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  1. History “The architecture and much of the decoration of St. Marie’s cathedral uses designs and motifs from English churches built before the Reformationâ€. The Cathedral Church of St. Marie is an English Roman Catholic Cathedral, located in Sheffield city centre. It was designed by Matthew Ellison Hadfield, a Victorian Gothic Revival architect who was well-known for his work on Roman Catholic churches, and constructed between 1846 and 1850. Before the cathedral was constructed, a smaller chapel existed on the same site; this was known as Sheffield’s Medieval Parish Church of St. Peter. During the reign of Henry VIII, St. Peter’s was destroyed and most of the Catholic priests were hunted down and murdered or imprisoned. The congregation, too, were socially excluded and faced loss of property and possessions. By the late 18th Century, however, Catholics were able to worship more freely in Sheffield (though not completely) and, subsequently, a small group of priests purchased a house (The Lord’s House which was built by the Duke of Norfolk) on the corner of Fargate and Norfolk Row; this was close to where the cathedral now stands. A new small chapel was discretely constructed in the back garden and the remaining land became a cemetery in later years when Catholic’s were legally allowed to practice their religion. Some parts of the original building continue to exist to this day. By 1846, the chapel was deemed too small for the number of worshippers attending on a regular basis, therefore, Fr. Pratt - a young priest who was becoming increasingly prominent in Sheffield – sought out Hadfield to design a larger building that could cater for the expanding city. Hadfield used the design of a 14th Century church in Heckington, Lincolnshire, to sketch plans for a new site of worship. Upon completion the church was expensively decorated; courtesy of the Duke of Norfolk, who supported the project with money and additional generous ornamental donations. Unfortunately, Fr. Pratt never witnessed the completion of the church because he died on 17th February 1849 (aged 38) whilst it was still being constructed. His body was initially buried at St. Bede’s, in Rotherham, along with all of the other people who were moved from the original cemetery. Yet, in spite of the decision to move Pratt to Bede’s, a stonemason, who had often heard Pratt suggest that he wanted to be buried at St. Marie’s, decided to secretly dig up the coffin and rebury it in a tomb near the newly positioned altar inside St. Marie’s. To this day, the body had remained in that same location. As above, St. Marie’s was completed in 1950 and it officially opened on September 11th. The cost of the church exceeded £10,500 and, despite the Duke’s support, it took almost forty years to pay off the debt. The Parish of St. Marie’s, which covered the whole of Sheffield, became part of the Diocese of Beverley in the same year when the Catholic Diocese were re-established for the first time since the Reformation. Like most churches and chapels, St. Marie’s was extended in later years (1902) as the congregation continued to grow. During the Second World War, however, all progress halted when a bomb blew out a number of the stained glass windows. To prevent the remaining ones from being destroyed, the church decided to remove the glass and store it in a shaft inside Nunnery Colliery for the duration of the war. In spite of these efforts, the mine flooded after unusually heavy rainfall and the stained glass sunk in mud; the drawings were also all destroyed. In 1947, however, some of the windows were rediscovered and the church were able to restore them. The church became a listed building in 1973, and later, on May 30th 1980, the New Diocese of Hallam was created; meaning St. Marie’s became a cathedral. Initially, St. Marie’s had been part of the Diocese of Leeds. Bishop Moverley was placed as its first bishop and he served until his death in 1996. Thereafter, Bishop Rt. Rev. Ralph Heskett was installed as the second Bishop of Hallam. Recently St. Marie’s has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Funded grant to conserve its heritage. The project will allow the conservation and long term preservation of the unaltered 19th Century Lewis organ, the highly decorated Victorian wall tiles and the 15th Century alabaster panels. Our Version of Events After a little wander around Sheffield, to see if the sites have changed at all, we spotted some new scaff and this time it was around the cathedral! Instantaneously, we gave in to temptation and set about creating some sort of plan. Ten minutes later, with the plan in full effect, we sat and enjoyed a beer and some food; waiting for the cover of darkness. After a few hours of that, later on that same evening, we set off once again, back to the cathedral. Once we arrived outside, we had to make sure we timed our entry carefully, in between passing pedestrians, but somehow we managed it without being seen. Although it’s normally quite quiet in Sheffield city centre, on this night everyone seemed to be out for a walk. After that we focused on climbing to the top. The climb itself wasn’t particularly challenging, but since you feel quite exposed as you get higher the thrill is certainly there. We did attempt to hide in the shadows where shadows were available, however, since it was a very clear night, there weren’t many around. At the top we were able to access the actual tower itself and could walk around the entire thing; this meant that we were able to see the old gargoyles and decorative features close up. The tower of the cathedral offers some fantastic views of Sheffield; yet another vantage point from which we could gaze at the city below. And yet, despite the awesome views, the highlight for myself was when the old clock bells chimed at a certain hour: they were loud and gave us a good taste of their music. Explored with Soul. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17:
  2. houses of god rooftops seem to be the flavour of the day so heres a couple from my myself and perjurys hometown of worcester back in the summer only got up one side as they were only working the SW tower, my old lady was actually up in the tower helping archive some of the library ready for internal renovations, some of the literature dates back to the 10th century, saw some pics of them looked pretty damn cool, needless to say she wasnt in there as i scaled the scaff outside as id have had a clip around the earhole, but was around the same time they were working the exterior, nice little spot to watch the sunset and have a beer in the summer
  3. The Victoria Arches were a series of arches built in the embankment of the River Irwell in Manchester. They served as business premises, landing stages for Steam packet riverboats, and also as World War II air-raid shelters. They were accessed from wooden staircases which descended from Victoria Street. Regular flooding of the river resulted in the closure of the steam-packet services in the early 20th century, and the arches were used for general storage. In World War II the arches were converted for use as air raid shelters. The arches are now bricked up and inaccessible; the staircases were removed in the latter part of the 20th century. In 1838 the city authorities completed construction of a new embankment along the River Irwell, to support a new road. The arches were built at the same time, and created new industrial space. In 1852 the life-boat Challenger was built and launched from the Arches. In the Victorian era passenger trips along the river Irwell were very popular although it was becoming increasingly polluted. In 1860 the Irwell was described as "almost proverbial for the foulness of its waters; receiving the refuse of cotton factories, coal mines, print works, bleach works, dye works, chemical works, paper works, almost every kind of industry." The Rivers Pollution Prevention Act 1876 was designed to solve this problem, but it was largely ineffective. It did however lay the groundwork for the more draconian legislation which followed Following the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894, in 1895 at least one landing stage was opened by the Manchester Ship Canal Company, who actively encouraged passenger traffic. The company purchased several steamers, two of which, the Shandon and the Eagle, are known to have used the landing stages. The boats could carry 900 and 1,100 passengers respectively. During the first half of 1897 more than 200,000 passengers were carried on trips around Manchester Docks, with holiday seasons the most popular periods. Competition for passengers was fierce, and there were at least two landing stages, operated by different companies. The ferries would occasionally carry musicians, for passenger entertainment. The stages suffered problems with flooding of the Irwell, and do not appear to have remained in business for long; they were closed in 1906. In Underground Manchester; secrets of the city revealed, author Keith Warrender quotes from the recollections of a Manchester City News writer published in 1923 about the arches (he calls them "Victoria Arches"), sixty years previously; I became acquainted with those arches in the sixties, for my father, a master joiner and builder, had a workshop there. Two approaches thereto were provided, one by a flight of steps near the Cateaton Street side of the old churchyard, and the other at the corner of Victoria Street and Fennel Street. The arches were lofty and spacious, and had previously been used as a copper and iron works, in connection with which was a tall chimney by the cathedral steps. Part of the chimney was damaged by lightning and the upper part was taken down in 1872. I believe the lower part remained until the old buildings at that point were demolished, not many years ago.[9] He continues, quoting another letter from the Manchester Evening News in 1960 which says; At the time I knew it well, 1898, one or two of the arches were used as a battery station by Manchester Electricity Department and two or three others as meter testing and storage departments. Also there was the first testing station for the department where the prototypes of all apparatus used by electricity users in the city were tested. The tunnel was bricked up, about level with the end of Fennel Street. From its gradient it would reach approximately water level at the Irk at the bottom of Hunt's Bank, and the other end would reach street level at St Mary's Gate. The roadway was one cart track wide. The entrance was in Victoria Street alongside the door to a tobacconist's shop near Cathedral Yard During World War II the stages and tunnels surrounding them were converted into air-raid shelters.The conversion, which included additional brick blast walls, took three months at a cost of £10,150 and provided shelter for 1,619 people. The cobbled surfaces shown in some of the pictures on the Manchester City Council website show the same network of tunnels before their conversion to air raid shelters. The land covered by the arches included a street, which led at the west end to a wooden bridge over the River Irk. The old road was covered over in an improvement scheme, which began in 1833. The steps and landing stages have remained closed to the public for many years. In 1935 less elaborate steps were in place, some of which remained until 1971.[14] In photographs taken in 1972, the arches are barred, and some are covered with metal grilles.[15] As of 2009, none of the steps remain, and the original Victorian railings along the embankment have been replaced with a stone wall and new railings. Some old pictures first as the arches used to be .
  4. Access into the arches is always a bit sketchy and this time was no different, once inside there's no real chance of being disturbed (other than from pigeons.) The arches as a location is pretty big but 99% of the population of Manchester are unaware of what lies just below their feet. .
  5. Visited with Hamtagger After a recce 2 days previous we were itching to scale the Cathedral walls like ninjas. With cameras surrounding the building and nosey neighbours in every house, we knew we needed to be careful. The fact that the building is 700 years old made me a bit paranoid that if we used any part of it for support we would damage parts of it. I didn’t realise how high the building actually is until we were at the top! (510 feet above sea level) Climbing additional ladders at this height was enough to make my bum-hole twitch a bit too. The climb went well and it was nice to finally have got up there but I broke my toe on they way down with what was probably only a 6 foot drop. (I felt like a retard) :banghead History Lesson Building commenced in 1088 and continued in several phases throughout the medieval period. It was reputedly the TALLEST building in the world for 238 years (1311–1549). The central spire collapsed in 1549 and was never rebuilt. There are many legends and myths about the Cathedral and it's surroundings and it was also used in the movie "The Da Vinci Code" which is pretty cool if you haven't seen it. Finally, The famous Lincoln Imp - the little devil perched high in the Angel Choir overlooking St Hugh's shrine. He was turned to stone, according to the legend, by the angels because he caused mayhem in the Cathedral. He is now the symbol of Lincolnshire and the Lincoln football team (the Imps) External Jesus has been poo'd on Disturbing Headless Statues A skull eating a coin (This looks more modern than the others) A Fire Breathing Dragon (That scratches walls) No Admittance Almost at the top The Arch Me and Hamtagger Looking Across the City (I think thats the Priest/Organists house I really wanted to take pictures through these windows but didn't want to risk damaging the roof Probably shouldn't have used my flash at midnight Thank you for reading my report. This is definitely ones of my favourite places so far, shame about the lack of pictures (Some were taken on my iphone) but we had to be careful with people walking past every 5 minutes and walking on a 700 year old building.
  6. Visted With Phill, Les, Ben, and myself, we arrived a little late to the proposed meet-up, because we got breakfast - omnomnom we managed to gain access via the wrong grill. but never-the-less, armed with a map and a compass we made our way around, Starting at cathedral we followed our noses to the smell of a fresh bbq, to see a pre-lit foil tray with no food but never mind! we plodded on, after speaking to two people who stayed over night.we attempted to get to the northern section (as we thought this was where everyone was headed), so following the map we soon lost track of where on the map we were, so vaguely following north, we somehow ended up going around 4 times and thought lets try and get back to catherdral and start again, so we plotted and pondered and eventually we turned up, about 1-2pm just as everyone finish a group shot as was on their way out, so after a few minutes to get our breath back and say our goodbyes, we decided to head back to the entrance and head to the northern section once more. So after a few twists and turns, over a few falls, we still got lost, but suddenly we saw a sign! a big square tank, after looking at the map, it sure was a eureka moment! So yeah after that we didnt get lost again, but on the way out we ended up getting trapped in the dead routes once more and could find the way home! but needless to say, we're alive! Also thanks to Phill, Les, Ben for lighting up the tunnels, and inviting me along! Anywho, sorry to drag on a bit, but here's some photos =) Thanks! Please check Out my other photos! http://www.flickr.com/photos/mperryphotography/
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