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Architecture

Outstanding examples of differing architectural styles

Although all periods of medieval church architecture are represented at Gloucester Cathedral, its two main building phases – Romanesque and Perpendicular, are of outstanding interest and importance.

The Romanesque Abbey

Built by Abbot Serlo, the foundThe Naveation stone was laid in 1089. The eastern arm was ready for dedication in 1100 and the Nave was completed c.1130.

A great deal of this Romanesque church survives including the entire crypt, much of the east end, the great nave piers most of the north aisle and the Norman Chapter House.

Both the Early English style and the Decorated style are also represented at the Cathedral. Examples include, the Nave vaulting of 1242 in the Early English style, and the elaborate stone carving of Edward II’s tomb in the Decorated style.

The Birth of Perpendicular Architecture

The remodelling of the east end at Gloucester Cathedral was carried out between 1331- c.1355 and arose from the burial in the abbey of King Edward II.  The young Edward III wanted a more fitting burial place for his royal father and provided the royal masons to carry out some experimental work in the French “Rayonnant” style.  The South Transept at Gloucester Cathedral is the earliest surviving example of English Perpendicular architecture. The magnificent Quire and Presbytery were then remodelled in what became the standard English style of architecture for more than 200 years.

Quire Roof

Gloucester Cathedral’s Cloister also boasts a magnificent example of fan-vaulting, which is believed to have been invented here in the 1350s. Built for the monks of Gloucester to live and study, the Cloisters are one of our best kept secrets, and are now open every day for all to enjoy.