Thursday Doors – The Bishop’s Door, St Albans Cathedral

IMG_3166A little while ago I posted about a set of doors at St Albans Cathedral, which someone commented ‘were probably the oldest’ set of doors to appear in the Thursday Doors Challenge. Now, I know I have an advantage, as I live in a country where buildings can be a thousand years old. However, this week, I have an even older door.

Also in St Albans Cathedral, the Bishop’s Door is thought to have been made around 1396, and the Great West Doors I featured previously, made around 1420-40, were based on the design of this earlier door. On the top right-hand side of the doorframe is the crest of St Albans, and on the other side the crest of Richard II, king at the time the doors were made. The timber has been well maintained over the years, so is in better condition than the Great West Doors, and the quality of the carving is just beautiful.

IMG_3167And here is some more carving – two hundred year old graffiti, scratched into the wall at the left of the door, just above the stone plinth. There are even older examples to be found in the cathedral, some dating back to medieval times, proof that people always like to leave their mark.

IMG_3169This is my entry for Norm 2.0’s weekly Thursday Doors Challenge – for more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s site and click the link πŸ™‚


24 thoughts on “Thursday Doors – The Bishop’s Door, St Albans Cathedral

    • Thanks Louise – the Cathedral is such a vast and interesting place. I just said to someone else that I find something new every time I go there, so many layers of history to sift through.
      And I’m intrigued by the thought of your medieval novel – maybe you’ll need to come over for a little research trip? ;-D

    • Thanks, Angelika – it’s a pretty gorgeous door, isn’t it? The Cathedral is so huge, and so full of layers of history, that I seem to find something new every time I go there.

  1. “Proof that people like to leave their mark”. I love that statement. No matter what background or part of the world you’re in, someone has left their mark in history. We all want to do the same, but rather be known for the making of the mark today and remembered for it, tomorrow.

    • Thanks, Anthony – that’s very true. I don’t know what the impulse is within us that causes us to want to leave our mark, but it’s part of our history since we all lived in caves. The Cathedral at St Albans is over 900 years old, so there are marks everywhere, as you can imagine. The handwriting’s a lot nicer on the older ones, though πŸ˜€

    • Thanks, Jean πŸ™‚ I didn’t set out to try and get the oldest ones – in fact, it wasn’t till your comment last time that I thought about it! But these ones are pretty old, definitely πŸ™‚

  2. That is truly gorgeous. I can’t help but admire the craftsmanship it takes to make something like this. And yes I do believe you hold the record for the oldest Thursday Door so far πŸ˜‰

    • Thanks Norm! As I said to Jean, it wasn’t something I was aiming for – however, I did think it quite cool how old the doors are. I’ve seen older doorways, but not actual doors – these really are survivors from another age.

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