The City of Ely and it's Cathedral is built on a small mound that stands just proud of the surrounding fens in Cambridgeshire. Way back in the first millennium the fens were wild and uncontrolled marshes and it was here that a Monastery was founded by a Saxon Princess, St. Etheldreda. That was destroyed by the Danes but a second one was built in 970 by the Benedictine Order of Monks.
After the Norman Conquest work started on the cathedral, around 1082 and it took 100 years to complete. The building to the right is the Bishop's Palace, now used as a Sue Rider Care Home.
The monastery was closed by Henry VIII during the reformation in 1539 but the Cathedral survived. A hundred and ten years later Oliver Cromwell, whose house is in the shadow of the cathedral, fell out with the local clergy, closed the cathedral and used it as stables for his cavalry horses for about ten years.
The cannon as captured from the Russians in Sebastopol and given to Ely City by Queen Victoria in 1860 after the Crimean War. It is mounted on a cast iron carriage that would shatter at the first firing. It would normally be mounted on a wooden carriage during times of war.
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