Beautiful English cathedrals

In 2008 photographer Peter Marlow was commissioned to shoot six British cathedrals for a series of Royal Mail stamps to mark the 300th anniversary of St Paul’s.

St Paul's Cathedral, 2011
St Paul’s Cathedral, 2011

So taken was he with this idea, that after the commission was completed Marlow continued photographing the buildings – and over four years he eventually visited and shot all 42 cathedrals in the Church of England.

Birmingham Cathedral, 2010
Birmingham Cathedral, 2010

The prints were brought together for a Merrell monograph and are now being displayed together at London’s Wapping Project Bankside.

Canterbury Cathedral, 2010
Canterbury Cathedral, 2010

Marlow’s images are all shot from the same position and at the same time of day – looking east along the nave as dawn breaks.

Ely Cathedral, 2011
Ely Cathedral, 2011

Marlow says, ‘The viewpoint adds depth to the visual experience of the building, while the discipline of this strict approach allows the power of the place to unfold in the dark.’

Salisbury Cathedral, 2010
Salisbury Cathedral, 2010

He adds, ‘I would spend time sitting in the nave, absorbing the power of the place where for centuries people had experienced the energy, fear and balm of religion. Everything about these places has already been said, but they have not all been “experienced”.’

Carlisle Cathedral, 2011
Carlisle Cathedral, 2011

Peter Marlow, the English Cathedral, is at The Wapping Project Bankside, 65a Hopton Street, London SE1, until 24 August.

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.