The Locations of Illumination 3: Bangor Cathedral

Bangor Cathedral is very old – St. Deiniol founded his first cell on the site in the early 6th century. He was consecrated as a Bishop in 546 and his church became a cathedral. It was attacked (and in some cases destroyed) in 1073 by Vikings, 1210 by King John’s men and 1402 in the Glyndwr rebellion. Much of the present building dates from the 16th century, with Sir George Gilbert-Scott’s restoration in the late 19th century, and the central tower completed in the 1960s.

Bangor Cathedral bell tower

The plot is driven by two main facts. The first is the similarity between the bell tower, built in 1532, and an image in the Bangor Pontifical (created in the early 14th century). You can see the image I had in mind here. Not only will you see that the Pontifical is real, as is the image, but you’ll note, I’m sure, that nowadays, the kids wouldn’t need to break into the library to see it, they could check it out on the web! Anyway – that would be much less interesting and dramatic. I saw similarities between the doors and the three windows above. Opposite is the bell tower, and you can decide for yourself how much artistic licence I employed with this clue! Obviously the tops are different, but I figure that prophecies can’t always be 100% right… The two pointed features at the top, however, are shared between the manuscript and the actual bell tower.

Bell Tower window in Bangor Cathedral

The other fact I employed is the loss of a window when the stained glass showing Old Testament figures was moved from one location to another in the bell tower. This is completely true as well, the image of Solomon really was lost during the move, and it then gave me a nice link to Gawain. You can see the actual windows in this image – from left to right, Aaron, Moses and David. Not sure why Moses appears to have horns coming out of his head – maybe that’s a clue for another book!

If you visit Bangor cathedral, ask about the mice. I’d planned to feature them as a clue, but I didn’t need them, nor could I fit them in. I’ll say no more than that!

Related posts:

  1. The Locations of Illumination 1: Newborough and Llanddwyn
  2. The Locations of Illumination 2: Llanfaglan Church

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The Locations of Illumination 3: Bangor Cathedral — 2 Comments

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