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Ely Cathedral

History of Rattee and Kett, Cambridge

Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral

Ely West Tower and Monastery Buildings

Ely Cathedral

North Choir Aisle looking east, Ely Cathedral

Organ Staircase, Ely Cathedral


The Lantern, Ely Cathedral

The Cambridge based firm of Rattee and Kett were associated with Ely Cathedral for 150 years.

One of James Rattee’s most celebrated pieces of carving was the screen at Ely Cathedral, documented in Volume IX No 441 of ‘The Builder’.

The reredos was created in 1857 under the direction of Sir George Gilbert Scott and John Birnie Philip.

At the end of the 1980s they were involved in a major restoration programme of works to the Nave, lady Chapel, east End, South Transept and Lantern. The 14th century timber framed octagon received structural repairs while the glazing was releaded and the decorative paintwork restored.

A BBC East film about the restoration in 1987 by Rattee and Kett can be seen here:



Then and Now (David Gent) – Two Queens at Ely Cathedral during a visit on 21st January 1938.

1938 – two queens at Ely Cathedral 21st January 1938

Ely Cathedral has a long history of visits by members of the Royal family. On the right is Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, Queen of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 to 6 February 1952 as the wife of King George VI, later to become known as the Queen Mother. On the left is Mary of Teck (Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes; Queen of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, from 6 May 1910 until 29 January 1936 as the wife of King-Emperor George V. She was the mother of kings Edward VIII and George VI.

Ely Cathedral (photo DG 2022)

The second picture taken a couple of weeks ago shows the same view minus people.

Peterborough Standard 28th Jan 1938

Third picture is a newspaper report of the visit published in the Peterborough Standard on the 28th January 1938


Ely Cathedral (MoC437/56)

Ely Cathedral (MoC443/56)

Ely Cathedral Easter 1927 (MoC437/56)

Ely Cathedral Lantern (MoC4335/56)

Prior’s Doorway, Ely Cathedral June 1933 (MoC434/56)

Infirmary, Ely Cathedral 1934 (MoC437/56)

Ely Cathedral (MoC445/56)


Additional reports and publications:

Royal Archaeological Institute: Summer Meeting 1967: Ely, The Monastic Buildings South of the Cloister by P A Faulkner



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