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Peterborough Cathedral: A Glimpse of Heaven

Jonathan Foyle

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Description

Peterborough Cathedral is one of England's finest Norman buildings, sited on the shifting boundary between solid ground and waterlogged fenlands. Founded in AD 654 and achieving cathedral status in 1541, the preservation of its art and architecture is remarkable considering its turbulent history.

Author Jonathan Foyle traces the story from the earliest traces of habitation here to the monumental and inventive twelfth-century building, which largely survives. The extraordinary west front, with its three monumental arches, is seen as symbolising the guardianship of St Peter, keeper of the keys of heaven, while the complex decoration of the vast wooden nave ceiling contrasts the joys of heaven with the horrors of hell.

Falling into disrepair in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Peterborough never experienced wholesale Victorian restoration, thereby preserving its art and architecture and allowing us to see the glimpse of heaven that it has offered through the ages. Ultimately, it is a story of triumph against adversity, for today the cathedral serves a vibrant and developing community.

Contents: Introduction 1. Between Land and Water 2. Destruction and Rebuilding 3. Cathedral Completed 4. Nave Ceiling 5. The End of an Era 6. Survival and Renewal

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