This cathedral is among the largest in the world and in fact contains the largest ringing and hanging bell in the world, and the world’s largest functioning organ. It is a beautiful church and for me, much more substantial than the newer and somewhat gormless Metropolitan Cathedral nearby. It was of the most magnificent structures I have been in, and as a church for me only second to Prague’s St Nicholas Cathedral.
If my colleague had not as was his habit engaged the keepers about the church I would have come away ignorant of its true age. When he asked me how old I thought it was, I ventured about three hundred years but construction on this began as recently as 1904.
When I research this church I am amazed to find that the commission was given to a 22 year old with not previous buildings to his credit. And as great as this turned out, I can only imagine if Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who had also entered the competition, had won.
I was not able to get any good photographs of the remarkable stained glass windows or of the interior vaulting. (I did return on a later day but due to a corrupted card was unable to take more pictures at that time).
Below is a graveyard, the St James Cemetery that predates the Cathedral by almost a century. Built in an old quarry, this is a beautiful park to walk through. Amongst the gravestones which though not often giving the cause of death, did more than once say “lost at sea”, were communal stones erected by orphanages which would list twenty or so names on one stone.