of which, diverging from their
imposts, instead of crossing each other and spreading into intricate
forms, go straight to a longitudinal midline running from west to
east, and decorated with coloured figures or flowers where the
springers meet it. There is a precise line of separation between this
and the more elaborate ceiling of Bishop Hotham's work; being thus
brought into contact the two may be compared with singular

[Footnote 40: Rickman.]

[Footnote 41: Millers' Description of Ely Cathedral, p. 74.]

The bases of the piers of the lower arches are octagonal, but the
shafts are cylindrical, surrounded by slenderer detached ringed shafts
with foliated capitals, all of Purbeck marble. The triforium (except
in the first and second bays on both sides,) extends over the aisles,
and is lighted by large windows with Decorated tracery in the outer
wall; and the arches are separated by a cluster of slender shafts into
two smaller ones with trefoil heads; and between the two is a
quatrefoil; all highly adorned with mouldings. Between each of these
lower arches is an enriched corbel of Purbeck marble, adorned with
foliage in high relief, from which rises the vaulting-shaft, in a
group of three, between the arches of the triforium to the base of the
clerestory, having a capital of leafage, and from the top of which
spring the ribs of the vaulting. The spandrils throughout are
relieved with trefoils and quatrefoils, deeply sunk and backed with
Purbeck marble; and, on the whole, the contrast of light and shade,
depth and projection, produces a very fine effect. The clerestory
arches are of the same span, but each is divided into three smaller
ones, the centre arch being higher than those on either side, in order
to admit light through the windows behind, which are three
lancet-shaped lights under one arch in the outer wall, and are, we
believe, original; these windows have been filled with stained glass,
which is another important step towards the general improvement.

The windows of the aisles and triforium were originally three
lancet-shaped lights under one arch, but were replaced in the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries by larger windows of a flamboyant
character. In the first and second bays on both sides the triforium
windows are placed in the inner wall, probably to give more light to
the high altar, the position of which was indicated by a boss in the
ceiling with a figure of St. Peter; and also to give greater effect to
the rich and gorgeous shrine of St. Etheldreda, said to have been of
pure silver adorned with jewels, which at that period stood near the
altar and to her place of sepultre, indicated by a boss in the ceiling
with her effigy on it. The tracery in these windows bears a similarity
to those in the corresponding arches of Hotham's work, but is not so
ornamented. All have been filled with stained glass by Mr. Wailes, the
expense defrayed out of the east window fund:

     The western window on the north side--The descent of the
     Holy Ghost, with figures and emblems.

     The eastern window--The Ascension, with figures, &c.

     The western window on the south side--Incidents from the
     history of Moses, with figures, &c.

     The eastern window--Incidents from the history of Elijah,
     with devices, &c.

"The east end," says Mr. Millers, "is eminently beautiful, and will
not by any means shrink from comparison with the more gorgeous
termination of any church built after great end windows came into
fashion. There are two tiers of lights; the lower consists of three
very high lancet-shaped lights, nearly all equal; the second of five,
the middle one being higher, and those on the sides gradually
lower."[42] They are enriched by slender columns, with leafy capitals,
and ornamented with toothed and other mouldings, presenting altogether
more gracefulness and elegance than one large window filling nearly
the whole end. In the last century Bishop Mawson had formed a design
of filling this window (for it is generally considered as one window
of eight lights,) with stained glass, and selected an artist to carry
it into effect; the work, however, was not then finished; a figure of
St. Peter, and the arms of the bishop and contemporary members of the
Chapter, are the only remains of it known to be in existence, and
these were lately removed from the centre lancet and placed in the
east window of the north triforium of the Nave. The window has at
length been completed by the liberality of Bishop Sparke, who gave in
his lifetime a large sum for that purpose.[43] The bishop died some
few years after making his munificent donation, and his two sons, Rev.
J.H. Sparke and Rev. E.B. Sparke, then Canons of the cathedral, as
Trustees of the fund, took steps to carry his wishes into effect.
Several designs were prepared, and one by Mr. Wailes was selected, but
the execution was deferred for some years in order that advantage
might be taken of further experience, and thus, if possible, to
realize some of those gorgeous effects which have made the thirteenth
century windows of Canterbury, Chartres, Bourges, and elsewhere, so
justly celebrated.

[Footnote 42: Millers' Description of Ely Cathedral, p. 76.]

[Footnote 43: See note p. 53.]

The eastern lancets were executed by Mr. Wailes in 1857, and the
representatives of the donor have good reason to be satisfied with the
result. The general effect produced is magnificent; the three lower
lancets in particular present that happy combination of sparkling
brilliancy with that somewhat mysterious indefiniteness in the
distribution of colour which is so well suited to the architectural
effect. It is sufficient to compare the present window with others in
the Cathedral, not excluding the productions of Mr. Wailes himself, to
shew the great advance which the art of glass-painting has recently
made, both in the richness of the colours employed and their
arrangement--the improvement arising, doubtless, from a more accurate
study of the great masters of the middle ages.

The figures and groups in the three noble lancets are executed with
great spirit; and although numerous, are arranged, more especially in
the central window, in masses which the eye can readily follow, and by
occupying so large a portion of the entire surface, leave little room
for the monotonous repetitions of foliage or other patterns; the
distribution of colour is also thus sufficiently varied without its
masses in one part of the window unduly preponderating over those in
another, a condition which is never grossly violated without serious
injury to just architectural effect.

In the central window of the clerestory range, the spaces between the
medallions and the border are filled with a diapered ground, which,
though rich in colour, is somewhat formal in effect; whilst the field
in the side windows, within the border, is too narrow to allow the
figures to be sufficiently separated and relieved from the rest of the
ground. It arises, probably, from these or other causes that the
general effect which the upper lancets produce, though otherwise good,
is by no means so rich and sparkling as that of the lower windows.

     The subjects of the three lower lights are illustrative of
     the history of our blessed Lord; commencing at the bottom of
     the south lancet--where is represented a figure of Jesse,
     from whose body issues a genealogical tree--and continuing
     in ascending order, through a series of nine medallions,
     following in the same manner through a similar number in
     the north lancet, and five others in the central lancet;
     alternately with these five are quatrefoils containing
     representation of types from the Old Testament of the events
     of the Passion represented in the other medallions; and in
     the segmental spaces round these quatrefoils are represented
     eighteen other incidents of the last days of the Saviour. In
     the segmental spaces in the south lancet the figures of the
     kings are disposed in pairs; and in the north lancet these
     spaces are filled with the figures of Moses, Elias, and the
     prophets; and at the bottom a kneeling figure of the donor.
     The five upper windows, two on the north and two on the
     south, contain figures of the apostles; at the top of the
     central window our Lord is represented as sitting in glory,
     beneath which are depicted four incidents which occurred
     after the Crucifixion.

The floor of the Choir has been re-laid with marble combined with
Minton's encaustic tiles, and a large marble slab has been placed over
the grave of Bishop Hotham, inlaid with brass and bearing the arms of
the see and those of the bishop, surrounded by an inscription. At the
foot of this another has been laid over the grave of Prior Crauden,
superior of the monastery at the time of the erection of the Octagon;
this is the original gravestone of the prior, but it had been removed
with several others to another part of the church; the brass insertion
has been renewed, shewing a kneeling figure with a large foliated
cross issuing from his bosom, with the initials I.C. on either side,
and surrounded by an inscription.

In the wide treading of one of the steps at the end of the stalled
choir are placed the arms of some of the benefactors to the
restoration of the Cathedral;[44] executed by Messrs. Minton. In the
Presbytery, where the absence of stall-work allows space for more
elaborate design, it will be seen much care and skill has been used,
and the effect produced is very good. The communion table is raised
five steps above the level of the floor, each step being laid in
mosaic and encaustic tiles of beautiful and varied patterns, used in
conjunction with veined, and faced with black, marble.

[Footnote 44: In the centre are the arms of the Duke of Bedford; on
the south side those of Alexander Beresford Hope, Esq., and the Rev.
T. Halford; on the north those of J. Dunn Gardner, Esq., and J.C.
Sharpe, Esq.]

The new reredos or altar screen is remarkable for its chaste but
elaborate design and richness of detail, as well as skill in
execution; and is not, perhaps, surpassed by any modern work of the
kind; our limited space will not allow us to attempt anything like an
adequate description of this beautiful work, but we will endeavour
briefly to point out the prominent features, and recommend to the
visitor a careful examination of its various details.

It comprises a centre with wings, having openings with geometrical
tracery and foliated mouldings, surmounted by an elegant cresting. The
front of the central portion is of the most beautiful design, executed
in alabaster, enriched with colour and gilding, and will doubtless
claim the first attention of the visitor. The sides of the space
occupied by the altar is covered with diaper work exhibiting a series
of roses, apparently connected together by their stems running through
the pattern under the bars of the diaper-work; above this, the whole
width is divided into five compartments--the centre one being wider
than the others--separated by enriched columns, around which are
spiral belts with cornelians and blood-stones on a gold ground, and
having elegant foliated capitals, copied from natural objects; on
these capitals stand a series of angels bearing instruments of the
passion--cross, crown of thorns, nails, spear, &c., and each having
under his feet a dragon or other reptile, typical of the triumph over
Satan by the Sacrifice of the Atonement. The lower part of each
compartment is occupied by quatrefoils ornamented with ball-flowers,
and filled in with mosaic work of _verd antique_, _rosso antico_,
_gialo antico_, and _lapis lazuli_: above these are panels containing
alto-relievo sculptures of great excellence, the subjects taken from
the life of the Saviour; beginning on the north side, we find Christ's
entry into Jerusalem, Christ washing His disciples' feet, the
Institution of the Sacrament, Christ's agony in the Garden, and Christ
bearing His cross: another series of spiral pillars stand in the front
and on the sides of these panels with capitals similar to those
already mentioned. These pillars have their spiral course in the
opposite direction to the former, which adds to the general beauty of
the whole. Above the sculptured panels, each of the four side
compartments is surmounted by two small gables with their outer
mouldings foliated, crowned with a finial, and finished at the bottom
by a grotesque figure of a dragon or other animal; the inner face of
each gable contains within a circle a head in bas-relief, those on the
north side representing the major prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel,
and Daniel; those on the south represent four doctors of the church,
Jerome, Ambrose, Augustine, and Gregory; the other portions being
filled in with mosaic work. The centre compartment has three
projecting canopies, the faces of which are enriched with mosaic, the
angles are crocketed, and finished at the bottom with roses and
grotesque figures. Above the centre canopy, on a lofty enriched
pinnacle, stands a figure of our Lord; on the north side, on a lower
pinnacle, stands a figure of Moses; and on the south side a figure of
Elias, the three being typical of the Transfiguration.

The upper portion of the white stone screen behind the alabaster work
is also divided into five compartments of open work with geometrical
tracery; in front rise five gables, the centre being larger and higher
than the others. The outer mouldings of the centre gable are enriched
with foliated crocketing with which is intermixed the early church
symbol--pelican feeding her young--and the apex surmounted by a figure
of our Lord enthroned: the inner portion of the gable contains, in a
trefoil, a basso-relievo of the Annunciation, in alabaster. The four
side compartments are also surmounted by gables, on the top of which
stand respectively the figures of the four Evangelists, in alabaster,
their respective emblems being worked in the crockets; on the inner
faces of the gables, within trefoils, are busts in relief, those on
the north side represent Mary Magdelene and Mary the mother of James;
those on the south, St. John the Baptist and St. John the divine; the
remaining space in each gable being filled in with mosaic. Outside and
between these gables rise spiral pillars, on the tops of which are
placed figures of the virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity, on the north
side; and of the graces, Justice, Prudence, and Fortitude, on the
south side, executed in alabaster.

The wings also are of white stone, and not so high as the centre; in
each are three openings with geometrical tracery; and below these
openings the wall is covered with diaper-work of an elegant pattern.

The portion of this screen, which forms the reredos, is the munificent
gift of John Dunn Gardner, Esq., of Chatteris, in this county, and
designed as a memorial to his first wife. The work took upwards of
five years to execute, and cost about £4000. Some of the more
important of the sculptures, mosaics, and other decorations, were
suggested by the donor, and the whole was designed by Sir G.G. Scott,
and affords a magnificent example of his skill and taste. The
stone-work, including the architectural carving, was executed by Mr.
Rattee and his successors, at Cambridge; the sculptures by Mr. Philip;
the mosaics by Mr. Field; and the gilding and painting by Mr. Hudson.

The Reredos was expressly designed with reference to a painted window
placed behind it: it is hardly necessary to say that it is greatly
benefitted by the general reduction of the glare of light, which
rendered the outlines of much of the statuary and more delicate
ornaments undistinguishable at a distance, but still more by the
transmission through it of glimpses of the most beautiful colours,
which change with every movement, however slight, in the position of
the eye, and whose very indistinctness and transitory character
contributes not a little to the effect which they tend to produce on
the mind.

The altar being raised above the level of the floor shews to advantage
the magnificent altar cloth, which is of rich crimson velvet,
embroidered with much taste and skill by Miss Agnes and Miss Ellen
Blencowe, and is thought to be worthy of the best ages of Mediæval
embroidery. "Its length is divided into three parts; the middle
containing a very beautiful figure of our Lord as risen, contained
within a pointed aureole of a deep blue colour, and bordered by
radiating beams. Broad orphreys embroidered in flowers divide the
middle compartment from the sides, which are of red velvet powdered
with conventional flowers;"[45] the largest were copied from ancient
examples at East Langdon, Kent, and the others from Ottery,
Somersetshire. The following passage is worked in gold on the

     [Maltese cross symbol] "+Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi
     dona nobis pacem. Agnus Dei, miserere nobis.+"[46] [Maltese
     cross symbol]

[Footnote 45: Ecclesiologist.]

[Footnote 46: "O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,
grant us Thy peace. Lamb of God, have mercy upon us."]

We now direct our attention to the monuments in the Choir, and
commence with the first arch on the south side of the Presbytery which
is occupied by the once gorgeous monument of Bishop de Luda, or Louth
(1290-1298), it consists of a lofty central arch with smaller openings
on the sides; above the arches are enriched gables with pinnacles and
finials; over the centre arch in a trefoil is a figure of the Saviour;
the restoration of the north side of this monument will afford some
idea of its original appearance; the effect has been somewhat subdued
by the softened light from the east window. The indent in the
gravestone under the arch leaves no doubt of its having been once
finished with a brass effigy.

The next arch contains the tomb of Bishop Barnet (1366-1373); it is of
Purbeck marble, with quatrefoils on the sides, and had originally the
effigy of the bishop engraved in brass on the table of the tomb.

Under the third arch is the high monument of John Tiptoft, earl of
Worcester, one of the patrons of Caxton, the first English printer;
this is in the Perpendicular style, but less beautiful than that of
Bishop Redman, on the opposite side: on the table of the tomb are the
effigies of the earl and his two wives; the two latter only were
buried here, the earl having been beheaded and buried in London in

The tomb of Bishop Hotham (1316-1337) has been partially restored and
placed in the next arch, on the south side of the altar; it formerly
stood under a high canopy on the north side, but originally in the
first arch of his own work. There was probably a recumbent figure on
the top, but it has long since disappeared.

Opposite to this, on the north side of the altar, on a base of Purbeck
marble, are placed the interesting remains of the tomb of Bishop
Northwold (1229-1254), the munificent founder of the Presbytery, which
were originally placed over his grave in the centre of his own work.
It is a large slab of Purbeck marble, highly adorned with carving;
perhaps one of the finest specimens of its period: the effigy of the
prelate is represented as resting beneath a cinquefoil canopy in his
robes, bearing his crosier, with a lion and dragon under his feet;
beneath this is a representation of the martyrdom of St. Edmund, a
prince of East Anglia, by the Danes, commemorative of his having been
lord abbot of Bury before he was preferred to the see of Ely; the
niches in the sides of the prelate's stall have statuettes--on the
left, St. Etheldreda, an abbess crowned, and a nun; on the right, a
king, an abbot, and a monk: at the top on each side of the head are
angels with censers, and other symbolical figures.

The monument or shrine which was formerly placed over the tomb of
Bishop Hotham, has been in part restored, and now occupies the third
arch on the north side. This, with the tomb now on the south side of
the altar under it, originally stood in the first arch of his own
work, near his place of sepultre; it is in the Decorated style, and
was richly coloured and gilded. Part of it was cut away in order to
make room for the stalls when the choir occupied the six eastern
arches, but this has been rebuilt. This is now thought to have been
part of the sub-structure of the shrine of St. Etheldreda, as adapted
by Alan de Walsingham.

The second arch from the west, is occupied by the tomb of Bishop
Kilkenny (1254-1256,) who died at Sugho, in Spain, while on an embassy
to the Spanish Court; his body was buried there, his heart being only
interred here. The tomb is of Purbeck marble, and is a fine example of
the Early English style. The bishop is represented as in the act of
benediction, with a pastoral staff, and in full pontificals; his head
is shown as resting on a cushion, and is surmounted by a trefoil arch
with a crocketed gable, and a censer-bearing angel on each side.

In the next, or more western arch, is the beautiful monument of Bishop
Redman (1501-1505). It is a fine specimen of the Perpendicular Style,
and is richly ornamented with niches and canopies, and a variety of
shields with arms, and emblems of the passion; the effigy of the
bishop is recumbent on a high tomb under a rich canopy, with a space
left at the foot for a chantry priest. Passing through this space we
enter the

+North Aisle of the Choir,+

and first proceeding towards the western end of it, we notice the new
back screens which have been erected to mask the stall work in two of
the bays, and against which have been placed the monuments of Bishop
Fleetwood (1714-1723), and of his son Dr. Charles Fleetwood (1737);
the third bay is occupied by the new and elegant staircase to the
organ; it is of open work, richly carved, with foliated mouldings and

Opposite to this, in the north wall, is a beautiful door-arch,
formerly the means of communication with the Lady Chapel; it has
statues in large niches on each side, many smaller niches, crockets,
and finials, and over the keystone a sitting figure; the mouldings and
ornaments were originally beautified by colours and gilding, but all
are injured and defaced, and the figures have disappeared.

A little further eastward is the memorial brass laid over the grave of
Mr. Bassevi, the eminent architect of the Fitzwilliam Museum at
Cambridge, who was accidentally killed by a fall in the western Tower
in 1845.

The monuments of Bishop Redman and Kilkenny, which we noticed in our
survey of the Choir, are in their original places; and we now pass in
succession those of Bishops Patrick (1691-1707), Mawson (1754-1770),
and Laney (1667-1675). In 1770 many monuments were removed from the
Presbytery to make room for the Choir, and a few were again removed
for the purpose of carrying out the recent arrangements. In the last
bay but one (now opening to the Retro-Choir) stood the monument of
Bishop Gray (1454-1478), but the gravestone only remains, from which
the brass has been removed. The arms of this prelate may be observed
in the sides of three of the windows of this aisle, no doubt altered
by him to their present form.

     The first or western window of the Presbytery has been
     filled with stained glass executed by M. Lusson, of Paris,
     illustrative of the history of St. John the Baptist; the
     gift of the Rev. Chancellor Sparke.

     The second window, executed by Messrs. Clayton and Bell,
     contains subjects illustrative of the miracles; designed as
     a memorial of the Rev. J.H. Sparke, many years Canon of the
     Cathedral, and Chancellor of the Diocese.

     The third window, by the same artist, also contains subjects
     illustrative of the miracles; designed as a memorial of
     Agneta, widow of Chancellor Sparke.

     The fourth window, executed by Mr. Hughes, contains subjects
     from the parables--the wheat and tares, the vineyard, and
     the lost sheep; and the miraculous draught of fishes,
     designed as a memorial of Eliza, widow of Canon Fardell.

     The fifth window, executed by Mr. Ward, contains in the two
     western lights subjects from the parable of the ten virgins;
     and in the others illustrations of the passage in Matt. XXV.
     35, 36. "I was an hungered and ye gave me meat," &c.;
     designed as a memorial of Rev. H. Fardell, Canon of Ely.

At the end of this aisle, occupying the space of one bay, is the
+Chapel of Bishop Alcock+, (1486-1500), who was comptroller of works
under Henry VII., and founder of Jesus College, Cambridge. The chapel
is in the Perpendicular style, and was built A.D. 1488, as appears
from a stone found underground some years ago, and inserted in the
wall under the east window, bearing the following inscription,
scarcely legible:

     "+Johanes Alkoc epus Eliesis hanc fabrica fieri fecit.

The ornamental portion is curiously executed, but the pinnacles are
disproportioned and crowded, presenting a confused and heavy
appearance; the vaulted ceiling is rich and elaborate, with a large
pendent of curious workmanship in the centre. The principal entrance
is on the west, but there is a door on the south side; and the
bishop's tomb is on the north side with a window behind containing
some fragments of stained glass. It is probable from its appearance
that the monument contained two effigies, one representing the bishop
in his pontifical robes and another on a higher ledge, which
represented a body in a state of decay, as contrasting life and death.
A carved oak door at the foot of the monument appears as an entrance
to a chantry, or as by some supposed to have been a confessional. The
bishop was buried in the centre of the chapel; his favorite device--a
rebus of his name--a cock standing on a globe, and his arms may be
seen in the window and in several other places. The chapel has been
much defaced and many figures and ornaments have disappeared, but
something has been done towards restoration at the cost of the Master
and Fellows of Jesus College; the new portion of the floor was laid at
the cost of the Rev. Lord Aylwyne Compton; and we hope ere long to see
the east window filled with stained glass, which will contribute much
to its improvement.

+The Retro-Choir.+

This occupies the space of the two eastern bays of the Cathedral,
allowing a passage behind the altar-screen from one aisle to the
other, and affords a good position for a closer inspection of the
lower portions of the east window, under which are some remains of
ancient decoration on the wall.

Nearly under the central window, a memorial brass has been laid over
the grave of Canon Fardell, who died in 1854, and of his widow, who
died in 1861; to whose memories respectively the two stained glass
windows were inserted in the north aisle of the Choir, noticed in p.
79. Near this stands an ancient oaken chest, covered with elaborate
and curious ironwork, with four locks.

Behind the new altar-screen, beneath a large and costly slab of
Alexandrine mosaic, is the grave of Bishop Allen (1836-1845), to whose
memory a monument in white marble has been erected in the south aisle
of the Choir. A little further southward is a monument erected over
the grave of Dr. Mill, Canon of Ely, and Regius Professor of Hebrew in
the University of Cambridge, who died in 1853. It is an altar tomb of
serpentine and alabaster, ornamented with marble mosaic and polished
stones, bearing a recumbent effigy of Dr. Mill in his robes; at the
feet are two kneeling figures, one an oriental character, and the
other a student; the figure is in copper and was formed by the
electrotype process. It was designed by Sir G.G. Scott, and executed
by Mr. Philip.

In the eastern bay on the south side is a monument of Cardinal de
Luxemburg, Archbishop of Rouen, and Bishop of Ely (1438-1443). This
monument was for many years hidden by a screen, but on the removal of
the Choir the screen was taken away and the monument partially
restored, the figure remains but the head is gone. The Cardinal-bishop
died at Hatfield, and his body was buried at Ely, but his heart was
conveyed to his Cathedral at Rouen. The niches and canopies with their
finials in the tympanum of the arch above this monument will attract
attention, being chaste and elegant; they are similar to those in the
interior of Bishop West's chapel, but are in a more perfect state.

+South Aisle of the Choir.+

The eastern portion of this aisle is occupied by the elegant mortuary
+Chapel of Bishop West+, (1515-1534), filling the space of one bay in
a similar way to that of Bishop Alcock in the north aisle. It is a
rich specimen of that gorgeous style by some called the "Florid
English," by others the "Perpendicular," but when that style was
verging into "Renaissance." The niches and canopies are very numerous,
and almost endless in variety of size, shape, and decoration. There
are places for upwards of two hundred statues, large and small; and
some of the carved heads were of medallion size, and well executed. It
is impossible to contemplate this beautiful oratory, even in its
mutilated state, but with feelings of admiration; the taste of the
designer, no less than the execution of the sculptor, are wonderful,
and although every part is covered with niches, pedestals, and
canopies, interspersed with relievos, grotesque designs and ornaments,
the whole appears light and airy. The ceilings of the canopies are
covered with tracery that can only be compared to lace-work
exquisitely varied and finished; the ceiling and pendents are
deserving attention; the former is divided into lozenge shaped
compartments of different sizes, all are coloured, and on many of them
are painted the arms of the see, and those of the founder of the
chapel; the pendents are formed by figures of angels holding the same
arms and those of Henry VIII. Over the door on the inside is this


and the same without the date and the word "id" is to be seen in
several other places both within and without. The gates are worthy of
notice as originals, and as specimens of wrought-iron work of that
period. This chapel, which is the burial place of Bishop West, may be
compared with that built by him in the parish church of his
birth-place, Putney; but every part of it has suffered the most
barbarous mutilation, not a figure can be found perfect, all have been
removed or defaced, probably in consequence of an order in council
made A.D. 1547-8, against the Romish superstition, and for removing
images out of churches; or it might have been done by the Puritans in
the time of the Protector (Cromwell), whose soldiers it is stated,
made use of the Cathedral as stabling for their horses.

Bishop Keene (1771-1781), was also buried here; and Bishop Sparke
(1812-1836) and Mrs. Sparke were interred in this chapel, to whose
memories the monument at the east end has been erected, and the
stained glass window behind is inserted:

     The window was executed by Mr. Evans, of Shrewsbury, and
     contains figures of the four Evangelists, with St. John the
     Baptist in the centre; the tracery being filled with
     appropriate emblems and ornamental devices.

A slab of black marble, inlaid with a foliated cross, the arms of the
sees of Chester and Ely, and surrounded by an inscription in brass,
has been laid over the grave of Bishop Sparke, and the gravestones of
Bishops West and Keene have been replaced, and the remainder of the
floor laid with encaustic tiles.

Some fragments of stained glass may be seen in a window on the south
side, under which stand the remains of Bishop West's monument. Just
above this, in seven small arches, closed with as many stones
inscribed with names and dates, are immured the remains of seven
eminent persons[47] of the tenth and eleventh centuries, who were
originally interred in the Conventual church, but from which they were
removed in 1154, and the small chests which contained their remains,
were placed in the north wall of the Choir of the present Cathedral;
and when the position of the Choir was altered in 1770 they were again
removed, and deposited in their present resting places.

[Footnote 47: Wolstan, Archbishop of York; Osmund, a Swedish bishop;
Ednoth, Bishop of Dorchester (Lincoln); Alfwyn, Elfgar, and Athelstan,
severally Bishops of Elmham; and Brithnoth, Duke of Northumberland. An
interesting account of the removal of these remains may be found in
the Addenda to Bentham's History, vol. ii. p. 23, &c.]

The perspective view westward through the south aisles of the Choir
and the Nave is worthy of notice for the various intersections of the
arches and groinings, as seen from a narrow window in the west side of
the chapel, or from the door.

The architecture of the south aisle is similar to the north aisle, and
the windows were probably altered to their present form about the same
period as those in the north aisle. Five of them (as on the other
side) have been filled with stained glass:

     The first window from the chapel, executed by Messrs.
     Clayton and Bell, contains subjects taken from the Parables;
     designed as a memorial of Astley Sparke, Esq., (son of the
     Rev. Chancellor Sparke,) who was killed in the celebrated
     cavalry charge at Balaclava in 1854.

     The second window was executed by Mr. Cottingham, and
     contains subjects from the history of Lazarus; the joint
     gift of Lady Buxton and of her son, Sir Robert Buxton,
     Bart., of Shadwell Park, Norfolk.

     The third window contains incidents in the history of the
     Saviour, and of St. John; executed by Messrs. Clayton and
     Bell: the gift of Mrs. Pratt, youngest daughter of Bishop

     The fourth window, by the same artists, contains subjects
     illustrative of the history of St. Peter; the gift of the
     same lady, as a memorial of her husband, Colonel Pratt.

     The fifth window, by the same artists, contains subjects
     illustrative of the history of our Lord: given by the same

Under the second window from the chapel is an arched recess, which is
thought to have formed an entrance to the church for the convenience
of the sisters and others attendant on the sick in the Infirmary which
stood near, but it has been closed on the exterior for many years. The
interior may have been since used as a receptacle for relics; now it
is occupied as a receptacle for a beautiful life-size effigy of Dr.
Selwyn, for upwards of forty years Canon of Ely, and for many years St
Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge;[48] who died in 1875. The
figure is represented as vested in cassock, surplice, and stole, with
the hands joined as in prayer, in white statuary marble, and resting
on a moulded base of Purbeck marble. The cost was defrayed by
subscriptions from several noblemen and gentlemen formerly Eton

[Footnote 48: The Professor left the sum of £10,000 towards the
erection of Divinity Schools in connection with the University of
Cambridge, which have just been completed.]

Near this we may notice an ancient gravestone, or part of a monument
found under the floor of the nave in St. Mary's Church, in 1829. It
represents an angel with wings raised above the head, bearing a small
naked figure, probably representing the soul of a bishop, as a crozier
appears at the side; the angel has on a kind of cope with an
ornamental border; and around the head is a large circular aureole,
and the canopy shows a mass of buildings with semicircular arches.
There is an inscription on the rim, "_St. Michael oret p' me_." To
whose memory it was executed it is impossible to say, but it is
doubtless of great interest.

A good view of the organ may be had from this aisle by looking over
the tomb in the fourth bay from the chapel.

Several other monuments to former prelates of the church, and to other
persons, may be observed in this aisle: one to Bishop Gunning
(1675-1684), worthy of remembrance as the author of the "Prayer for
all sorts and conditions of men." Near the foot of this monument is a
piscina in the wall. A little further we find one to Bishop Heton
(1600-1609), occupying the fifth bay, and is perhaps the only instance
since the Reformation, of the effigy of a bishop in a cope ornamented
with saints; the figures on the left border are those of St.
Bartholomew, St. Matthias, St. Andrew, St. Peter, and St. John.

Before passing on to the few remaining monuments we will notice the
only two specimens of ancient memorial brasses, of which there were
many in the Cathedral, as appears by the numerous incised stones in
different parts of the church, many of them were evidently of a rich
and elaborate character, but all, with the above exception, have
disappeared by the act of the mercenary or the fanatic. The first is a
memorial to Bishop Goodrich (1534-1554), a singular instance of a hot
reformer commemorated by a brass in which are pourtrayed all the
ecclesiastical vestments, he holds his crozier in his left hand, and
in his right he carries a Bible from which depends the great seal of
England, the bishop having been appointed Lord High Chancellor in
1551; the inscription has been removed. The other is in memory of
Humphrey Tyndall, fourth dean of the Cathedral (1591-1614), who is
represented in his robes, with a square-cut beard; an inscription is
engraved in the border, and the following lines beneath the feet of
the effigy:


     "In presence, gouerment, good actions and in birth,
     Graue, wise, couragious, Noble was this earth,
     The poor, the church, the colledge saye here lyes
     'A friende, A Deane, A maister, true, good, wise.'"

We have now an opportunity of noticing the piers which separate Bishop
Northwold's work from that of Bishop Hotham; "they are," as Mr.
Millers observes, "a combination of the two sorts of column severally
in use at the respective times at which the two fabrics were erected;
the east side has the small shafts distinct from the main column, and
the west side is clustered, and where they meet is a niche for a
statue."[49] In the niche on this side is a tablet to the memory of
the Rev. James Bentham, Canon of Ely, and author of "The History and
Antiquities of Ely Cathedral," a work of acknowledged merit, the
result of many years' labour and research. He died in 1794, aged 86.

[Footnote 49: Millers' Description of Ely Cathedral, p. 89.]

The monument to Robert Steward, Esq., who died A.D. 1570, is next in
our route, and beyond that one to Sir Mark Steward, who died A.D.
1603, both examples of no particular style. In the last bay is the
monument erected to the memory of Bishop Allen, whose gravestone we
noticed in passing the retro-choir; on the table of the monument is a
reclining figure of the prelate in his robes, in white marble,
considered to be a good likeness.

Back-screens to mask the stalls, similar to those in the north aisle,
have been erected on this side, against which have been placed the
monuments of Bishop Moore (1707-1714), Bishop Butts (1738-1748), and
Bishop Greene (1723-1738). On the pillar between the two last is a
tablet to the memory of William Lynne, gentleman, of Bassingbourne,
the first husband of Elizabeth, daughter of William Steward, of Ely,
and afterwards mother of Oliver Cromwell.

The new screens with gates at the western end of the aisles are worthy
of notice as specimens of modern work in wrought iron; they were
executed by Mr. Skidmore, of Coventry, from designs by Sir G.G. Scott.
That in the south aisle was given by G.A. Lowndes, Esq., of Barrington
Hall, Essex; and that in the north aisle by Dean Peacock.

Near the Library door is a simple memorial stone[50] to Dean Peacock,
the great promoter of the recent restorations, who died in 1858, and
was buried in the Cemetery. Just below this is an elegant memorial
brass to the Rev. Solomon Smith, M.A., for over forty years a Minor
Canon of the Cathedral, and for many years Incumbent of St. Mary's.

[Footnote 50: See note, p. 50.]

Several other memorial remains may be observed in various parts of the
church, but to enumerate them or to point them out would exceed our
limits, one we may notice in passing, that of Dean Cæsar (1614-1636),
which has been removed from a position it long occupied in the north
aisle of the Choir, to the junction of that aisle with the closed end
of the eastern aisle of the north Transept, near the new pulpit.

We may also notice a new oaken lectern or reading desk near the
pulpit, containing a beautifully carved figure representative of the
first beatitude, under a cinquefoil canopy, the gift of the Very Rev.
the Dean.

"Of fifty-four bishops of Ely," says Mr. Millers, "thirty-five are
known to have been buried in this Cathedral, and two in the Lady
Chapel. Of these thirty-seven, there are memorials of twenty; some of
them very scanty and much mutilated, and many removed from the spots
where the bodies of those whom they commemorate repose. Of the other
seventeen, there were no doubt, similar memorials, but they 'are
perished as though they had never been.'"[51] Since the above was
written two others have been buried in the Cathedral--Bishop Sparke
in West's chapel, and Bishop Allen behind the altar screen, as we have
noticed; Bishop Turton (1845-1864), was buried at Kensal Green.

[Footnote 51: Millers' Description of Ely Cathedral, p. 85.]

       *       *       *       *       *

+The Lady Chapel.+

We will now direct the attention of the visitor to this most
interesting building, which stands on the north side of the Cathedral,
parallel with the Choir, and is approached through a doorway at the
north-east corner of the north Transept. This chapel was erected in
the early part of the fourteenth century, the first stone being laid
on Lady-day, 1321, by Alan de Walsingham, then sub-prior, and the
whole was completed A.D. 1349. The works were carried on chiefly under
the charge of John de Wisbech, one of the monks, who, it is stated,
whilst assisting in digging the foundations, found a brazen pot of old
coins buried in the earth, and which proved a great assistance in
carrying on the work. This was, perhaps, one of the most beautiful and
elaborate specimens of the Decorated style in England; and as Mr.
Stewart observes, "must have been a perfect storehouse of statuary and
elaborate tabernacle work." Even in its present dilapidated state it
will amply repay a careful examination. It was dedicated to St. Mary,
and after the Reformation, was (in 1566) assigned by the Dean and
Chapter for the use of the inhabitants of the parish of Holy Trinity
in lieu of their own church then in ruins, and has since been
frequently called "Trinity Church."

This is, perhaps, the widest single-span church in the kingdom, being
46 feet in width; the length is 100 feet, and the height 60 feet to
the centre of the ceiling. Its length is divided into five severies,
in each of which, on both sides, is a window of great size with four
lights and rich tracery, in some of which are fragments of the
original stained glass, sufficient to indicate that they were all, at
one period, entirely so filled. The end windows are noble and
spacious, the west window having eight lights, and the east window
seven, both have transoms, and each with tracery differing from the
other, and from the windows in the sides. Both are insertions of a
somewhat later date than the building, the east window by Bishop
Barnet about 1373, and the other a little later.

The walls everywhere display a rich profusion and variety of ornament,
once beautified with colouring and gilding, but some years ago covered
with whitewash; a few faint traces of its former splendour may yet be
found in various parts of the chapel, enough perhaps to shew that it
must have been gorgeous in the extreme.

A low bench table runs along the walls and carries a series of niches
with canopies richly decorated, the piers of which rise from the
floor, but each is divided into two by a slender pillar rising from
the bench table; the arcade on the north side consists of nineteen
tabernacles separated by square pilasters of Purbeck marble; there are
five sets of three each under the windows, and the remaining four fill
up the intermediate spaces between the five groups. The canopy of each
of the fifteen tabernacles consists of a head of singular beauty,
radiated and inclined forwards, on the apex is, or was, the figure of
a saint; above these is a hood-mould crocketed, and terminating with a
finial. The other four are wider, and instead of the figure of a saint
on the apex each terminates in a group of three elaborately carved
brackets or corbels, which support two other ranges of niches in
pairs, surmounted by ornamented canopies, and between them runs a
roof-shaft, from which spring the ribs of the vaulting, which is
similar to that of the stalled Choir. The spandrils of the tabernacle
work is filled with diaper work and alto relievos which are supposed
to represent some legendary history, most probably that of the virgin.

The south side is similar to the north, except that the range of
tabernacles is broken by doorways. The west end contains eight of
these tabernacles, and at the east end a larger niche occupied the
centre with others on the sides, but these were altered at a later
period. The altar is elevated above the level of the floor, and the
niches on the side walls are raised in accordance. Large niches are
placed on the sides of all the windows, and a pierced parapet standing
on an entablature formed of a receding hollow, runs under the side
windows only.

The backs of the niches and indeed many parts of the chapel show
remains of rich colouring; the ceiling was painted a rich blue studded
with silver stars, the bosses at the intersections of the ribs
represented flowers, foliage, and grotesque masks, and some of those
along the mid-rib represented emblems of the nativity, crucifixion,
the virgin, &c.; they had been richly coloured and gilded, but, like
other parts of the building, have been defaced and injured; and every
person who sees it must feel a deep regret that so beautiful a
building should ever reach such a stage of desecration.

A few modern monumental tablets are placed on the walls, but they
diminish rather than increase the decoration: some others have been
removed to the entrance, and in 1865 the close pews were taken away
and replaced by open seats; the organ has been enlarged and its
position changed, which does not improve the appearance of the church;
some of the windows have been re-glazed and other improvements
effected. The present Incumbent is the Rev. E.H. Lowe, M.A.

The position of the Lady Chapel here is rather unusual, it is
generally placed at the east end of the Church; but in some few
instances that honourable position was appropriated to the shrine of
the local saint; here it was occupied by the shrine of St. Etheldreda,
whose final resting place was within the apse of the original Choir,
before the Presbytery was built.

       *       *       *       *       *

+The Upper parts of the Church.+

To those who may feel disposed to explore the upper parts of the
church, facilities are afforded by a staircase commencing at the
south-west Transept leading to the western Tower; and by another
leading from the north Transept; but permission must be obtained, for
which an application should be made to the Verger in attendance. The
ascent, though tedious, is not dangerous, if due caution be used. Many
parts will be found worthy of attention; the timber work of the
Octagon is a very curious piece of carpentry executed in English oak,
and very massive. A fine view of the interior may be had by standing
against the upper tier of the windows at the east end, and looking
westward; and another from the great Tower, by looking eastward
through one of the openings near the clock face in the Nave. An
extensive view of the surrounding country may be obtained from the
summit of the Tower, exhibiting a complete panorama of the district,
with several churches peeping from among the trees, and the river Ouse
tracing its meandering course towards the sea, while corn-fields,
meadows, and pastures contribute towards the beauty of the scene.

+Exterior of the Cathedral.+

After a careful examination of the interior, the visitor will do well
to look round the exterior. We will continue our observations for his
guidance and assistance, starting from the western front where we
began; or by leaving the Cathedral by the north door into the
church-yard, we turn to the left hand towards the north-west corner of
the building, and proceed eastward.

While we are on the spot it may be well to observe the burial-ground
near us, where lie the remains of generation after generation of
former inhabitants of the town. Reader, let thy foot tread lightly
hereabout, for the dust it presses on is all that remains of the
earthly portion of creatures once breathing and living like yourself.
What a lesson is afforded us when we contemplate, on the one hand the
works of men of ages long past, but still standing as monuments of
their skill and piety, and on the other the graves of the silent dead;
the heads which planned and the hands which executed, where are they?
Long since consigned to earth. All must feel, more or less, the
influence of impressions to which such thoughts and scenes give rise,
and may such feelings cause us to remember that we are but dust, and
that we must, perhaps soon, become as those who lie beneath our feet!

     "Our time is fixed, and all our days are numbered,
     How long, how short, we know not."--_Blair_.

The church-yard has been closed from burials for some years, and a
cemetery has been formed a short distance from the town for the use of
both parishes, as well as for the precincts which are extra-parochial.
Many of the gravestones have been laid down, others removed, but a few
inscriptions might be found which would afford food for meditation to
those who may feel inclined to examine them.

       *       *       *       *       *

At the commencement of our survey we examined the western front, and
will now turn our attention to the remains of the north-west Transept.
Some persons have doubted whether this wing ever existed, but Sir.
G.G. Scott, in his able Lecture on the Cathedral, delivered at the
Etheldreda Festival in October, 1873, gave good reasons for believing
that it was built at the same time as the Tower and the south wing;
and we cannot but think the ruins give strong evidence of its having
been similar in all respects to that on the south side. There is in
this, as in the other, a grand semicircular arch on the eastern side,
and portions of another which probably communicated with some chapel,
of which however there are neither remains nor record. It would appear
that after the fall of the original wing a new building was begun on
the same spot, not however of the same dimensions, and carried but a
few feet and then discontinued. A band of panelling in the western
face of the buttress corresponds with the work on the monument of
Bishop Redman, who died in 1505, but the fall of the Transept took
place some years, probably a century, before that. The arches built
within the original arches of the Tower to afford additional support
are believed to have been erected in the early part of the fifteenth

We have reasons to hope that steps will ere long be taken to raise a
fund towards rebuilding this Transept;[52] which would indeed be a
grand improvement, and worthy the support, not only of the Diocese of
Ely but of the nation at large.

[Footnote 52: At the meeting of the Diocesan Conference at Ely, in
July, 1874, the subject of the Restorations of the Cathedral was
discussed, and the following Resolution passed unanimously.--"That it
is desirable that a Diocesan Committee of Clergy and Laity, with
Branch Committees in each Archdeaconry, be formed to co-operate with
the Bishop, Dean, and Chapter, for raising funds to carry on the
Restoration of the Cathedral by rebuilding in the first instance,
after the completion of the works now in hand, the north-west
Transept."--_Ely Conference Report, 1874._]

A good view of the Nave may be obtained as it is unobstructed through
its whole length. A band of treble billet moulding runs under the
lower windows; a double hatched moulding under the second tier; and
immediately below the parapet is the ornament called the corbel table;
these with the billet moulding round the clerestory windows, are in
excellent preservation. The parapet on the wall of the aisle is
embattled, that above the clerestory windows is plain. Although at one
time battlements ran the whole length on both sides, those on the
north were removed nearly one hundred years ago. The windows in the
clerestory retain their original form, but those of the two lower
tiers have been altered. Over one of the lower windows there appears a
date (1662), probably referring to the period of some important
repairs or alterations on this side. The removal of the ruins of the
old Church of St. Cross, which stood near this spot, took place in
the reign of Elizabeth, when the use of the Lady Chapel was granted to
the parish of Holy Trinity.

We next turn our attention to the Octagon, which forms a grand central
point from which radiate the four principal parts of the church--the
Nave, the Choir, and the north and south arms of the Transept. Here
originally stood a large square Norman Tower, which fell down in 1322,
and was replaced by the present building; it is not an exact octagon,
having four longer sides adjoining the four main portions of the
building, and four shorter sides at the angles. The design was a grand
one, but whether it was ever fully carried out is somewhat doubtful,
the stone-work is carried up to a height a little above the roof of
the Nave, &c., but the Lantern above is of English oak covered with
lead. From a strong buttress, surmounted by a pinnacle, at each of the
angles formed by the walls of the Nave and Choir aisles with those of
the Transept spring two massive flying buttresses, abutting octagonal
turrets at each angle of the Octagon; these turrets were probably
originally designed to be finished with pinnacles, and thus form a
corona; between them runs a pierced parapet formerly surmounted by a
bold cresting of leaves and other ornaments; and there are bases of
pillars at the cardinal points. These pinnacles with the cresting have
just been completed in Clipsham stone, by Mr. Wood, of Ely, in a
manner highly creditable to his skill, and greatly to the improvement
of the appearance of the building. Beneath the parapet, instead of a
corbel table, there is a deep hollow, with running leaves, and small
ball flowers at intervals. The sides of the Octagon are adorned with
an arcade of pointed arches, some of which are pierced and glazed to
admit light; the longer sides have six, and the shorter three, of
these arches. In each of the turrets is a winding stair communicating
respectively with the main parts of the building. The Lantern above is
of two stories, the lower, (which is open to the interior of the
Octagon) is lighted by windows assimilating with the large windows in
the angles of the Octagon; the upper story is lighted by louvres as
adapted to a belfry, for which purpose this chamber was originally
designed; the lower windows have been reconstructed, a series of
flying buttresses (which had been taken away) have been re-placed
against the angle divisions, which are finished with embattled turrets
instead of pinnacles, and between them runs an open-work parapet. The
whole of the Lantern has been repaired, and the exterior wood work
re-covered with lead.

The portion of the north Transept which fell down in 1699, although
soon afterwards carefully restored, and the mouldings and ornaments
nicely replaced, may yet be distinguished from the old work: the
Tuscan door-arch, however, in its northern face, is quite out of place
here, not according with the style of the building in which it is
placed. The restorations were executed under the directions of Sir
Christopher Wren. The northern face of the Transept shows two pairs of
Norman windows, the second pair being longer than those in the lower
tier; above these is an arcade of small arches, and over these are two
high Perpendicular windows, which reach partly into the gable. Over
the doorway in the eastern aisle is an original Norman window, and in
the western aisle is a replaced one.

The west front of the Lady Chapel[53] is richly decorated with niches,
and has a noble window, under which is an arcade of small arches
formed entirely in the thickness of the wall, in the back of some of
which may be seen traces of coloured decoration; the gable point is
adorned with a niche rising above the pierced parapet running up the
sides. On each side of the building are five large windows, the
tracery of which is much decayed, having been executed in a softer
kind of stone than the walls. Between each two windows is a deep
projecting buttress surmounted by a crocketed pinnacle; at the angles
are double buttresses, on which are two kinds of tabernacles, both are
square and occupy the breadth of the buttress, the upper one is
recessed in the body of the buttress, the lower one is open on three
sides, and had small pillars at the front angles rising from the
set-off and carrying the projecting canopy; the tops being finished
with crocketed pinnacles. The east end is not so richly ornamented as
the west; the window is a very fine one but not so large as the
western one, and there are no niches on the sides nor beneath it.

[Footnote 53: Now in course of restoration.]

The north side of the Choir is somewhat hidden by the Lady Chapel,
which stands parallel to it, although the latter is much shorter; but
a better view may be had by going between them. An opportunity is also
thus afforded of observing the original Norman windows of the
triforium of the Transept.

The windows of the aisle are uniform in size and shape, those of the
triforium are nearly similar, but all were originally lancet-shaped,
but altered to their present form in the latter part of the fifteenth
century. The aisle roof of the two western bays of Bishop Northwold's
work (the six eastern bays) was perhaps originally as high as the
other parts, but altered at a later period; the tracery of these
windows on the north side remains, but on the south side there is a
difference which should be noticed. The lighter style of architecture
and the large windows of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries made
the support of buttresses necessary, in this instance they are deep,
and surmounted by crocketed pinnacles; on the sides of many of them
are gargoyles, or water-spouts of grotesque figures; flying buttresses
are sometimes used in addition, reaching from the side buttresses to
the clerestory walls, thus forming an important addition to the
support as well as to the external beauty of the fabric: of this the
exterior of the Choir of Ely Cathedral is a splendid proof.

The east end of the Cathedral is one of the finest specimens extant of
an Early English east front. It is divided into three stories; the
lowest has three lancet windows of nearly equal height; the next tier
has five windows of the same shape, side by side, the centre one being
higher and those on the sides gradually lower; the third story, which
is within the gable, contains three lancet windows, not seen in the
Choir, but giving light to the space between the ceiling and the roof.
There are several niches for statues, but no figures; and the
spandrils of the window arches are relieved by quatrefoils and other
ornaments. The gable point is adorned with an ornamented cross, which
has been restored at the expense of Lady Mildred Hope; and a crocketed
pinnacle at the south-east corner has been given by A.J.B. Beresford
Hope, Esq. Rather more than a century ago this end was about two feet
out of the perpendicular, but was skilfully restored by Mr. Essex, the

The eastern faces of the aisles appear as wings to the end of the
Choir, and are flanked with double buttresses at the angles, upon
which are set larger pinnacles crocketed. The windows lighting the two
chapels at the end of the aisles were probably inserted when the
chapels were erected; that in the north aisle is set in the wall,
while that in the south aisle projects beyond the wall nearly to the
depth of the buttress.

The south side of the Choir is similar to the north, with the
exception before mentioned--the two western bays of Bishop Northwold's
work, in each of which the opening in the triforium is formed into two
arches of a style differing from the adjoining portion of the
building, but which have the appearance of originality. The walls of
the triforium, both in the Choir and Nave were not originally so high
as we now see them, but no doubt were heightened when the larger
windows were inserted.

The south end of the Transept differs from the north in the
arrangement of the windows; in the gable is a low Perpendicular window
of seven lights, sunk within a deep recess; the north end has in the
upper tier two large Perpendicular windows side by side. There is also
a difference in the gable and pinnacles. Some corbels in the lower
part of the wall would indicate the former existence of an adjoining
structure but what it was we cannot undertake to say.

Considerable anxiety has been felt as to the stability of some
portions of the south side, and it has been found necessary to
underpin some of the buttresses of the Choir and the walls of the
Transept with large slabs of Yorkshire stone. It has also been deemed
desirable to circumscribe the two round towers of the south west
Transept with iron bands.

The south entrance to the Cathedral is through a portion of the
eastern side of the +Cloisters+. The arch of entrance however, does
not harmonise with the other portions of the Transept, and was
doubtless an insertion, probably at the same time as a similar one in
the north Transept, and by the same architect. It passes through a
beautiful Norman door-arch in the south wall of the Nave, as described
in p. 41. Near this are the remains of an enriched arch, recently
discovered when the wall was repaired; if it is in its original
position it must have formed a communication from the Cloisters to
that portion of the western aisle of the south Transept which now
forms the Vergers' vestry.

The south side of the Nave is nearly similar to the north, but there
is no corbel table under the embattled parapet of the aisle: the aisle
windows have, with one exception, been restored to their original
form; those in the second tier retain their altered shape; but those
of the clerestory, as on the north side, are original.

The apsidal +Chapel of St. Catharine+, adjoining the south-west
Transept, has been rebuilt in accordance with the original structure.

       *       *       *       *       *

+Dimensions of the Cathedral.+

                                                                    Ft. In.

The Galilee, or Western Portico                                      42  0

The Tower                                                            40  4

The Nave                                                            208  0

Crossing the Octagon                                                 71  5

The Choir                                                           123  0

Retro-choir                                                          35 10

The whole length, from west to east                                 520  7

The length of Transept from north to south (including the Octagon)  178  6

Breadth of the Nave with the Aisles                                  77  3

Breadth of the Transept with the Aisles                              73  0

Breadth of the Choir with the Aisles                                 77  3

Height of the walls of the Nave                                      72  9

Height of the ceiling from the floor, at the east end of the Nave    86  2

Height of the Pillars which support the Dome and Lantern             62  0

Perpendicular height of the Dome, springing from the capitals of
  the pillars, to the aperture of the Lantern                        32  0

Height of the Lantern itself, from its aperture on the Dome to its
  vaulted roof                                                       48  0

The whole height from the floor to the centre of the Lantern        142  0

Height of the vaulted roof of the Choir                              70  0

Clear diameter of the Octagon, from one pillar to the opposite       65  4

Clear diameter of the Lantern, within                                30  0

Length of the Lady Chapel (now Trinity Church)                      100  0

Breadth of the same                                                  46  0

Height to its vaulted roof                                           60  0


The whole length, from west to east                                 537  0

The length of the great Cross, or Transept, from north to south     190  0

Height of the four stone turrets of the western Tower               215  0

Height of the two Towers of the south-west Transept                 120  0

Height of the roof over the Nave                                    104  0

Height of the Lantern over the Dome                                 170  7

Height of the eastern front, to the top of the Cross                112  0

Having finished our survey of this noble edifice, we will proceed to
make a few observations on the remains of the monastery, which will
form the subject of a separate chapter. In order to bring them all
conveniently before the visitor we will retrace our steps for a short
distance round the east end of the Cathedral, and commence with the
buildings on the north side of the Lady Chapel.


+The Monastic Buildings.+

_&c. &c._

We will commence our notice of these remains of former ages by
observing that as they now, in a great measure, form private
residences, they can only be seen by visitors externally; it will be
sufficient, therefore, for us to point out the several localities, and
state, as far as we are able, their original uses, and present

On the north side of the Lady Chapel stands an old square tower, now
used as a belfry for the parish of the Holy Trinity, but it is not
certain for what purpose it was originally used. Adjoining this is a
building recently erected on the site of a former one, comprising a
practice-room and school-room for the Choristers, with a residence for
the master; beyond this, eastward, is an arched gateway communicating
with the public street: this was closed up for many years, but has
lately been re-opened; over it is the muniment room of the Dean and
Chapter. Next is a residence for one of the Vergers, and beyond that
is another dwelling house; the next portion is in a dilapidated state,
and at the present time is used as a mason's yard and workshop for
carrying on the works in progress: these occupy the site of the
ancient +Sacristy+. A little further in the same direction stands the
residence of one of the prebendaries, on the site of the ancient
+Almonry+; there are in this building some remains of Early English
vaulting, and at the east end may be observed the remains of a triplet
window of the same period; the middle window has been destroyed by the
insertion of a modern window, now blocked up, but the stone work of
the side windows can easily be traced.

We next proceed round the east end of the Cathedral to the south end
of the Transept, a few yards south of which may be observed a range of
Early English arches, each containing a double arch, which is again
subdivided, but all have been long blocked up; this was a portion of
what was called the "Dark Cloister." To the eastward of these is
another range of arches with piers about twelve feet in height, some
of which are comparatively perfect; these piers are alternately
cylindrical and octagonal, the octagonal columns presenting
alternately a side or an angle in front. The arches are profusely
enriched with mouldings; the walls above were pierced with a row of
small windows with semicircular heads. These piers and arches may be
seen on both sides of the road-way, corresponding with each other like
the nave of a church, and afford a good example of "highly refined
Norman work." A beautiful arch at the end leads to another series, and
beyond this, in one of the prebendal houses, is a vaulted room which
seems to have been erected about the period of the transition from the
Norman style to the Early English.

They form a church-like building, and by some historians have been
described as the remains of the Conventual Church erected at the
restoration of the monastery by Ethelwold, A.D. 970, and including the
ruins of St. Etheldreda's own church, founded A.D. 673. This, if
correct, would make it one of the oldest specimens of the Saxon style
in the kingdom. This statement has been contradicted by others, and
Professor Willis, who had devoted much attention to these buildings,
stated that they are the remains of the +Infirmary+ of the monastery,
with a chapel attached, and erected many years subsequent to the
period mentioned; the portion we have likened to the nave of a
church--now affording an approach to several residences--was the body
of the Infirmary; the portion east of the arch was no doubt the
chapel, and the vaulted room spoken of, the chancel. This statement
derives some confirmation from the existence, in a similar position,
of the Infirmary at Peterborough, and at some other places. The style
of architecture too denotes a period subsequent to the erection of the
nave of the Cathedral.

The house on the north side, adjoining the chapel before mentioned,
now a prebendal residence, appears to have undergone little alteration
since its erection; the parapet, and the almost flat roof covered with
lead, appear to be original. This was probably used by the master of
the Infirmary as a residence, and a hall to entertain the aged and
infirm separately from the sick monks, being near the chapel and the
Infirmary. The next house westward, now the residence of a Minor
Canon, is said to have been the "Painted Chamber," but to what use it
was applied we are not able to say.

The residence on the south side of the Infirmary, opposite to the last
mentioned, now the residence of a prebendary, stands on the site of
the "Cellarer's Lodging"; and the next house, eastward, also a
prebendal residence, on the site of the "Black Hostelry," or near it.

The +Dormitory+ of the monks was generally a long narrow room,
standing north and south, near the church, convenient for the monks'
attendance on the nocturnal services; here it was situated near what
has been pointed out as part of the "Dark Cloister," not far from the
south end of the Transept, and probably the communication was by a
passage leading to a winding stair still standing in the south-east
angle of the Transept.

The +Chapter House+ is believed to have stood between the north end of
the Dormitory and the Transept, similar to Peterborough, having its
entrance from the east side of the Cloisters; nothing however remains
to shew its exact position; both Mr. Bentham and Mr. Millers describe
it as having stood on the space now occupied by the Dean's flower
garden, where are some remains of a building in the Norman style, but
which has since been stated to have been the Monks' kitchen; but in
consequence of the many alterations which have been made at different
periods, the demolition and removal of some buildings, and the ruin of
others, it is difficult to speak with certainty. The monastery was a
large one, and the buildings numerous for the various requirements, of
many of which no traces remain, nor is it known where they were

The only part remaining of the +Cloisters+ is the north-east angle,
through one part of which is the south entrance to the Cathedral. The
inner wall of the north side and part of the east side are yet
standing, with the openings partially bricked up, but the roof is
gone. These are not the original Cloisters, but occupy nearly the same
position as the earlier ones.

The +Refectory+, according to Professor Willis and others, stood at
the south side of the Cloisters, on part of the space now occupied by
the Dean's garden, a portion of a very thick wall, in which are some
Early English corbels, is still remaining.

Our attention will next be directed to the Deanery, sometime thought
to have been the Refectory, but was more probably the +Guest-hall+ for
the entertainment of strangers and others visiting the monastery. It
is a large building, standing like several others upon vaults, and
appears to have been built in the latter part of the thirteenth
century; it has, however, undergone considerable alterations at
different times, and now presents but few remains of that period,
although the walls, buttresses, and vaults bear strong characteristics
of it. This formed the northern side of a small court, around which
were buildings forming the residence of the priors of the monastery,
of which also the next house, now the residence of a prebendary,
formed a part; the vaulting of this is very ancient, probably in the
early part of the Norman era, but the superstructure is of a later
period. There is a fine fourteenth-century fire place in the house.


Adjoining this house, at the south-west corner, next the garden,
stands a building generally known as "+Prior Crauden's Chapel+,"
having been founded by John de Crauden, prior of Ely (1321-1341), as a
private chapel attached to his residence, and built under the
direction of Alan de Walsingham, the skilful architect of the Octagon.
It is most interesting for the rich remains of architectural beauty
which it displays. "It is," says Mr. Rickman, "one of the most curious
and valuable Decorated remains in the kingdom; its ornaments are of
the best character, and well executed, and the whole design is of
great excellence." It belongs to the Deanery, but was for many years
used in connection with the adjoining house, having been converted
into three rooms by floors inserted; these floors have been removed,
and the chapel in some degree restored; some of the windows which had
been closed have been re-opened, and the eastern one filled with
stained glass, the gift of Mrs. Smart. It is now used as a private
chapel for the Grammar School.

The Chapel stands upon a vault, the floor of which is nearly upon a
level with the surrounding ground; the vault has a groined ceiling
supported by plain columns, and the original entrance was directly
under the west window of the Chapel, but is now on the north side. The
entrance to the chapel is by a staircase which winds within the
buttress at the north-west angle. The length is divided into four
compartments by clustered columns, from the tops of which sprung the
ribs of the vaulting. The first compartment is plain, and was probably
the ante-chapel: the second is ornamented with a double niche, richly
decorated with small columns, pinnacles, crockets, &c.; in the lower
niche the wall is pierced for a small window; the upper one probably
contained a figure: the third and fourth compartments have long
pointed windows, separated into two lights by a mullion. The east end
has ornamented niches in the angles, it projects a little beyond the
compartments, forming a recess, in which is the large window, divided
into five lights, with elaborate tracery. The floor is elevated at the
east end for the altar, and is formed of mosaic tiles; upon the raised
portion is represented the Fall of man, and the remainder is
ornamented with various other figures and devices; some portions are
nearly perfect, but the colouring is greatly faded. Some remains of
fresco painting were discovered on the walls when the restorations
were in progress, and probably the chapel had originally been richly
embellished with colours and gilding, in the style of the period in
which it was built.

We have now an opportunity of glancing at some of the other portions
of the monastic buildings, which formerly extended from the Prior's
Lodge to the gateway, but are now somewhat short of it, as a garden

The first, adjoining the Deanery, formerly the Registry, but
originally part of the residence of the former priors, was called
"+The Lodge+," and contained the great hall, named "The Fair Hall,"
the high sharp-pointed windows of which still remain in the first
story; from the corner of this hall a gallery or passage led to the
prior's chapel just mentioned. This formed the western side of the
small court before spoken of, around which the residence of the
priors was built. This is now the residence of the Rev. R. Winkfield,
Head Master of the Grammar School, and the adjoining house, formerly
the school house, is used as a dormitory, &c. for the pupils. Next to
this is the residence of the Rev. W.E. Dickson, Minor Canon and
Precentor, which brings us to the end of this series of the buildings.
These all stand upon vaults or crypts, which were probably used as
cellars or store-houses, and the superstructure as lodgings for guests
of the prior, being near his residence; these buildings formed the
western side of the monastery, and were built about 1180, but raised
and altered by Alan de Walsingham, about 1320.


This brings us in our progress to the great gate of the monastery,
called "+Ely Porta+," or more frequently, the "Porter's Lodge." It is
a large and massive pile, having square towers at the angles, and was
begun by Prior Buckton shortly before his death in 1397, and probably
finished by his successor, Walpol, as it is sometimes spoken of as
"Walpol's Gate." On the eastern side the opening is a single arch of
great span, but on the western side there are two, a large one--but
smaller than that on the eastern side--for carriages, and a still
smaller one for foot passengers. The north end of the building is
occupied as the residence of the Porter, who is also a Verger of the
Cathedral; the south end with the rooms above, including a large one
over the archway, is used for the Cathedral Grammar School, or +King's
School+, founded in 1541, by Henry VIII., and is under the control of
the Dean and Chapter. The foundation is for twenty-four boys, who are
elected without restriction as to birth or residence, and are entitled
to some privileges in reduction of school fees. The school has lately
been re-modelled by the Dean and Chapter, in order to bring it up to
the requirements of the age, and extensive alterations have been made
to provide accommodation for boarders.[54] The school is not
restricted to the foundation boys, but is open to all who are prepared
to accede to the terms, and is now in a flourishing condition.

[Footnote 54: We understand it is intended to make some further
alterations, and to build a new "hostel," on a plot of ground nearly
opposite the gateway on the western side, forming a block of buildings
to include accommodation for sixty boys, with masters' and servants'
offices, as well as the dormitories, studies, and day rooms for the

We will now cast our eyes over the Park, which was much improved by
the exertions of Dean Peacock; it was formerly divided into several
inclosures by walls or hedges, but is now in two pieces, separated by
iron fencing, and has been planted in various parts with ornamental
trees; a pathway runs round the south-eastern portion, and another
across it, and by a pair of iron gates (closed at night) a
communication is formed with a street at the lower part of the city.
On the south side is an artificial mound generally called "Cherry
Hill," the origin of which is uncertain; but it was probably occupied
by a mill for the use of the monastery; Mr. Millers thought it once
formed the site of a castle erected for the defence of the monastery,
which in early times experienced some of the vicissitudes of war; it
is covered with trees and shrubs, and a winding path leads to the top,
where there is a kind of summer-house. A good view of the adjacent
country may be had from the summit, particularly towards the east,
south, and west.

From the foot of this hill, extending to some length westward, is a
range of buildings used in part as stables and coach-houses, and
partly as workshops and store-houses for stone and materials required
for the repair of the Cathedral and buildings; this was the small
grange within the precincts, a larger one stood more to the westward,
outside the monastery.

We will pass through the gateway and examine its western front which
remains nearly in its original state; there are some niches and
canopies, and several shields but their bearings are nearly all
obliterated. The gates are closed at night.

While here we may notice at a short distance to the left, at the
south-west corner of the open space, the new Theological College,
designed for candidates for Holy Orders desirous of religious
preparation, theological instruction, and pastoral training; and is
open to students who have graduated at one of the Universities: of
which the Rev. Dr. Luckock, Canon of the Cathedral, is principal. The
building is of red brick with stone dressings, and contains chapel,
lecture room, studies and dormitories for the accommodation of twelve
students, with the usual offices.

Our course will now take us northwards towards the Cathedral, outside
the western boundary of the monastery, thus giving the opportunity of
observing the other side of the buildings we noticed after Prior
Crauden's chapel: that they are of great antiquity is evident by the
flat Norman buttresses on part of the western wall; but they have at
various times undergone considerable alterations which have done much
to obliterate their original appearance, and alter the character of
the buildings. We first pass the house occupied by the Rev. W.E.
Dickson, then those occupied by the Rev. R. Winkfield, including the
house standing a few feet in retreat, originally part of the prior's
residence, which adjoins the western end of the Deanery; the remaining
space to the south-west Transept being occupied as a private garden by
the Dean. On our left are the gardens belonging to the Bishop's
Palace; and this brings us to the west end of the Cathedral, from
whence we started on our tour of observation.

The Cathedral is too much encumbered by buildings to allow us to take
the whole of it into view from any one position; but several good
points of view may be found at moderate distances, ranging from
south-west to east, which will, we think, amply repay those who may
have leisure and inclination to go a short distance to observe them.

       *       *       *       *       *

Having endeavoured to point out, to the best of our ability, the
objects most worthy of notice in the Cathedral, as well as others
around it within the precincts of the ancient monastery, we will add a
brief notice of a few other buildings which are without the precincts,
but should not be passed without some observation.

+The Bishop's Palace.+

This is a large mansion consisting of a centre and two wings, nearly
adjoining the west end of the Cathedral, being separated from it only
by a public road. But little is known of a palace here prior to the
time of Bishop Alcock, who erected the present wings with a noble hall
or gallery about the end of the fifteenth century: his arms, and those
of the see may be seen in the face of the eastern wing. The gallery
adjoining the western wing was erected by Bishop Goodrich in the third
year of the reign of Edward VI., whose arms appear in stone on the
centre of the lower panels of the bay window; on the panel to the
right of this are the arms of Bishop Goodrich, and on the left panel,
the same arms impaling those of the see; on the left-hand splay panel
is carved the "Duty towards God," and on the right-hand splay panel
the "Duty towards our neighbour." The more modern part of the house
next the garden is said to have been erected by Bishop Keene, but was
perhaps only altered by him, as there was on the eastern side of the
part projecting into the garden, a stone door arch apparently much
older than this part of the house; and another on the eastern side
near the chapel; this has been removed, and now forms the servants'
entrance from "the Green."

The interior of the house has been much improved, and the chapel in
the eastern wing fitted up with taste, the windows being filled with
stained glass. The gardens are neat and kept in excellent order. There
are in the Palace several portraits of bishops and others, also a
curious painting called the "_Tabula Eliensis_" representing the forty
knights who were quartered on the monastery by William I., each with
his shield of arms, and a monk as his companion. There is also a
picture 6 ft. 6 in. long and 2 ft. 2 in. high, representing the
funeral of Bishop Cox, in 1581. Bishop Turton left by his will two
pictures, to remain in the palace; and there is a good library
belonging to the see.

Formerly the bishops of Ely had residences at several other places,
viz., palaces at Somersham and Downham; Wisbech Castle, and the
Manor-houses at Doddington, Fen Ditton, and other places in
Cambridgeshire; and Hatfield, and Hadham, in Hertfordshire; there were
ten manor-houses and places of residence belonging to the Bishop of
Ely at the time of Bishop Barnet. The London residence of the bishops
of Ely was formerly in Ely Place, Holborn, which was occupied
successively by forty-one bishops, extending over a period of nearly
five hundred years; it is now in Dover Street, Piccadilly, in a house
built by Bishop Keene, on the site of Albemarle House and other
messuages, which were purchased for the see in 1772.

The "Green" in front of the palace was formerly a piece of waste
ground; a few years ago it was laid out and planted with shrubs, and
fenced off with a neat iron railing, at the expense of Bishop Turton,
reserving to the public the right of free admission from eight a.m.,
until an hour after sunset; this improvement has, we regret to say,
through an unfortunate misunderstanding, been done away, and it now
presents an appearance of desolation and neglect much to be
deprecated. We hope something may be done in order to remedy this sad
state, and render it more worthy of its position in front of one of
the noblest Cathedrals in England, and of the residence of the chief
pastor of a large and important diocese.

The house standing in a garden with iron gates, nearly opposite the
bay window in the palace stands upon the site of the residence of the
chaplains of an ancient chantry founded by Bishop Northwold, called
"The Chantry on the Green."


+St. Mary's Church.+

This church will be found a short distance to the westward of the
Palace, standing in a large grave-yard with a row of lime trees in
front. It is a neat building having a Nave with aisles, a Chancel and
a Tower surmounted by a spire at the west end. The Church is a mixture
of the Transitional and Early English styles, but the Tower and Spire
are in the Decorated style. It was built by Bishop Eustachius in the
early part of the thirteenth century on the site of a former church.
"It contains," says Mr. Millers, "some curious architectural remains,
particularly the north and south[55] door arches, which are pointed
and decorated with different sorts of Norman mouldings; but the
columns have slender detached shafts, united under one capital
wreathed with foliage, as in the Early English style. Of this mixture
there is no other specimen at Ely, and I have not met with an account
of such an one in any other place." "In the Tower of the Cathedral we
have the Norman style with pointed arches; in the Galilee, built a
very few years after, we have the Early English style; but each of
these is perfectly and characteristically distinct: in the interval,
between the erection of one and the other, the public taste had
undergone a change. It seems as if the work before us had been erected
in that interval, and that the architect was disposed to adopt the new
style without quitting the old one."[56] The Galilee of the Cathedral
was erected about 1215, and it is not improbable that this church was
erected shortly before, and as it is stated during the episcopate of
the same bishop.

[Footnote 55: This door was blocked up when the Church was repaired in

[Footnote 56: Millers' Description of Ely Cathedral, p. 148, 149.]

The columns of the Nave are simple and cylindrical, the capitals are
Norman, and nearly similar to some of those in what has been called
"The Infirmary," but the high pointed arches which they support are of
a shape usual in the age in which this church was built, and some of
the mouldings are Early English. The windows in the aisles and
clerestory are Perpendicular, probably inserted at a later period,
when the church was repaired. The Chancel is Early English, with an
inserted Perpendicular east window; there is a double sedile under
one trefoil arch, and a double piscina in the south wall.

A chapel on the south side is also Early English; it has a triple
lancet east window, and a west window of two lights with a quatrefoil
in the head; there is here also a double piscina in the south wall. A
portion of this chapel was partitioned off for use as a vestry, but is
now thrown open to the church.

The church was repaired and pewed, and a gallery erected on the south
side in 1829-30, but this gallery, with another at the west end
erected many years before, have lately been removed, the tower arch
opened, and the nave restored, the floor raised, and the passages and
other portions laid with Staffordshire tiles; the nearly flat
plastered ceiling is divided into compartments by moulded ribs of
wood, and the panels painted in distemper, among the patterns of which
may be seen the sacred monogram, the arms of the see and of the Dean
and Chapter. The pews erected in 1829 have been removed and replaced
by open seats of oak, free to all, and a new oaken pulpit resting on a
pillar of stone, the gift of the Bishop, placed against the chancel
arch on the south side. A new font, the gift of one friend, and an
elegant brass lectern the gift of another, have assisted in the
general improvement. A fine-toned organ, built by Bishop and Sons,
removed from Trinity Church, Paddington, has been erected at the east
end of the north aisle, on a site formerly occupied by a large faculty
pew belonging to "Chantry House," alluded to in p. 112.

The chancel has been partially rebuilt and thoroughly restored, and
fitted with appropriate seats in oak, at the cost of the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The church is warmed by hot water, and lighted by gas. A fine peal of
eight bells hang in the Tower. There are no ancient monuments, but a
few modern tablets on the walls record the deaths of some former
residents of the parish; and a new and elegant memorial brass has been
put up in the chancel to the Rev. Solomon Smith, M.A., Minor Canon of
the Cathedral, and for forty years incumbent of the parish.

The restoration of the church, the purchase of the organ, the
fittings, &c., has been effected by subscriptions at a cost of nearly
£2500, but a further sum is still required to repair and restore the
tower and spire, improve the church-yard, &c.

The living is a vicarage, in the patronage of the Dean and Chapter;
the present incumbent is the Rev. John Franey, M.A. Minor Canon of the

+The Grange.+

The premises adjoining the church-yard on the west stand on part of
the ground formerly occupied by "The Grange" of the monastery, and the
house is stated to have been at one time the residence of the
Protector, Cromwell. The "Sextry Barn," one of the largest in the
county, perhaps in the kingdom, stood here, and is stated to have been
291 ft. 6 in. long, and 39 ft. 5 in. wide, inside; it was built about
the middle of the thirteenth century, and taken down in 1842, and the
space once occupied by the monastic "farm-yard" is now covered by
modern buildings, part of which at least, are used for as good
purposes; on one part excellent and commodious National Schools for
both boys and girls have been erected, and on another a series of
substantial and comfortable Almshouses for aged men and women,
inhabitants of Ely.

+St. John's Hospital.+

The site of this hospital is a few hundred yards further west; the
remains of it are very scanty, but sufficient to show that the
buildings were of an early age, although not enough to enable us to
give an opinion as to their form or extent; what is left has been
converted into use as farm buildings, one portion near the dwelling
house, and another a short distance from it. There were formerly two
hospitals in Ely, this dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and another
to St. Mary Magdelene, the site of which is now unknown. According to
Mr. Bentham, the revenues of the two were united, and the communities
associated by Bishop Northwold about A.D. 1240, by whose ordinance the
united hospital was to consist of thirteen chaplains and brethren, who
were to have a common refectory and dormitory, and to wear an uniform
habit, and be under the immediate government of the Sacrist of Ely. It
seems that this was not, like other hospitals of the kind, dissolved
by Henry VIII., for it was held under the mastership of Edward Leedes,
the second prebendary of the eighth stall, who was also chancellor of
the diocese under Bishop Goodrich, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; he
was at the same time chaplain to Archbishop Parker, and Master of
Clare Hall, Cambridge; he afterwards obtained from the queen a grant
of the hospital, and with the consent of Bishop Cox, he surrendered
the whole site and possession to his college; his grant to the college
was confirmed by the Dean and Chapter in 1562, and the property is now
in the hands of the Master, Fellows, and Scholars of Clare College,



The following brief account of this fine instrument, furnished by the
Rev. the Precentor, may be interesting to many:--

At a very early period the Cathedral or Conventual Church contained an
organ or organs: this clearly appears from records preserved among the
muniments of the Chapter; and at the dissolution of the Abbey we read
that there were "two pair of organs in the Quire, and one pair in the
Lady Chapel." It is highly probable, from indications in the
stone-work, that one, at least, of these Pre-Reformation organs was
placed in the triforium of the present nave, on the north side. It is
well known that the Quire at that period extended westward across the
Octagon: the organ therefore was situated near the gates, and above
the stalls of the ancient Quire, nearly as it is now in the modern
Quire. The Great Rebellion swept away organs from Ely, as from all
other English Cathedrals; and during this dreary period the Choral
Service was suppressed and prohibited. After the Restoration, viz.,
about the year 1685, a new organ was erected by the celebrated Harris;
and it is remarkable that this organ remained in daily use up to the
year 1831, without material alteration, not even a swell having been
added to the original great and choir. It is worthy of mention, that
during the extensive repairs of the Cathedral, conducted by the able
architect, Essex, about the middle of the last century, a proposition
to place the organ at the eastern end of the Quire was seriously urged
by him on the consideration of the Dean and Chapter. He alleged that
the instrument would "conceal much cold unornamented wall!" The
condition of Harris' organ had become dangerously crazy when Messrs.
Elliot and Hill were employed to rebuild it, or rather to insert a new
instrument in the old case. This they did with great ability and
success, and the organ which comprised ten stops in the great, five in
each of choir and swell, and one set of pedal pipes, was a fine
specimen of the art as it was understood and practised about forty
years ago. When the restorations were commenced which have resulted in
the present splendid embellishment of the Cathedral, the organ-screen
was removed; and in 1851 the organ was re-modelled and altered to the
CC compass, enclosed in its costly and exquisite case of carved oak,
and _suspended_ from the triforium of the Choir, above the stalls on
the north, or (at Ely) Decani side. Provision was made for an adequate
pedal organ, lodged in the triforium gallery, where an admirable site
was also secured for the swell-box: the choir organ is _beneath_ the
great, and behind it, in a picturesque stone tribune or loft, the
organist was seated at the manuals. Three stops, viz. a manual Double
of wood and metal, 16 feet tone; a metal Quint of 6 feet; and a
Posaune of 8 feet; were added to the great organ, which then possessed
a tone of great power and beauty.

By the liberality of the Chapter, the completion and great enlargement
of the organ was effected in the year 1867. Messrs. Hill have
introduced a new swell of 13 stops throughout, with a pedal organ of
adequate dimensions. To this pedal organ the principal inhabitants of
the city of Ely contributed the important addition of a Sub-base of 32
feet tone, at a cost of upwards of £80. The whole instrument has 40
sounding stops, and it will be seen from an inspection of the list
that every stop, even to the clarionet, is complete and entire,
extending through the full compass of its manual. The tone of the full
organ, with swell coupled, is very grand. The reeds, like all the
stops of this class manufactured by Messrs. Hill, are positively
models of smoothness, equality, and power. The two 8 feet reeds of the
great, and the 16 feet reed, with the Horn, of the swell, are
specimens of which the builders may well be somewhat proud. All the
compound stops are very brilliant. Equal temperament has been applied
to the tuning.

GREAT ORGAN--CC to F in Alt.

                                      Ft.     Pipes.
 1. Double Diapason, open
    metal to GG, 12 feet
    stopt wood below                   16       54

 2. Open Diapason, metal                8       54

 3. Open Diapason, metal                8       54

 4. Stopt Diapason, wood                8       54

 5. Principal, metal                    4       54

 6. Harmonic Flute, metal
    (vice Quint)                        4       54

 7. Twelfth, metal                  2-2/3       54

 8. Fifteenth, metal                    2       54

 9. Sesquialtera, iii ranks, metal     --      162

10. Mixture, iii ranks, metal          --      162

11. Posaune, metal                      8       54

12. Trumpet, metal                      8       54

13. Clarion, metal                      4       54

SWELL ORGAN--CC to F in Alt.

                                      Ft.     Pipes.
 1. Double Diapason, open
    metal to Gamut G, 6
    feet, stopt wood below.            16       54

 2. Open Diapason, metal                8       54

 3. Salcional, metal                    8       54

 4. Stopt Diapason, wood                8       54

 5. Principal, metal                    4       54

 6. Lieblich Flute, metal               4       54

 7. Fifteenth, metal                    2       54

 8. Mixture, iv ranks                   2      216

 9. Double Trumpet, metal and wood     16       54

10. Horn, metal                         8       54

11. Trumpet, metal                      8       54

12. Oboe, metal                         8       54

13. Clarion, metal                      4       54

CHOIR ORGAN--CC to F in Alt.

                                      Ft.     Pipes.
1. Open Diapason, metal to
   6 feet, open wood below              8       54

2. Dulciana, metal                      8       54

3. Stopt Diapason, wood                 8       54

4. Principal, metal                     4       54

5. Flute, wood                          4       54

6. Gamba, metal                         4       54

7. Clarionet, metal                     8       54


1. Sub-bass, wood                       32 tone 29

2. Open wood                            16      29

3. Open metal                           16      29

4. Bourdon, wood                        16 tone 29

5. Octave, metal                         8      29

6. Mixture, iii ranks, metal             4      87

7. Trombone, wood                       16      29


1. Swell to Great.

2. Great to Pedal.

3. Ditto by the foot.

4. Choir to Pedal.

5. Swell to Pedal.

Six composition pedals, three to the Great, acting simultaneously on
Pedal: three to Swell. Total number of Pipes, 2421.



     _The following extract from a Memorandum issued by the Dean
     in October, 1873, is appended, by permission, to show the
     progress of works done, and the amount expended; as well as
     of works required to complete the restorations._

The following Memorandum of Works accomplished or required, was issued
by Dean Goodwin, January, 1866:--

"The time seems to be now come, when the completion of the great work
of restoration, commenced under Dean Peacock and guided for many years
by his care and judgment, may be looked upon as being within reach.

The works which have been hitherto accomplished may be enumerated as

     1. The Choir restored and re-arranged.

     2. Central Lantern restored (Peacock Memorial).

     3. South-east Transept restored.

     4. South-west Transept restored.

     5. Roof of North Transept restored and painted. (The
     painting at the expense of tradesmen employed upon the

     6. The Nave ceiled and painted. (The painting by the late
     Mr. le Strange and Mr. Gambier Parry.)

     7. Nave roof repaired and re-leaded.

     8. St. Catherine's Chapel rebuilt.

     9. Bishop Alcock's Chapel restored.

     10. Galilee Porch re-paved.

     11. The Western Tower opened, ceiled, (the ceiling painted
     by Mr. le Strange), re-roofed, strengthened, &c., (part of
     the expense borne by the late H.R. Evans, Esq., and his son,
     the present H.R. Evans, Esq.)

     12. About seventy windows filled with painted glass.

The expense of the restoration of the Cathedral cannot be given with
perfect accuracy, but the account which is here subjoined will be near
enough for all practical purposes.


                                                          £   _s._ _d._

Contributed by the public to the "Ely Cathedral
Restoration Fund"                                       9578   0    0

Expended by the Dean and Chapter (about)              11,000   0    0


Contributed by the friends of Dean Peacock to the
restoration of the Lantern                              2407   0    0

Expended by the Dean and Chapter (about)                4200   0    0

It would thus appear that since the commencement of the great works in
1845 to the present time, the sum of £27,185 has been expended, of
which £15,200 has been furnished by the Dean and Chapter. It ought to
be added that the sum contributed by the public includes a donation of
£500 by the Bishop of the Diocese, and about £1000 contributed by
members of the Chapter in their individual capacity.

It must be observed, however, that the sum just mentioned by no means
represents all that has been done for the Cathedral. The following
works and gifts are not included:--

     1. The painted windows, which have been supplied partly by
     individual donors, partly by a bequest of Bishop Sparke.
     Amongst the donors are Her Majesty the Queen and the Prince
     Consort. To the bequest of Bishop Sparke the Cathedral is
     indebted for the East windows, and those in the clerestory
     of the Choir, and the fund is not yet exhausted.

     2. The carved panels above the Stalls in the Choir, now
     amounting to 37, and supplied almost entirely by individual
     donors, at a cost of about £18 each.

     3. Bishop Alcock's Chapel, restored by Jesus College,

     4. A pinnacle at the south-east corner of the Choir, built
     by A.J.B. Beresford Hope, Esq.

     5. The magnificent Reredos, presented by J. Dunn-Gardner,

     6. The contribution of Canon E.B. Sparke towards the
     restoration of the south-west Transept, and that by the two
     Messrs. Evans to the works in the western Tower.

     7. The Font, presented by Canon Selwyn.

     8. The Gates of the Choir Aisles, presented by Alan Lowndes,
     Esq. and Dean Peacock.

     9. The Brass Eagle Lectern, presented by Canon E.B. Sparke.

     10. The Tombs of Bishop Allen and Dr. Mill.

     11. A legacy of £100 by the late Mr. Millers, Minor Canon of
     the Cathedral, and a contribution of £300 by his residuary
     legatees, applied to the ceiling of the Nave.

Neither does the sum mentioned as having been contributed by the
public include a legacy of £500 from the late Miss Allen, daughter of
Bishop Allen, (which has been appropriated to a new pulpit, now in
progress from the designs of G.G. Scott, Esq.,) and a legacy of equal
amount, from Bishop Turton, for the purpose of re-paving the Nave.

It may be safely stated that the expense of the works and the gifts
above specified has not been less than £13,000; the windows alone have
cost nearly £9000. The entire sum already expended upon the Cathedral
will thus be found to exceed £40,000.

In order to bring the Cathedral into such a condition as would appear
satisfactory to those who have taken part in its restoration, the
following works require to be done:--

     1. The Nave, Octagon, and Transepts must be paved. Towards
     this work Bishop Turton gave by his will (as before stated)
     the sum of £500. The whole expense will probably be not less
     than £2500.

     2. The stone-work of the Octagon must be completed by the
     restoration of the pinnacles and parapet. The external
     effect of Alan de Walsingham's Lantern cannot be rightly
     estimated until this restoration has been made; the cost
     will be about £2500.

     3. The Lantern must be internally decorated. This work,
     though highly necessary for completing the effect of the
     interior, will probably cost not more than £500.

     4. The Galilee porch requires extensive repair, partly from
     the decay of the Purbeck marble which is largely used in its
     construction, and partly from the unskilful treatment to
     which it has been submitted in former times. A grand
     commencement of this work has been made by Mrs. John Thomas
     Waddington, of Twyford Lodge, Winchester, at whose sole
     expense the portal which forms the eastern side of the
     Galilee is undergoing complete restoration, as a memorial of
     her late husband. The restoration of the remainder of the
     Galilee would probably cost £2000.

     5. The warming of the Cathedral is another work, for which
     it would be impossible to set down less than £500; probably
     it would cost much more; but this is a work which, if
     considered desirable, may fairly be left to the Dean and

     6. The proper lighting of the Cathedral is a matter for
     consideration; this also might be regarded as a work
     devolving upon the capitular body: but when the extremely
     artistic character of the standards or coronæ, which such a
     building requires, is taken into account, perhaps it may be
     fairly added to the list of works in which the friends of
     the Cathedral may be asked to co-operate.

From this statement then it would appear that an expenditure of from
£7000 to £8000 would complete the principal necessary works of the
Cathedral, with the exception of the rebuilding of the north-west
Transept, which it will probably be deemed desirable to omit from
consideration, at all events until all the other works specified have
been finished.

Call the sum necessary £7000; this is not much to raise for so good a
purpose; and when it is considered what the effect of the expenditure
of such a sum will be, it seems difficult to believe that the money
will not be forthcoming.

The Dean and Chapter have not shown themselves hitherto insensible to
the primary claim which the Cathedral has upon them, nor are they
likely to do so in the completion of the great work which they have
now had in hand so long. But the Cathedral has claims upon others
beside the Capitular body. It has claims, which it is believed will be
once more acknowledged by the wealthy landowners of the Diocese, by
the Colleges of Cambridge, several of which are intimately connected
with Ely, and finally by lovers of architectural beauty and
ecclesiastical propriety throughout the country.

To all persons, therefore, who take an interest in Ely Cathedral on
Diocesan or any other grounds, an appeal is now made, and they are
respectfully urged to make one final effort for the purpose of
completing a work which has been so well begun, and hitherto so
prosperously carried out.


"_The Deanery, Ely, January, 1866._"

Since the issue of the foregoing memorandum further progress has been
made in the Restoration of the Cathedral.

     1. The Nave and Aisles have been re-paved.

     2. The great Western doors have been repaired and

     3. The Cathedral has been warmed and lighted.

     4. Many stained windows have been inserted in the Choir.

     5. The fourth large window in the Octagon has been filled
     with painted glass.

     6. The foundation of the south side of the Choir and the
     south-eastern Transept have been underpinned and thoroughly

     7. The great Western Tower has been braced with iron bands,
     and, it is believed, effectually secured.

     8. The stone pulpit in the Octagon has been erected.

     9. Many figures in wood have been placed on the Choir
     screen, the decoration of which is now completed.

     10. Nine stone figures have been placed in the ancient
     niches in the Octagon; three more are needed to complete the

     11. The whole of the carved panels over the stalls in the
     Choir have been completed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Several works still remain to be effected before the restoration can
be considered as complete.

     1. The paving of the Octagon and Transepts. The cost of the
     paving of the Nave has much exceeded the sum anticipated.
     The completion of this work will cost from £1000 to £2000

     2. The re-paving of the aisles of the Choir, a work of no
     pressing importance at present, but which will demand great
     care and consideration whenever it is undertaken.

     3. The decoration of the blank space of wall beneath the
     great East Window, on which there remain some traces of
     painted figures. If these are found too faint and uncertain
     for restoration, the space might perhaps be covered with a
     copy of some appropriate painting in mosaic.

     4. The restoration of the exterior of the east end of the
     Choir. Window shafts to the number of about fifty have
     disappeared or are broken. The south-east angle turret has
     been crowned with a pinnacle, but the corresponding turret
     at the north-east still remains truncated. In the eastern
     face of the Choir there are twelve niches, which probably
     were once all filled with figures.

     5. The restoration of the Galilee is still very incomplete.
     The shafts of Purbeck marble, which are so numerous
     throughout it, require to be repaired or replaced. The
     niches in the west face, intended for figures, are all

     6. The pitch of the roof of the Galilee and of the
     south-western Transept ought to be raised to give their full
     effect to the proportions of the great western Tower.

     7. The rebuilding of the fallen Transept (north-west) is a
     work much to be desired, perhaps hardly to be anticipated,
     yet surely not to be despaired of.

     8. The completion of the pinnacles and parapet of the
     Octagon. This is very important to give full effect to the
     central portion of the Cathedral, which suffers unduly in
     estimation from the original design being so imperfectly
     carried out.

     9. Exterior repairs of Trinity Church, formerly the Lady
     Chapel, which is still under the charge of the Capitular
     body. The cost of restoring the interior decoration of this
     elaborate specimen of art, if it be deemed desirable, may be
     left at present out of calculation.

A generous offer has been made for the interior decoration of the
Lantern and vault of the Octagon, which there is every reason to hope
will be executed at no distant time.


_The Deanery, October, 1873._

Summary of Expenditure upon Restorations, Memorials, and Special Works
executed in Ely Cathedral within the last thirty years.

                                                              £   _s._ _d._

Restoring the interior and exterior of the Choir,
  providing Memorials, special works, and decorations      28,067   0   0

Restoring the Lantern as a memorial to the late Dean
  Peacock, furnishing Octagon, and filling large windows
  with stained glass                                       10,022   0   0

Restoring north and south-east Transepts                     4123   0   0

Repairing roof, making new ceiling, laying new floors to
  the Nave and side aisles, providing memorials, &c.         7269  19   4

Opening the Lantern of the great Western Tower, securing
  the Tower, &c.                                             4017  15  10

Restoring St. Catherine's Chapel, restoring the south-west
  Transept, now the Baptistry                                2384  16   9

Restoring west Entrance-gates, &c.                           1168  15  10
                                                           £57,053  7   9

Lists of those persons who have contributed from time to time to these
Restorations have been published. The general amount of these
offerings are shown by the following summary:--

                                                            £  _s._ _d._
Contributions and special works by the Bishops of Ely
  and their families                                       3600  0   0

Contributions and payments by the Dean       £   _s._ _d._
  and Chapter corporate                   22,927  10   7

Contributions by individual members of
  the Chapter and their families          14,907  19   0
                                          ---------------37,835  9   7

Contributions and special works by the Officers and
  Tradesmen of the Dean and Chapter                        1412  1   0

Contributions by other Inhabitants of the City of Ely       365 11   0

Contributions by the general public                      13,840  6   2
                                                        £57,053  7   9

Besides the Restorations of the Cathedral, and the defraying of
numerous expenses incident to their position as patrons or
proprietors, considerable works have been carried on by the Dean and
Chapter during the last thirty years in providing houses for the
Masters of the Grammar School, converting the Great Gate into suitable
Schoolrooms (towards which friends have contributed £575, including
£325 by the City of Ely), partially restoring Prior Crauden's Chapel,
improving the Deanery and the Canons' houses, building new Schools for
the Choristers, with a Master's house, turning part of the old
Sacristy into a muniment room and Verger's lodge, executing important
sanitary works, laying underground drains, laying out and planting the
grounds around the Cathedral, &c., at a cost altogether exceeding
£12,000, exclusive of ordinary repairs. Total cost of Restorations and
Improvements about £70,000.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some of the works named as being required to be done have been
completed since the issue of the Dean's statement in 1873, viz., the
decoration of the Octagon and Lantern; the three figures of the
Apostles required to complete the series in the Octagon; the floor of
the north arm of the Transept; and the erection of pinnacles on the
exterior of the Octagon.

+Illustrations of Ely Cathedral.+




_&c., &c._


Have constantly on hand a large and well-selected Stock of




Panoramic size, 11 in. by 6 in., exclusive of mounts, about 17 varieties.
Universal series, 8-1/2 in. by 6-1/3 in.,       "           30     "
Cabinet series, 6 in. by 4 in.,                 "           25     "
Carte de visite series, 4 in. by 2 in.,         "           30     "

_Lists may be had on application._

A SELECTION of 20 PHOTOGRAPHS, Cabinet size, mounted, and bound in a
volume for the Drawing Room table, _21s._ cloth.

Any of Frith's Photographs of English and Foreign Scenery, Cathedrals,
&c. can be supplied.

[pointing hand symbol] _A large SELECTION of PHOTOGRAPHS by various
artists, mounted and unmounted, from 6d. to 3s. 6d. each._

       *       *       *       *       *

+Architectural Gems of Ely Cathedral,+

A series of beautiful Engravings of the various styles of

_1s. sewed._

A Packet of Six colour-printed Views, in wrapper, _1s._

And a variety of Fancy Articles.




THE PSALTER, OR PSALMS OF DAVID; together with the Te Deum, Jubilate,
Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis, &c., _carefully marked and pointed for
chanting_. By the late ROBERT JANES, Organist of Ely Cathedral. A New
Edition, revised and accented under the direction of a Committee of
the Ely Diocesan Church Music Society. _Quarto, price 4s. sewed.
Pocket Edition, 1s. 6d. cloth._

THE HYMNS AND CANTICLES used in the Morning and Evening Services of
the Church; selected from "The Psalter," carefully marked and pointed
for chanting. For the use of Congregations of Churches and Chapels
where the Psalms are not usually chanted.--_price 2d. sewed._

together with the Order of the Administration of the Lord's Supper, or
Holy Communion, set to Music, as used in the Cathedral Church of Ely.
_Royal 16mo. 1s 6d. limp cloth; or with red rubrics and border lines,
in cloth boards and red edges, 2s. 6d._

_An allowance to Clergymen and Organists taking a quantity._

THE Words of about 400 ANTHEMS used in the Cathedral Church of Ely,
edited by the Rev. W.E. Dickson, Precentor. _Price 2s. cloth limp._

A HAND-BOOK TO THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ELY; with some account of the
Monastic Buildings, Bishop's Palace, &c. _Illustrated by Engravings
and Ground Plans._ Eleventh Edition revised. _Crown Octavo, from 1s._

contains a variety of official and general information for the Clergy
and Laity. _Price 1s._

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