It was intentionally built just to the south of Durham Castle, so that the two buildings together would present a formidable defensive position against attacks from the north.
The Norman nave is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in England The Castle ruins Durham Cathedral is a wonderful reminder of the age of the Prince Bishops. In this building the three main innovations of the revolutionary Gothic style come together; pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses hidden above the aisle vaults.
The majority of the interior work was completed in only 40 years, with the result that the cathedral shows a remarkable unity of style not often found with large building projects from the medieval period.
Durham is one of the high points of cathedral architecture in this or any other land. The cathedral was founded in AD by monks from Lindisfarne who had fled their island home when the Danish Vikings came calling.
The monks needed a home for the relics of St. Cuthbertand they built a superb church on a rise above a bend of the River Wear. The church built by Cuthbert's followers was pulled down by William of St.
Carileph, the second bishop of Durham, when the present building was begun in The choir begun by William was finished inand the nave was rebuilt under the reign of his successor as Bishop, Ranulf Flambard.
The nave is astonishing; the relatively slender composite piers alternate with massive drum columns, and the stone vaulting is the finest Romanesque example in Europe.
As a reward for increasing William's revenue, Flambard was awarded the bishopric of Durham in In Flambard was imprisoned in the Tower of London by Henry I, but the bishop managed to escape by climbing down a rope from a high window.
It is possible that the "escape" was encouraged by Henry, but Flambard never regained the influence he had held under William II. His actions were not all self-centred; Flambard was responsible for building the hospital of Kepier in Durham, and founding several churches.
In he found time to invade Scotland. At his death in Flambard tried to mend a few fences by restoring privileges he had taken from the monks of Durham, but his lasting impression is of a man driven by greed and power.
In the body of St. Cuthbert was finally laid to rest in the Cathedral proper. It had been kept in a nearby chapel until the church was being built. The monks inspected the body and found it in a state of perfect preservation possibly due to embalming.
When Ranulf's successor, Geoffrey Rufus, died inthe bishop's chaplain, William Cumin, seized the Bishop's Castle, claiming to be the new bishop.
Cumin had forged documents, purporting to be from the pope, naming him as the next bishop.
The monks refused to accept Cumin, despite support for him from King David of Scotland. Several monks escaped and fled to Rome to ask the pope for clarification. The pope denounced Cumin and ordered the monks to elect a new bishop. Cumin was captured in the following year by a force of nobles under the Earl of Northumberland.Feb 10, · Promotional content 1 for use on Durham Cathedrals World Heritage Site website.
A timeline of Durham Cathedral through the centuries. Find out more about the Benedictine monks, Prince Bishops, and our time as a prison.
History of Durham Cathedral Library. Photographic imaging services. Learning Toggle dropdown menu. The Bishop of Durham and the Cathedral Chapter found Durham University.
Discover the rich history of cathedral-building in Britain. The Cathedrals of Britain. many of the masons came from Durham whose cathedral was also under construction.
It was founded by. The Building of Durham Cathedral A Contemporary Account. Much of our knowledge about the building of Durham Cathedral comes from the account of Symeon, a Durham monk who witnessed its construction, and wrote what he called "The Little Book on the Origins and Progress of this Church, of Durham".Symeon tells us that Bishop William of Saint Calais ordered the construction .
Oct 21, · Durham Cathedral: Readers choice for Britain's best building In September, we asked you to vote for the building you thought should be included in .
Durham Cathedral started life as a monastic cathedral, part of a Benedictine priory. It was built to house the shrine of St Cuthbert, the remains of .