The East of England has several great cathedrals, raised above the Fens centuries ago and lovingly embellished across the years. I’d heard a lot about the Peterborough’s Cathedral, but it’s an hour outside of Cambridge, too far for a casual outing. But, when Amazon inexplicably left a book for me to pick up there, it was a good opportunity to visit the edifice.
From a distance, it looks like most gothic churches, all sand-colored spires against the blue skies. But the West Face, viewed from across the Close, is amazing. There is a square Norman block foundation, embellished with the Gothic arches and points: I think that Carcasonne had a similar church-upon-a-church.
Inside, the stone galleries support a richly ornamented ceiling. The modern icon suspended over the chapel feels out of place, but the wood- and stone-work throughout is very graceful. There is some fanwork ceiling towards the back and warm light throughout: the criss-crossing arches give a lot of depth and interest to the ceilings and the tomb of Queen Katherine was a surprise to find her here rather than Westminster.
The outside grounds are worth a stroll: the Cathedral looks smaller around the exterior but the statuary and gardens are an intimate contrast to the soaring vaults inside.