OUR Year 8 King’s Ely Junior students headed to Ely Cathedral on March 10th to explore the effects of the English Reformation on the Cathedral and the building’s connection to Oliver Cromwell, all as part of their current History topic.

Edward Davis, Head of Year 8 and Head of History at King’s Ely Junior, said: “In the first activity, pupils had the opportunity to look at the whole history of our Cathedral and the Christian religion in Ely, from the time of St Etheldreda. They constructed a timeline of the key events.

“The second activity was an opportunity to learn about the Reformation and how it affected the Cathedral. We learnt that the Bishop of Ely, Thomas Goodrich, was a friend of Thomas Cranmer and how he helped enact the religious changes. We saw how the statues in the Lady Chapel and elsewhere had been defaced or completely removed.

“The final activity was an opportunity to explore Oliver Cromwell’s connection to the Cathedral and Ely itself. We saw the tombs of the Steward family. Cromwell came to Ely when he inherited land from his maternal uncle, Thomas Steward. We also learnt about how the Cathedral fared during the time of the English Civil War. It was shut by Cromwell and only reopened at the Restoration. It was also at this time that many of the old buildings in the Cathedral precincts, such as the Cloisters, were destroyed.”

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