Christmas decorations in the medieval cloister at Gloucester Cathedral
© PJ Photography/Shutterstoc
Christmas in the cloister. Great Cloister, Gloucester Cathedral
This evocative Christmas scene was taken inside the famous Great Cloister of Gloucester Cathedral, known for its intricate Gothic fan-vaulting - and as a filming location for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. Let’s start with a closer look at that ceiling, thought to be the earliest and best example of fan vaulting in the world. It dates back to the 14th century, when the style was being developed here in Gloucester and arches over the Great Cloister, a covered walkway used by monks as space to live, work and meditate.
The cathedral has stood in the heart of Gloucester for nearly 1,000 years and was originally a Norman abbey, whose foundation stone was laid in 1089. The scene of nine-year-old Henry III’s coronation in 1216, it is also the final resting place of Edward II who is believed to have died, possibly murdered, at nearby Berkeley Castle in 1327.
The cathedral houses centuries of craftmanship from its architecture to its stained-glass windows and artefacts. This year’s Christmas decorations include giant trees in its great Nave, whose huge pillars have stood since the 1100s. The atmospheric cathedral is very popular with filmmakers and has appeared on screen in many guises, most famously in three of the Harry Potter films but also in TV series like Wolf Hall and The Hollow Crown.