Liverpool Cathedral

View from the tower looking down towards the Chapter House

Date

22 October 2011
Location

St James’s Mount, Liverpool

SJ 35385 89411; 53.39754°N, 2.97321°W

Information

With an overall external length, including the annexed Lady Chapel, of 189 m (620 ft), Liverpool Cathedral is the longest in the world. Officially known as the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, it is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool. The long axis of the building is aligned North-South, with liturgical East and West therefore corresponding to geographical South and North, respectively.

In 1901 it was decided to hold an open competition for designs for a Church of England cathedral for Liverpool. In 1903 a proposal by 22-year-old architect Giles Gilbert Scott was selected and the following year the foundation stone was laid by Edward VII.

The first part of the building to be finished was the Lady Chapel, which was dedicated in 1910. Around this time, Scott substantially revised his plans for the rest of the structure. Originally conceived as having two towers at the West end and a single transept, the cathedral was now to figure a single, central tower and twin transepts.

Progress was disrupted by the First Word War, and the next section, comprising the High Altar, Chancel and Eastern Transepts, was consecrated as the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool in 1924.

The next phase of construction was of the central section, and work was later hindered again, this time by the Second World War. Nevertheless, Scott performed the topping out ceremony to complete the 101 m (331 ft) tower in 1942.

Scott died in 1960, the year before the Bridge and the first bay of the Nave were finished. Construction of the rest of the cathedral was finally completed in 1978.

Liverpool Cathedral; Liverpool Cathedral (Wikipedia); Liturgical east and west;
David Sheppard (Wikipedia)

Tower from the East

Chapter House from above

Looking towards the Great West Porch from The Well (the nave). Liturgical West is, in the case, geographically North.

Central Space, looking towards Dulverton Bridge and The Well.

Alpha and Omega

David Stuart Sheppard memorial. The memorial was dedicated in May 2011 to Baron Sheppard of Liverpool (1929-2005), Bishop of Liverpool and former England cricket player.

The Choir

The Choir

Benedicite Window with Tracy Emin's 2008 pink neon ‘For You’ installation below. This reads, in the artist’s handwriting, ‘I felt you and I knew you loved me.’

Lady Chapel

The Arms of the Diocese of Liverpool. The upper part of the shield shows an open bible and a galleon, representing the city’s maritime heritage. The eagle of St John was part of the original seal of Liverpool from the time of King John in 1207 when he developed the natural harbour for military purposes.

The Bell Chamber. The 14.5 ton Great George surrounded by 13 bells collectively weighing 16.5 tons. At 67 m (219 ft) this is the world’s highest, and heaviest, ringing peal of church bells. Great George is only rung at Christmas, Easter and on very important occasions.

The Bell Chamber

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15 thoughts on “Liverpool Cathedral

    • Ric, there is a very brief description in the Cathedral’s official web site:

      “In bitterly cold weather on 20th February 1942, Sir Giles Scott placed the final stone on the final ‘finial’ at the top of the tower, three hundred and thirty one feet one and half inches (101 metres) above the Cathedral floor.”

      There is also a photo of the event on display in a corridor of the Cathedral’s basement.

      • Thanks Graham – brilliant!

        btw. there was a group doing spooky things around the cathedral a while ago – i wonder if they will reconvene for Hallowe’en? 😀

  1. I’d forgotten how long this palce took to build, but it was worth it in the end, a bit like the place in Barcelona, which is of course still being built. A super set of photos, and some lovely light.

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  3. “Fab” photos as always, you have found some original and thought-provoking angles here. I like them all, but the photos of the Lady Chapel and the Choir are especially powerful for me.

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