25 July, 2008

Guildford - mostly the cathedral

Guildford is not the county town of Surrey, that honour falls to Kingston, but it ought to be. There is a fine guildhall, and the impressive church of Holy Trinity built of red brick in the 18th century inspires awe in those who see it for the first time. The church has a light and airy feel with a painted apse that is in contrast to the rest of the building. It must have been refurnished in the 1980s and the woodden chairs do not dominate like bench pews must have, and even those would be an improvement on the 18th century box pews in this space, although not in every space. This church was the pro-cathedral.

Guildford cathedral dominates the town from the nearby stag hill. It's worse getting to than Linoln, and that's saying something. Building began in the 1930s using the clay from Stag Hill for making bricks, the cathedral literally has grown from the ground it stands on, but was not consecrated until 1961. It was in use by the University of Roehampton which states it is in London, so why they use a Surrey cathedral for graduations I do not know. I couldn't get in to the cathedral until later but the place was very impressive inside, pale stone with marble floors in direct contrast to the brick outside. Nice modern glass. The golden angel on top shows the wind direction.

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