photo 8 of 226
Ely Cathedral: Octagon


The unique Octagon over the transept crossing. The original Norman crossing was mostly destroyed when the tower fell down in 1322. Bishop Hotham paid for the choir to be rebuilt, then worked with the abbey's prior and sacrist to devise a unique solution for the crossing. The central pillars were removed and the side arches were set back at 45 degrees to form an octagon rather than a square. The lantern weighs 200 tons. The ceiling and panels painted with angels are Victorian renovations.