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Pure architectural genius greets your eye no matter what angle you observe the Anglican Cathedral from. Built from dark pink sandstone quarried locally, the foundation stone was laid on 19th July 1904 by Edward VII. The designer was 21 year old Giles Gilbert Scott. He supervised the building of the structure for 56 years until his death in 1960 and was knighted by King George V at Knowsley Hall prior to his death. The completion of the building was undertaken by Frederick Thomas. Buried under the foundation stone is political literature of the day, interesting reading today i'm sure. The Lady Chapel was the first portion to be completed in 1910 but it took two world wars to slow its steady progress. A feature of its construction was that once a portion was started, it was completed down to its finest detail before the next part was commenced. In 1924 it was partly consecrated at the eastern section in the presence of King George V and Queen Mary but it was not until 25th October 1978 that it was officially completed and consecrated with Queen Elizabeth II in attendance. Built on St. James Mount which was originally a pleasure ground called Mount Zion, it has a fantastic array of record breaking architecture and features. It contains the biggest gothic arches ever built, the largest gothic vaults in the world, has the highest (219ft) and the heaviest (31 tons) ring of bells in the world. It also houses the world's largest organ, commissioned at a cost of 3,000,000. The organ, built by Henry Willis & Sons (as was the St. George's Hall organ), and Lewis & Co. Ltd has 145 speaking stops and nearly 10,000 separate pipes. One of the magnificent stained glass windows contains 18,000 sq ft of glass, the spacious interior well being capable of accommodating a congregation of 3000. The central tower, called the Vesty tower is 330 ft high but actually stands at 466 ft above sea level giving excellent panoramic views making it one of the largest cathedrals in the world. This was Pope John Paul II's first port of call during his historic visit to the city in May 1982. The mini Greek Doric temple in the Cathedral grounds is the mortuary chapel which once oversaw the burials in the cemetary below.




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