Thursday Doors – Great West Doors, St Albans Cathedral

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This is one of the Great West Doors at St Albans Cathedral, St Albans, England. There are two doors but my other shot was hopelessly blurry, so we’ll have to make do with this one, plus the close-up below showing more of the detail.

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The doors were, according to information on site, made in the early 1400s for Abbot John of Wheathampstead, during his tenure at the cathedral. They were for the now-demolished west end of the Cathedral, replaced in the 1800’s during what some would say was an unfortunate restoration program by Lord Grimthorpe.

Made of four layers of wood, each door is held together by wrought iron nails, which also form part of the decoration. They are an excellent example of early English Gothic style, and were featured in a V&A Exhibition entitled Gothic – Art for England – 1400-1547.

Considering the history of the Cathedral, and the age of the doors, it’s interesting to consider who might have passed through them when they were in use. Now they are displayed either side of an archway leading through to the cafe and gift shop, modern necessities for a place that costs Ā£5000 per day simply to keep open.

This is my entry for this week’s Thursday doors challenge, courtesy of Norm 2.0. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s blog and click the link.

25 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – Great West Doors, St Albans Cathedral

    1. Thanks, Ali – they are, aren’t they? Real survivors. And they are massive, too. I took another door shot of an even earlier door which I’ll use another time šŸ™‚ I love this sort of stuff, I would love doors like that at my house, but my 1930’s semi perhaps isn’t quite the right style šŸ˜€

      1. I think you should do what makes you happy… life’s too short otherwise. If it’s an ancient old ex castle front door on your 1930s manse, then why not? Just think of all the door envy in your neighbourhood! Go for it and be happy. Your home IS your castle! šŸ˜Š

    1. Hmmm, that’s interesting, isn’t it? Because I remember taking my photo and thinking it was fine, then when I looked at it, it was super blurry. Maybe a trick of the light, as you say…

    1. I think they would, Jan – they are just massive, at least ten feet tall, and four layers of wood thick. They aren’t closed any more, as the area they are in is undercover, so at least no-one has to wrestle with them at the end of each day. šŸ™‚

  1. That is quite impressive. The close-up shot was great for seeing the details in the carvings – nothing too intricate but considering the fact that it’s a 600 year-old door…wow.

    1. Yes, they’re in marvellous shape, considering they’ve been around for so long. A small piece was replaced on the other door, but otherwise they are as made, 6oo years ago šŸ™‚

    1. Thanks, Jean – I hadn’t thought of that! I actually took another door photo of an even older door at the same place, which I was going to use another week. šŸ™‚

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