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History of Wakefield Cathedral - 12th Century

The Twelfth Century.

So in the middle of the 12th century, the church was extended on the North side. The townsfolk built an arcade of six bays resting on low Norman pillars, just outside what was then the North wall of the Nave. They set a lean-to roof over the area outside with a new north wall roughly where the North Aisle now is. One can see this is how it was done by looking at the Chancel Arch today. On the North, or pulpit side, the Arch starts eighteen inches or so inside the Arcade of pillars, whereas originally it sprang direct from the wall of the first Norman church. Only the basis of the pillars on the North Arcade and the bottom half of the third and fifth pillars from the East remain from this rebuilding. For seventy years or so that wider church sufficed, but Wakefield continued to grow. Under Henry II and Richard Coeur de Leon, the English free men and merchants quickly thrived, whilst there betters were away on the Continent, And in the Middle East, fighting the Crusaders. The last years of the century saw economic power slip out of the hands of the Jews and into the hands of the English merchants, some of whom were beginning to develop their business in Wakefield.

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This page (cath12.html) was last modified on Sunday 27/01/2013