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article imageLeicester Cathedral hosts past and present English monarchs Special

By Elizabeth Batt     May 10, 2013 in World
Leicester - Thanks to the discovery of the last Plantagenet king -- Richard III, and the first jubilee visit by Queen Elizabeth II, Leicester Cathedral has enjoyed a resurrection of public interest.
Yet the cathedral, a compelling component of Lestrian history, is a worthy sojourn for any historical aficionado, or for those who have an appreciation for stunning architecture.
Despite being one of the five smallest cathedrals in England, it has a noteworthy past courtesy of the Normans who began its construction around 900 years ago. Leicester gained its first Bishop, Cuthwine in 680AD.
Desposed by the invading Danes, Leicester endured more than 1,000 years without another Bishop until 1927, when Cyril Charles Bowman Bardsley (13 February 1870 – 20 December 1940) -- a Diocesan Bishop, was translated from Peterborough. The Church of St Martin was hallowed as Leicester Cathedral.
Today, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens, is the current Bishop of Leicester.
Upon entry from the Guildhall, visitors are met by the cathedral's spectacular Nave and Chancel.
In the central area or Nave (ship in Latin)  gilded angels greet visitors to the cathedral. The wood...
In the central area or Nave (ship in Latin), gilded angels greet visitors to the cathedral. The wooden screen which separates the nave and chancel was designed by Sir Charles Nicholson and carved by Bowman of Stamford. It was presented when St Martin's was hallowed in 1927.
St. George's Chapel
Dedicated to the patron saint of England, this chapel hosts the memorials to the Royal Leicestershire Regiment or 'Tigers.'
Today the Leicestershire rugby team -- The Tigers  take their name and colors from the Royal Leicest...
Today the Leicestershire rugby team -- The Tigers, take their name and colors from the Royal Leicestershire Regiment.
A memorial honoring England s military service. In the center panel  England s patron saint stands a...
A memorial honoring England's military service. In the center panel, England's patron saint stands atop the dragon.
Cathedral Copes
Sacred vestments, Copes (Latin: pluviale 'rain coat' or cappa 'cape'), is a liturgical vestment, (specific colours within the context of Christian liturgy). The long cloaks are fastened with a clasp and when donned by a bishop, are accompanied by a mitre.
These new Cathedral Copes were designed by Mancunian embroiderers Judy Barry and Beryl Patten.
These new Cathedral Copes were designed by Mancunian embroiderers Judy Barry and Beryl Patten.
St. Katherine's Chapel
The last resting place of the Herrick Family, there are many tombstones that can be seen in the Herrick Chapel in Leicester Cathedral.
The Herrick family were noted for their literacy during a time when many people could not read. They...
The Herrick family were noted for their literacy during a time when many people could not read. They were a family of traders and ironmongers.
John Whatton
Whatton was an esquire to the body of King Charles  Justice of the Peace for the County. He married ...
Whatton was an esquire to the body of King Charles, Justice of the Peace for the County. He married twice and had three sons and three daughters. He died Feb. 16, 1656 and is buried in the cathedral.
King Richard III display
The memorial to Richard III was revitalized after archeologists from Leicester University discovered the ruins of Grey Friars. Within the medieval ruins rested the body of England's last Plantagenet King -- Richard III.
This painting of Richard III stands on an easel as part of the King Richard III Display. After he wa...
This painting of Richard III stands on an easel as part of the King Richard III Display. After he was killed at Bosworth in 1485, his body was buried in the Grey Friars parish.
Memorial stone to Richard III. The plan to reinter the King in the spring of 2014  was first marred ...
Memorial stone to Richard III. The plan to reinter the King in the spring of 2014, was first marred by legal challenges and now faces dispute over his burial marker.
Queen Elizabeth II  Prince Philip and Duchess of Cambridge planted Royal derrieres on these chairs i...
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Duchess of Cambridge planted Royal derrieres on these chairs in 2012. They visited Leicester Cathedral in March 2012 for the launch of the Jubilee Tour. It was the first visit to Leicester by the Duchess of Cambridge.
Semper-Eadem is Leicester s motto. In Latin it means  always the same.
Semper-Eadem is Leicester's motto. In Latin it means 'always the same.'
Lord Mayor of Leicester
Francis Noble died was buried at St. Martin s 18 December 1689  aged 78. Born in 1612  he was electe...
Francis Noble died was buried at St. Martin's 18 December 1689, aged 78. Born in 1612, he was elected a councilor in 1635, mayor's chamberlain in 1648, alderman in 1653 and again mayor in 1674.
The Lord Mayor of Leicester s chair is also on display in the Richard III section.
The Lord Mayor of Leicester's chair is also on display in the Richard III section.
Stained glass windows
From the exploration of the ressurection of Jesus to St. Joan of Arc, Mary Magdalene and St. Martin of Tours, the stained glass windows in the cathedral are masterworks of beauty. On the bleakest of days, they perforate the gloom with kaleidoscopic colors.
The cathedral today
Leicester Cathedral is currently working on Richard III's grave site but even this has been decisive. In a brief to architects which requested "a place of simple dignity," the cathedral announced it would use a slab stone for the monarch's grave.
The Richard III Society however, has said it would prefer a tomb.
In a statement to the Leicester Mercury, Philippa Langley, the originator of the quest to find the King said, "The search for Richard III was always about honouring the last warrior King of England with a tomb."
The citizens of Leicester overwhelmingly agreed. Ninety-one precent voted in favor of a table tomb in the Leicester Mercury while another 92% concurred in a separate poll hosted by BBC Radio Leicester.
Throughout June, the cathedral will host 'Dean's Discussions' with many of the experts from Leicester University involved with the Grey Frairs and Richard III excavations. It begins on June 5th with Richard Buckley, the Lead Archaeologist on the Richard III project, and concludes June 25, with Jo Appleby, lecturer in Human Bioarchaeology.
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