Spacefleet Ecclesiastica: Cathedrals of England

Time to introduce a new series: Spacefleet Ecclesiastica! Correctly-scaled and accurate medieval great-church plans! In SPAAAACE!

The English fleet comprises the canonical medieval English cathedrals: so no medieval parish churches raised to cathedral rank in the post-industrial age (i.e. Manchester, 1847; Truro, 1880; St Nicholas, Newcastle 1882; Wakefield, 1888; Chelmsford; Sheffield; St James, Bury St Edmunds, 1914; Bradford, 1919; St Martin, Leicester; Portsmouth, 1927) or the two former conventual churches that survived as parish churches likewise raised (St Albans, 1878; Southwark, 1905).

The six monasteries that were chosen by the English government to become cathedrals (as I have recently written about in my other silly COVID-19 project) are also included, as they are generally included in the canon, even if Westminster only had its own bishop for ten years, ultimately becoming the collegiate church and royal peculiar it is today in 1560. And I suspect everyone would be annoyed if they weren’t here.

These plans have been compiled and amalgamated for accuracy from multiple sources. The vault ribs – always included in French church plans – have been a particular challenge: some, such as London, I drew the vaults on myself, others are redrawn. I’ve used Google maps aerial photos to confirm the building measurements to make the relative sizes as far as possible (yes, London really was that big).

If there were any sections of the cathedral larger than the current building that have been subsequently demolished, they are shown ghosted: Bath’s ambulatory that was demolished c.1500 may be surprising!

In this Google Map you can see how these cathedrals were spread out, and how the Northern province depended on the chapters at Beverley, Ripon and Southwell to relieve the diocesan pressure on York: they were all adjacent to a bishop’s palace and were built to a cathedral elevation, even if their plan is evidently reduced (Ripon and Southwell became heads of dioceses in 1836 and 1884 respectively).

When I made the first version of this, because of course, it is rip off of Games Workshop property Battlefleet Gothic (which, to be fair, is a rip-off of Battlestar Galactica), it was rather popular and I got enquiries about posters or T-shirts. In looking into it, either I upload it to a print-on-demand site and make basically no money, or I make a risky investment and fill my dwelling up with boxes of stock I might never shift. So, if you want this as a poster or shirt, please donate on Ko-Fi for three versions of the images at 5k pixel resolution and print it yourself. It’s best for both of us: I lose a little bit on Paypal fees and Ko-fi’s commission but still get way more than say, RedBubble.

Update: the pack now includes the “sensible versionat the 5k res. If you donated for it before, you should have got a link in your email to the full-size file (let me know if not)

This includes the cloisters and chapter houses as they survive, a few minor inconsistencies with how much I show of the coventual buildings, but you always have to make individual choices with this sort of thing.

One comment

  1. I’d definitely buy a ‘sensible’ version with white background! This one’s just a tad too excentric for my appartment wall…

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