Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire

Lichfield Cathedral was founded in AD 669 by St. Chad, the ejected Bishop of York. His holy well, where he used to bathe daily, still stands in the grounds of nearby St. Chad’s Church. Chad's Saxon Cathedral was rebuilt after the Norman Conquest and the building we see today is largely of 13th century date. Unfortunately, the building was severely damaged during the English Civil War when the city was the scene of much fighting and the close was besieged three times! Victorian restorations have done much to return it to its former glory, particularly with the impressive west front covered in statues of English Kings. Notable gems within, include the, spookily named, ‘St. Chad’s Head Chapel’ from where the skull of the saint was once displayed to pilgrims. The site of his main shrine is marked behind the high altar. The chapter house houses the famous ‘Lichfield Gospel,’ one of the country’s great illuminated manuscripts, created in Wales around AD 730.

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