(…which we were talking about three posts ago…)
While watching “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” I took particular note or the location where the words “the chamber of secrets is open” appeared in blood on a stone wall. What caught my eye was the extraordinary “fan vaulting” in the ceilings of what I tracked down to the Cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral in the English Midlands.
When I returned to the UK in the spring of 2017 to “Chase The Light in the Celtic Latitudes™,” I made a point to put Gloucester on the itinerary. I also made a point to get to the cathedral before it opened, so that I could be there before the crowds started showing up – Gloucester Cathedral is now a very popular destination for tourists, and takes some pride in its “Harry Potter” connections.
The Cloisters (an isolated quadrangle of corridors with access to a garden where monks and priests could retreat for solitude and meditation), did not disappoint. Although medieval gothic architecture originated in France and Italy, “fan vaulting” like this is unique to England, and Gloucester Cathedral is arguably the most elaborate expression of the form. (Henry VII’s Lady Chapel at Westminster Abbey is pretty cool, too, but they don’t permit photography there at any time of day… )
Since I was there early the corridors were empty, and after a few minutes of wandering, I found this perfect angle capture the vaulting and some stained glass with a fisheye lens and five HDR exposures.
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