Thursday Doors – The Watching Loft

img_3172My door this week comes from the ancient cathedral of St Alban, and is the entrance to the fourteenth century Watching Loft.

img_3175Prior to the dissolution of the monasteries, St Alban’s Cathedral was part of a huge abbey complex, at the centre of which was the shrine to the martyred saint. The Watching Loft was constructed so that monks and soldiers could keep watch over the shrine at all times, ensuring the sacred remains were undisturbed.

img_3173The doorway, as you can see, is quite narrow, and the loft itself seems quite cramped – I imagine the monks and soldiers up there crammed in like roosting pigeons, not to mention the contortions it would have taken to get up the stairs. Still, it is a wonderful surviving example of its type – the beautiful carving and ornate design a reminder of a time when people built things to last.

This is my entry to Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors Challenge. For more doors, or to add one of your own, visit Norm’s site and click the link.