Cathedrals in England and Wales – History Jar quiz 4 answers

Detail from exterior of Lincoln Cathedral

Time for answers – how did you do and how many have you visited?

Old Foundation Cathedrals: These cathedrals were ‘secular’ foundations dating from before the Reformation. This simply means that their chapters weren’t made up from monks in a closed order – their chapters were always run by canons who were of the world rather than being enclosed. Essentially the lack of monastic involvement meant that these cathedrals were unaffected by the dissolution of the monasteries.

In England: Chichester, Exeter, Hereford, Lichfield, Lincoln, London (St Paul’s), Salisbury, Wells and York.

In Wales: Bangor, Llandaff, St Asaph, and St David’s.

New Foundation Cathedrals: These cathedrals either functioned as public places of worship with monastic chapters in the medieval period or were abbeys. The Reformation was not good news for their monastic inhabitants. Cromwell reorganised the dioceses and church administration of England and Wales. New non-monastic constitutions were applied. For instance, St Mary’s Abbey church in Carlisle became the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. Many cathedrals were re-founded during the reign of Henry VIII often with the last abbot or prior becoming the dean of the new chapter.

In England: Canterbury, Carlisle, Durham, Ely, Norwich, Rochester, Winchester and Worcester had already existed prior to the reformation as cathedrals. In addition, Henry created new bishoprics and cathedrals from Bristol (the Holy and Undivided Trinity), Chester, Gloucester, Oxford and Peterborough.

Modern Foundation Cathedrals or Parish Church Cathedrals: from the mid 1800s (the first dates from 1836) a number of new cathedrals have been established which reflect the changing population of England and Wales. They include cathedrals based upon former parish churches, to meet the needs of new dioceses.

In England: Blackburn, Birmingham, Bradford, Chelmsford, Coventry, Derby, Guildford, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Ripon, St Albans St Edmundsbury, Sheffield, Southwark, Southwell, Truro, Wakefield

IN Wales: Brecon, Newport

Cannon, Jon. (2007) Cathedral: The Great English Cathedrals. London: Constable.

Jenkins, Simon. (2016) England’s Cathedrals. London: Little Brown

Pepin, David. (2004) 7th ed. Discovering Cathedrals. Princess Risborough: Shire Publications

2 thoughts on “Cathedrals in England and Wales – History Jar quiz 4 answers

  1. Thats fascinating, I’ve always wondered what happened to the Abbots & monks also the Abbesses & nuns. Where did they go? How did they survive?

    • Some of the nuns banded together and continued to live as nuns, others went home to their families – but bound by their vows they were unable to marry. We can track them from their pensions. Monks were more likely to gain employment as a vicar, part of a new cathedral chapter or even as teachers and tutors. Again we can track some of them through their pension claims.

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