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Guildford Cathedral

From Academic Kids

Guildford Cathedral claims to be "the only cathedral to be built on a new site in the southern Province of England since the Reformation". Guildford was made a diocese in its own right in 1927, and work on its new cathedral, designed by Sir Edward Maufe, began nine years later. It was interrupted by the Second World War, and the building wasn't consecrated until 1961.

It stands in a commanding spot on Stag Hill - so named because the Kings of England used to hunt here - and its solid red brick outline is visible for miles around; it immediately overlooks the University of Surrey beneath it. Its bricks are made from clay taken from the hill on which it stands.

The tower is 160 feet high, and contains ten bells, cast by the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which is best known for creating the original Liberty Bell, and Big Ben for the famous clock tower in Westminster, London.

At the top of the tower stands a 15 foot gilded angel, which turns in the wind. Inside, the cathedral appears to be filled with light, with pale Somerset sandstone pillars and white Italian marble floors.

Writing in 1932, Sir Edward Maufe said: ‘The ideal has been to produce a design, definitely of our own time, yet in the line of the great English Cathedrals; to build anew on tradition, to rely on proportion, mass, volume and line rather than on elaboration and ornament.'

Pevsner described the building as 'sweet-tempered, undramatic Curvilinear Gothic', and that the interior was 'noble and subtle.'

The classic horror film The Omen was filmed there, the golden wind-vane on top of the cathedral added specifically for the film. The members of the church liked it so much they requested for it to become a permanent feature.

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