Last night the BBC aired the first episode of their landmark series, How We Built Britain. The first episode featured Ely Cathedral.
In the Middle Ages, the East of England was the richest corner of the nation and the Norman conquest of 1066 led to the first construction boom in our history.
The visionary Normans used their building skills to demonstrate their power over the local population. Ely Cathedral would take 300 years to complete, with its intricate stonework and majestic nave. But 1,000 years later it still towers over the Fens.
Says David Dimbleby: “There were no architectural drawings, there was no architect. Working with little more than a set square, some compasses and a grasp of geometry, medieval masons were able to raise this glorious building to the heavens.”
David joins modern-day stonemasons as they restore the cathedral, and embraces tradition by leaving a time capsule – including TV schedules and a Mars Bar – for future generations to discover.
Video © BBC TV 2007