In the late 19th century, the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy had only recently been restored in England and Wales, and it was in memory of Cardinal Wiseman (who died in 1865, and was the first Archbishop of Westminster from 1850) that the first substantial sum of money was raised for the new cathedral. The land was acquired in 1884 by Wiseman’s successor, Cardinal Manning, having previously been occupied by the second Tothill Fields Bridewell prison. After two false starts in 1867 (under architect Henry Clutton) and 1892 (architect Baron von Herstel), construction started in 1895 under Manning’s successor, the third archbishop Cardinal Vaughan with John Francis Bentley as architect. The cathedral opened in 1903, a little after Bentley’s death. For reasons of economy the decoration of the interior had hardly been started and still much remained to be completed. It is often presumed that Westminster Cathedral was the first Catholic place of worship to be built in Britain after the English Reformation; however that honour belongs to St Patrick’s in Soho Square.
Under the laws of the Roman Church at the time no place of worship could be consecrated unless free from debt and having its fabric completed, so the consecration ceremony did not take place until June 28, 1910.
In 1977, as part of her Silver Jubilee Celebrations, the cathedral was visited by Her Majesty The Queen,1. Although there was no religious service (the visit was to a flower show) it was highly symbolic as the first visit of a reigning monarch of the United Kingdom to a Catholic church in the UK since the Reformation.
On May 28, 1982, the first day of his six-day visit to the United Kingdom, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in the Cathedral.
In 1995, at the invitation of Cardinal Basil Hume, the cathedral was visited by HM The Queen, the first visit of a reigning monarch of the United Kingdom to a Catholic church liturgy for several years. (Source: Wikipedia)
Nikon D60, tamron 10-24 mm lens, handheld, f/14, 1/200, ISO 100, with flash, 10 mm focal length.
single file converted to 3 exposures in PS (-1, 0, 1).
tone mapped in Photomatix.
adjustments in PS.