Saturday morning shoppers had popped in to join a service in the Lady Chapel. Its liturgy echoed throughout the east end of the church.
Hereford’s prominent single central tower was funded by a deluge of money coming in from pilgrims visiting the shrine of Bishop Thomas Cantiloupe who was beatified in 1320. The veneration of saints, and pilgrimages to the interment sites of a saint’s relics, were widespread. A church in possession of the relics of a popular saint enjoyed a source of income, as the faithful made donations in the hope that they might receive spiritual aid.
Like Gloucester, down the road, it began as a Saxon Church until the Normans moved in. There is some exciting Early English work and important Gothic in the North Transept. More recently my artist-hero John Piper has been hard at work here contributing three tapestries.
Extract from my new book, English Cathedrals capturing the wonder of these very special places in 60 exciting drawings. Order via http://bit.ly/2tbCoE