Chester, St John, Cheshire, *

“St John’s was Chester’s cathedral from 1075 until 1095, and retained the name until Henry VIII raised the Abbey to that rank. The monastery went into abrupt decline, such that by the 19th century it was a ruin. The Victorians restored it with customary gusto.”

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Stockport, St George, Cheshire, **

“St. George’s is big and rich, a recreation of East Anglia’s noblest in powerful red Runcorn stone. The plan is cruciform, with transepts, high clerestory, battlements and a massive tower with flying buttresses to its spire. Such is the purity of the Gothic revival that the exterior comes complete with gargoyles, saints’ niches and figures of seated bishops. Hubert Austin was not a reproducer of Gothic, more a recreator. This is a Victorian building.”