Rochester Cathedral from the air
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aerial photograph of Rochester Cathedral, Rochester Kent UK. Rochester Cathedral is a Norman Church built to replace an earlier Saxon church, at the end of the 11th and beginning of the 12th centuries. Construction started in 1080 and took around 5o years. The church was looted during the second Barons War and at one point Knights on horseback actually rode into the Cathedral to take captives. In 1535 the Bishop of Rochester was beheaded by Henry VIII due to his opposition to the English Reformation. It was at Rochester Cathedral where , in 1540, Henry VIII met met Ann of Cleves and was apparently Greatly disappointed. After the Priory assets were confiscated during the dissolution of the monasteries, the building fell into a period of decline but continued to be used and was visited by Queen Elizabeth I in 1573. By the 17th century the building had been much repaired but was then damaged by Parliamentarian troops under Thomas Fairfax, during the English civil war. At one point Fairfax even stabled horses within the Cathedral. During the 19th century the building was much restored by George Gilbert Scott.
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