Shrewsbury is best known for its many fine Tudor (16th century) buildings, with
their distinctive appearance: so-called half-timbered houses. But the city's principal
church, built much later, is equally remarkable.
The first St Chad's Church stood for a thousand years until its tower collapsed
in 1788, doing damage beyond repair. The second (and present) church was built
within four years on a new site by the city wall. Indeed, some of that wall
was included in the foundations, and other sections of it were demolished
to make way for the new church.
That upset the people of Shrewsbury. But the shape of the church was
even more surprising to them. It was circular, which was extremely untraditional.
The legend is that this was one of three designs put forward by the architect,
and the circular plan was accepted by mistake!
there is a great deal of white, with a whole series of columns and a
balcony rail around three-quarters of the circular structure. But that is contrasted
with the bright colours of the stained-glass window at one end. Although the
window was made locally, its design follows that of a much earlier painting,
by Rubens, which is still in Antwerp Cathedral.
Outside there is a graveyard. It seems quiet and pleasant enough - by
day. But in the 1980s it was used at night to film some of Charles Dickens's
famous ghost story, A Christmas Carol…….
Exercise - Vocabulary
Look at the definitions below. Each one is for a word in bold
in the text. Choose the word or expression from the list on the right
which matches the definition.
Links for more information
St. Chad's Church
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