Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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More on the Durham Galilee Chapel:

In later years two major additions were made to the cathedral of William St Carileph one of which was the GALILEE CHAPEL built by Bishop Hugh Le Puiset, who was known more affectionately as BISHOP PUDSEY (1153-1195). Pudsey�s Galilee Chapel is at the western end of the cathedral and is situated right at the top of the gorge formed by the River Wear where it is overshadowed by the cathedral�s twin towers (See photo).

The Galilee Chapel is famous as the home of the black marble-topped tomb of THE VENERABLE BEDE (673-735 A.D), who was the first historian of England. Bede lived most of his life at Jarrow near the River Tyne. His bones were brought to Durham from the ruins of Jarrow monastery in 1020 A.D. Bede�s tomb is inscribed with the following words

Hac sunt in fossa Baedae Venerabilis Ossa’

which translated means� in this tomb are of Bede the Bones�. Legend tells us that the use of the word Venerable is said to have been inspired into the mind of the writer of this poetic epitaph by an angel who told him how to complete the rhyme. The inscription dates from 1830.

The Galillee Chapel is also known as the LADY CHAPEL as it was once the only part of the cathedral that could be entered by women according to the rules of the Benedictine order of monks. A little way inside the main cathedral building we can see a line of black Frosterley Marble in the cathedral floor which marked the point beyond which women were not allowed to pass. So strict was the rule against women entering the cathedral that in 1333 when Queen Philippa, wife of Edward III crossed the line to find sleeping quarters in the cathedral, she was forced to sleep elsewhere. The Durham monks petitioned the king and insisted that she find sleeping accomodation in the castle to avoid upsetting St Cuthbert

Lady Chapels are normally constructed at the eastern end of cathedrals and not at the west so Durham is quite unusual in this respect. Initially there had been an attempt to build the Lady Chapel at the eastern end but problems with crumbling masonry forced Bishop Hugh Pudsey to transfer the building work to the west end. The building problems at the east end arose from the nature of the ground here, but legend attributes the damage to St Cuthbert who is said to have disliked the idea of a Lady Chapel so close to the site of his tomb. At a later stage another chapel called the CHAPEL OF THE NINE ALTARS was built at the cathedral�s east end – mysteriously this seems to have had no major structural problems.

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