Many visitors to Peterborough Cathedral are struck by its magnificent scale and how it took generations of craftsmen to construct. Others are enthralled by the intricate details of abbots, bishops, kings and mythical beasts that adorn the vast medieval painted ceiling, which is unique in the UK.
That the artistry required to create this beautiful building astounds and inspires visitors today is easy to judge, by the number of images of it that appear on Instagram, Flickr and the like. This is not to mention the numerous prints and paintings of it from years gone by, many held in the collection at Peterborough Museum. Two of these views were produced by the famous 19th century artist, J.W.M. Turner, who painted watercolours of the cathedral in 1796. At this time he was still just a young jobbing artist, learning his trade and picking up commissions around the country.
In recent years the West Front has been voted as one of the most photographed views in the UK in a survey by Fuji. In the last few weeks a picture of the cathedral taken through a window in the precincts has been voted the most beautiful view in the East of England.
The picturesque and photogenic nature of the cathedral is one of the reasons why, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, we’ve decided to run a photography competition, open to keen amateur photographers of any age, from 10 years old right through to adults.
The theme of the competition is “Peterborough Cathedral at Night”, so as the nights start to draw in it’s the perfect time to take a trip to the cathedral and see what imaginative and striking pictures you can capture.
For interior shots, there will be a special evening opening at the Cathedral on Tuesday, October 18, from 7pm until 9pm, when anyone planning to enter the competition can come along and take pictures. There will be plenty of candlelight casting evocative shadows to set you thinking and provide inspiration. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a high spec camera or one on a mobile phone, as long as you can send us one or more interesting, high quality pictures.
The judges who will shortlist entries include photographer Matthew Roberts, Peterborough Telegraph Editor Mark Edwards, local artist Tony Nero and Canon Jonathan Baker of Peterborough Cathedral.
Their selected shortlist of photographs, ten from each of three age groups – 10-13 years, 14-17 years and adult - will be exhibited at the new Visitor and Leaning Centre at the Cathedral from mid-November until January. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to vote for whichever entry they like best, giving both an overall winner as well as prizes in each age group.
The closing date for entries is October 31, with more details on how to enter on the Peterborough Cathedral website at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk – or you can pop into our Visitor Centre to pick up a leaflet.
So, be inspired, and get snapping!
Stuart Orme is director of operations at Peterborough Cathedral: