Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 686 A.D.—Present. Carlisle Cathedral & Priory, Carlisle, Cumbria, UK (Province of York)—Purported Monastery Founded in 686 by Land-grant from Ecgfrith, King of Northumbria; Destroyed by Danes, c. 875

February 686 A.D.—Present.  Carlisle Cathedral & Priory, Carlisle, Cumbria, UK (Province of York)—Purported Monastery Founded in 686 by Land-grant from Ecgfrith, King of Northumbria;  Destroyed by Danes, c. 875; Rebuilt by William Rufus & a Norman Priest, Walter, 1092;  Augustinian Canons, 1122, & Built by Henry 1; Episcopal Diocesan Cathedral, 1133; Dissolved 1540; Last Prior Became Dean; Priory Church Called “Holy Trinity, Carlisle;”  Cathedral Church Called “The Holy and Undivied Trinity, Carlisle”

Carlisle Cathedral

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Carlisle Cathedral
Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity
West side of the cathedral
Carlisle, Cumbria
Carlisle, created 1133
Brian McConnell, Canon Warden
Michael Manley, Canon Missioner
The Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, otherwise calledCarlisle Cathedral, is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Carlisle. It is located in Carlisle, in Cumbria, North West England. It was founded as an Augustinian priory and became a cathedral in 1133.[1]
Carlisle, because of heavy losses to its fabric, is the second smallest (after Oxford), of England's ancient cathedrals. Its notable features include some fine figurative stone carving, a set of medieval choir stalls and the largest window in the Flowing Decorated Gothic style in England.[2]


·         1 History
·         2 Architecture
·         3 Chapter
·         4 Music
o    4.1 Organ
o    4.3 Choirs
·         5 Burials
·         6 See also
·         7 References
·         8 External links


Carlisle Cathedral Priory
Dominican Friary
Franciscan Friary
Locations of former monastic houses in Carlisle
Carlisle Cathedral was begun in 1122, during the reign of King Henry I, as a community of Canons Regular following the reform of the Abbey of Arrouaise in France, which followed a strict form of the canonical life, influenced by the ascetic practices of the Cistercians. Many large churches of Augustinian foundation were built in England during this period as the Archbishop of Canterbury, William de Corbeil, was a member of this order, but Carlisle is one of only four Augustinian churches in England to become a cathedral, most monastic cathedrals being Benedictine. The church was begun by Athelwold, an Englishman, who became the first prior. In 1133, the church was raised to the status of cathedral and Athelwold became the first Bishop of Carlisle (1133–55). In 1233, the cathedral priory community were joined by two friaries in the city. A Dominican friary and a Franciscan friary were founded close to the cathedral.[3] The building was refurbished in the 13th and 14th centuries, receiving impetus from the presence of the court of Edward I in 1307.
Cathedral Church of St. Mary at Carlisle, 1783
In the 15th and early 16th centuries, the monastic buildings were renewed.[1][4] With the Dissolution of the Monasteries from 1536, and the establishment by Henry VIII of the Church of England as the country's official church, the Dominican and Franciscan friaries were dissolved and Carlisle, along with the other monastic cathedrals, was run by a secular chapter like the cathedrals at Lincoln and York, which practice has continued to this day.[5] During the time of the English Civil War, a portion of the nave of the cathedral was demolished by the Scottish Presbyterian Army in order to use the stone to reinforce Carlisle Castle. Between 1853 and 1870 Carlisle Cathedral was restored by Ewan Christian. In the early 19th century, the cathedral became the subject for a geometric analysis by Robert William Billings.[6]


The view from the 14th-century choir looking towards the east window - one of the finest examples of Flowing Decorated tracery
The view from the altar looking west towards the choir and organ
Carlisle Cathedral was commenced in 1123 as a monastic church, possibly on the foundations of an earlier church, in the Norman architectural style with solid masonry, large round piers, round arches and smallish round headed windows. These features may still be seen in the south transept and the remaining two bays of the nave, which are now used as the Chapel of the Border Regiment.[1] The stone is the local red sandstone, which has discoloured almost to black on parts of the exterior. The building has also suffered from subsidence which is evidenced by the piers, which lean at different angles.
In the 13th century, the choir of the cathedral was rebuilt in the Gothic style, wider than the original and on a different axis. However, the new work was severely damaged in a fire in 1292, and the work was recommenced. By 1322 the arcades and the easternmost bay were complete, with the elaborate tracery and glass of the east window being in place by about 1350. The upper stages of the walls were finished, probably by the architect John Lewen who died in about 1398.[5] The Gothic arcade has richly moulded arches with dog's tooth decoration, and the twelve capitals are carved with vegetation along with small lively figures representing the labours of the months.[7]
The choir is roofed by a fine wooden barrel vault dating from the 14th century. In 1856 this was restored and repainted to a new design by Owen Jones.[1] It is thought the eastern bays of the cathedral never received a stone vault because at some point the central spire blew down, and funds were required to rebuild the damaged tower and north transept, completed in about 1420.[2]
The tracery and stained glass of the East Window
The most significant architectural feature of Carlisle Cathedral is its East Window. The tracery of this window is in the most complex of English Gothic styles, Flowing Decorated Gothic. It is the largest and most complex such window in England, being 51 feet high and 26 feet wide. It has nine lights, and tracery, which, it has been calculated, was drafted from 263 points.[8] The tracery of the window still contains much of its original medieval glass.[2][5]
Carlisle Cathedral has a fine set of 46 carved wooden choir stalls with misericords, which were installed in the early 15th century.[1][2] Misericords are hinged seats, “constructed to keep the monks from falling asleep while at prayers,”[9] and carved with numerous figures and creatures. Despite their purpose, the “pillars supporting the canopies bear traces of having been burnt, by weary monks who dropped off to sleep in the midst of their interminable devotions while holding a lighted candle in their hands.”[10] The misericords were made out of black oak, and their backs carved with scenes of the legends of St. Anthony the Hermit, St. Cuthbert, St. Augustine, and the twelve apostles, as well as mythical themes. The misericords of Carlisle include typical iconography of “half-length angels, beasts deriving from the Bestiary, hybrid creatures, and narrative scenes, including the inverted world theme of the Woman beating a Man that no decent set of misericords could be without.”
The delicate gilt canopy over the High Altar is a modern work designed by Sir Charles Nicholson.[1][2]
Other buildings of interest in the precinct are the Fratry dating from about 1500 and the Gatehouse of 1527.[5] The Deanery incorporates a 15th-century pele tower, called The Prior's Tower, containing a fine contemporary painted ceiling.
The dimensions of Carlisle Cathedral:
Total length
239 ft
Total width
141 ft
43 m
Internal height
72 ft
22 m
Height of tower
110 ft
33.5 m


·         Dean – The Very Revd Mark Boyling (since 2004)
·         Canon Warden – The Revd Canon Jan Kearton (since 2013)[11]
·         Canon Missioner – The Revd Canon Michael Manley (since 2007)
·         Archdeacon of Carlisle & Canon Residentiary – The Ven Kevin Roberts (since January 2009)



The earliest documented organ at Carlisle Cathedral is one mentioned in an inventory of 1571. The present organ was built byHenry Willis in 1856 and was innovative for its date. It was enlarged in 1875 to include the 32 foot pipes. In 1906 it was further extended by Harrison & Harrison. In 1930, the organ was moved to its present position by an unknown builder. In 1962, J. W. Walker & Sons Ltd rebuilt the organ to give it a more classical sound. In 1997, a rebuilding by David Wells sought to restore the organ to its original Victorian tone. At this time a number of new stops were added.[12][13] The organ has 4 manuals, 72 stops: Pedal 18 stops, Positive 14 stops, Great 13 stops, Swell 14 stops, Solo 13 stops.


The earliest recorded appointment of an organist at Carlisle Cathedral is of Thomas Southick in 1650. Notable organists have included the composer, astronomer and mathematician Thomas Greatorex and founder of the Royal School of Church Music, Sir Sydney Nicholson. The present organist is Jeremy Suter.[14]


Carlisle Cathedral Choir

The Carlisle Cathedral Choir dates from the foundation of the cathedral in 1133, when four laymen and six boys choristers assisted the canons with music.
In 1545, the Cathedral Statutes provided for four lay clerks and six choristers, who were to be "boys of tender age with sonorous voices and apt at chanting".
The present Cathedral Choir consists of 16 choristers and 6 lay clerks. The choristers were originally educated at the Cathedral's Choir School but this was closed in 1935 and the boys are drawn from local schools. There is now also of 16 girl choristers, who alternate with the boys in singing three services a week, with Evensong sung daily except Saturday, and Choral Eucharist at 10.30 on Sunday. The boys and girls are aged from 8–13 years and are recruited from local schools. They are selected at voice trials held during the year and receive a thorough musical training. They are awarded an annual bursary and pocket money.[4]

Carlisle Cathedral Youth Choir

Detail of the chancel roof
The Cathedral also has a Youth Choir for boys and girls aged 13–18 years who sing services in the Cathedral once a week during term time.[4] They are conducted by Edward Taylor the assistant organist. The Youth Choir last went on tour to Brittany in October 2010.

Carlisle Cathedral Voluntary Choir

The Voluntary Choir, consisting of mixed voices, was formed to sing occasional services in the absence of the Cathedral and Youth Choirs.[4]

Carlisle Cathedral Music Appeal

In 1999 the Carlisle Cathedral Music Appeal was launched with a target of £750,000 to establish a choral foundation to enable annual bursaries and free instrumental lessons to be provided for the choristers, and scholarships and vocal tuition for the choral scholars.[4]


Tomb of Samuel Waldegrave
·         Robert de Chauncy, Bishop of Carlisle (1257–1278)
·         Ralph of Irton, Bishop of Carlisle (1278–1292)
·         John de Halton, Bishop of Carlisle (1292–1324)
·         John May, Bishop of Carlisle (1577–1598)
·         Richard Senhouse, Bishop of Carlisle (1624–1626) - preached the coronation sermon for Charles I
·         Edmund Law, Bishop of Carlisle (1768–1787)
·         Samuel Waldegrave, Bishop of Carlisle (1860–1869)

See also

·         English Gothic architecture
·         Romanesque architecture


The cathedral from the castle
1.      ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Tim Tatton-Brown and John Crook, The English Cathedral, New Holland (2002), ISBN 1-84330-120-2
2.      ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Alec Clifton-Taylor, The Cathedrals of England, Thames & Hudson (1967)
3.      Jump up^ "The friaries – Carlisle, Penrith and Appleby – British History Online". 22 June 2003. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
4.      ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Carlisle Cathedral website accessed 21 October 2008
5.      ^ Jump up to:a b c d John Harvey, English Cathedrals, Batsford (1961)
7.      Jump up^ Carlisle Cathedral images accessed 21 October 2008
8.      Jump up^ Other large windows in this complex style are the 8-light window at York Minster and the 7-light windows at Selby Abbey.
9.      Jump up^ "Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Carlisle by C. King Eley - Free Ebook". Retrieved 30 August 2014.
10. Jump up^ Crotchet, D. (1909). "Carlisle Cathedral". The Musical Times 50 (794): 229–239.doi:10.2307/907989. JSTOR 907989.
11. Jump up^
12. Jump up^ Carlisle Cathedral Organ accessed 21 October 2008
14. Jump up^ Friends of Cathedral Music, accessed 21 October 2008

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Carlisle Cathedral.
·         Official site

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