A Souvenir Guide
- One of England’s premier and most-visited cathedrals
- An evocative guide to a historically rich and inspiring cathedral church
- Expert text and specially commissioned full-colour photography
One of the group of English cathedrals which developed from a monastery church, Chester Cathedral has had an unusually long and complicated history and may have its origins in a Christian foundation in the Roman city of Chester. The Benedictine monks who lived and worshipped here for many hundreds of years have left clear evidence of their way of life, from the superb choir stalls where they stood to worship and the impressive refectory where they took their meals, to the Chester Imp, carved high up in the nave, which guarded them from demons. Their church, gradually rebuilt in the Gothic style from the mid-12th century, was reconstituted as a cathedral by Henry VIII in 1540. Instead of falling into disrepair, the ‘old’ monastery became the ‘new’ cathedral and what we see here today is not just an inspiring cathedral, but one of the country’s finest examples of a monastic complex, sprawling over a quarter of the area of the medieval town.