Full dedication: Cathedral and Collegiate Church of the Blessed Virgin
Became a Cathedral in 1884
This is an unusual Cathedral in that it refers to itself as a Minster (in common only with York Minster).
Southwell (pronounced Suthall) is one of the most perfectly preserved Norman Cathedrals in existence, with it's simple but elegant lines typifying the sparse Norman style. The twin pointed roofs atop the towers would originally have been of wood. The building was started around 1108 and grew to remarkable size considering how small a town Southwell is.
Inside the most remarkable feature is the octagonal chapter house with it's elborate and truly wonderful wooden carvings of plants, flowers and leaves, known as the "Leaves of Southwell". Appropriate for the town that gave us the Bramley Apple.
Southwell Minster is often, perhaps rightly, called "England's Forgotten Cathedral". It is one of the most rewarding of them all, so perhaps it deserves greater fame.
Photo - Andrew J. Müller
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