Thursday, August 18, 2011

At St Edmundsbury Cathedral

The weekend took me to Bury St Edmunds where I was surprised and delighted to realise that the Perpendicular Gothic tower of St Edmundsbury Cathedral was completed as recently as 2005. I didn't think they still did that sort of thing, and can imagine voices saying that there were better causes to spend the money on, or that additions and alterations to the cathedral should be in a contemporary rather than traditional style. The architect Stephen Dykes Bower, was a Gothic revivalist and official 'Surveyor of the Fabric' for Westminster Abbey. When he died in 1994 he left a legacy to St Edmundsbury so that the tower could be completed.

We were told by a guide that before the tower was completed there had indeed been many local people who were sceptical of the tower project, but now it was finished there was almost universal agreement that it was worthwhile. Which I suppose goes to show that sometimes it is worth being bold and courageous even where a project is not universally supported.

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