Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Round Church/Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Cambridge, UK

The oldest church in Cambridge, UK, is the Round Church, also called The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Round Church/Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Cambridge

Built in 1130 after the First Crusade, the design is patterned after Emperor Constantine's church built in Jerusalem on the site of Jesus' tomb. The circular shape is different from most European churches which are cruciform. Only three other churches built in England at that time are round, making this a rather unique spot.

Simple rounded arches in Romanesque style

Another angle

The baptismal font

Initially the church was a wayfarers' chapel. In the 13th century it became a parish church. A choir and north aisle were added to accommodate larger numbers of worshipers.

North Aisle; the plaque on the wall commemorates WWI and WWII veterans

Choir/main altar, keeping the simple style of the original church

In the Victorian era, part of the round ambulatory collapsed under the weight of the 15th century Gothic tower. Extensive repairs were made, including the addition of a south aisle (to the right of the choir) and a new vestry to the north of the north aisle.

The south aisle has a short video of the history of the church and Cambridge

The left-hand tower is the entrance to the vestry, not open to tourists

The congregation moved to a different, larger church (St. Andrew the Great) in 1994, so the church is not used regularly for services.

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