Gloucester Cathedral

This is Gloucester Cathedral Tower from the cloisters.

It’s an amazing place. Inside there are huge Norman pillars from 1089. They seem so solid and magnificent that you’d think no-one would ever want to change them. But someone did. At the East End, there are a few pairs of pillars in a totally different style: the “perpendicular” style, which means they are fluted, like vertical clusters of pipes. This remodelling project was started in around 1330, but didn’t get far. Our guide, Rebecca, offered several explanations for why this project was stopped. There was a war with France, the start of the “Hundred Years War”. France invaded Dover and Folkestone in 1339 . And on the north border, English armies were attempting to stop Scotland from going independent. So there was a lot going on, and remodelling a cathedral might have gone down the list of economic priorities. Then, to cap it all, there was the Plague in 1347-51 which must have depleted the workforce and caused economic disruption. So best leave the Norman pillars as they are.

Here are some sketches as we toured the cathedral. Thank you to Rebecca, who was a brilliant guide: patient with our questions and interruptions, and extremely knowledgeable.

It’s 1hr45mins from Paddington to Gloucester. Here are some drawings done on the train.

The drawing of the Tower was a quick pen and ink sketch, coloured later. The pen and ink took about 45 minutes. The colours are: Phthalo Turquoise (W&N), Mars Yellow (DS) and Perinone Orange (DS). Here is work in progress, including some of the drawing on the train.

Map of Gloucester Cathedral (1900):

Footnote: Concerning things that were going on in the 1330s: the Butchers Guild was granted the right to regulate the meat trade in London in 1331. See this post for a picture of the Butchers Hall:

Barts Square, Butchers’ Hall

Continuing my exploration of Barts Square, EC1, today I drew Butchers’ Hall. Butchers’ Hall is the building with the arched windows, in the centre left of the picture. It is the headquarters of The Worshipful Company of Butchers. This livery company is very old, the Arms were granted in 1540 and the charter by James…

Cathedrals in the Shires: Hereford and Worcester, with Kilpeck and Tewksbury

Here is Worcester Cathedral.


I sketched this view from the cloisters, which were glazed and enclosed. I did, however, find a chair, and a convenient inverted dustbin on which to place my tools.

The other Cathedral we visited this trip was Hereford:


Here I had an unrestricted view from the Chapter House garden, which was very peaceful and lovely.

We also visited a small church, Kilpeck, which is very ancient:

In this church there were viking carvings.

If you are in the area I recommend also Tewkesbury Abbey, which though not a cathedral is an inspiring and welcoming place. I had a terrible cold, and lacked the energy to make anything except a small indoor picture.


I must mention the excellent deli in Tewksbury High Street, Miss Muffet. We just had a sandwich, but suddenly I remembered what sandwiches are supposed to taste like. And for all its quality control and high-class ingredients, Pret in London cannot hope to match the Tewksbury offer: fresh home-made bread, pastrami just cut, and cracking piccalilli. Here’s the view from the window. Good food takes time.




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