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Ely - Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity church, formerly the Lady Chapel of the cathedral, is a rectangular edifice of stone, consisting of five cathedral bays, in the Late Decorated style, and was begun in 1321, by John Wisbech, a monk, from a design by Alan de Walsingham, then subprior, and finished in 1349;its unusual position, northward of the choir, is owing to the circumstance of a public road passing over the ground at the east end of the cathedral which would have otherwise have been its site, and which would then have made this cathedral the longest in the world; the interior of the church, to the level of the window sills, is surrounded by a singularly beautiful arcading of canopied ogee arches, richly feathered and inclining forward; the spaces between the windows which are of great size, with finely conceived tracery, are similarly treated, and above spreads a superb vaulting intricately groined, and studded with bosses, illustrating the history of the Virgin, and other subjects; the east window is of seven, and the west is of eight lights; exterior space above each is filled with an arcade of nine crocketed arches, and at the west end a similar arcade extends below the window, with other arches and shields at the sides; the whole of these arches retain moulded pedestals, but of the 32 figures which they once supported, none now exist; the building is 100 feet long by 46 wide and 60 feet high, its only fault being its undue width, but this is amply compensated for by the wonderful and exquisite beauty of it's parts and especially for the ' gorgeous and unrivalled series of stone stalls, ' which constitute its choicest feature; there is one bell, dated 1648, and a sanctus bell, inscribed ' Abe gracia plena;' these, however, are not hung above the church, but in a belfry at the school opposite: there are 600 sittings. The register dates from the year 1559.

[Extract from Kelly's Cambridgeshire Directory - 1900]

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