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1: Brunel Tower    2: Hanging Baskets    3: The Double Helix of Carfax    4: The Lighthouse
5: Vavoom Statue    6: St Zvlkx Cathedral    7: The Elgin Llamas
Wonder Number Six:
The Cathedral of St Zvlkx (site of)
Swindon's Great Cathedral was founded in 1289 by St Zvlkx and grew to be not only one of the finest and richest exponents of the medieval cathedral builders art, but also a seat of great learning and stability within the region. Although destroyed by fire during the reformation in 1536 and subsequently demolished, its enduring memory and undeniable regional importance ensures that it remains, despite its non-existence, as one of the truly great wonders of Swindon.

Unique as the only medieval cathedral of any importance that no trace whatsoever remains, the vanished Cathedral of St Zvlkx remains one of the strongest tourist attraction of the Swindon area.
view of The Cathedral of St Zvlkx (Site Of)
Standing here in 1432 you would be looking along the arcade of the South aisle.
another view of The Cathedral of St Zvlkx (Site Of)
So what did it look like? There are only three drawings of the cathedral itself, so details of its precise architectural finery are frustratingly sparse. There are many contemporaneous accounts of the richness of the building style, and by comparing these notes and studying similar cathedrals of the period and in conjunction with an archaeological survey conducted in 1822, we can gain a fairly clear picture of what the Cathedral once looked like.

As far as can be determined, the cathedral conformed to the 'cruciform' layout along an East-West axis with North and South transepts and a massive crossing tower augmented by two smaller towers at the Western entrance, roughly where
The North Transept and Rose Window (site of) 
the end of the car park is now situated. If you stand near the recycling bins the south arcade runs directly into the rear of where Tesco's now stands - the central tower and transepts are centred on the checkout aisles.

Remains found in the 1822 archaeological survey and historical references suggest that the internal roof was rib vaulted and fragments of tracery point to a vast seven light window in the East and West ends - small shards of stained glass and sections of the central mullion can be seen in Swindon's museum, along with accurate reproductions of the rose windows that allegedly adorned the North and South transepts.
view of The Cathedral of St Zvlkx (site of)
  Site of the original font and entrance to scriptorium.
The last remaining above-ground section was a small stone arch that survived until St Zvlkx's dramatic resurrection in 1988. Despite protestations the remnant was demolished to make way for an extension to the trolley park.

Visitors to the site today can be taken on a tour bus around the car park and guided tours amongst the shopping aisles of the present day Tesco's will do much to reinvoke the flavour of medieval Swindon. If preferred you can walk around the car park on your own, stopping at the occasional information boards with give explanations of where you might be standing in the once great cathedral of St Zvlkx.
Visitor's Information: Visitor's centre open all year round with tour guides happy to take visitors on lecture tours of the site. The cathedral (site of) has the unique privilege of being the only World Heritage Site where you can also do your weekly shopping. Physical remnants of the cathedral can be found in the Swindon museum.

How to find it: The site is on the Tesco's superstore off Ocotal road not far from the railway station

Nearest Metro Station: Croquet Ground.

Telephone: City 075
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