Ely was simply one of a fine set of large Norman Abbeys together with Norwich, Peterborough and Bury St. Edmunds until the Chapter decided to build the Lady Chapel on the right of this drawing. Somehow the digging of the foundations brought down the crossing tower and which fell on 13 February 1322, and destroyed the choir. The architects who carried out the rebuilding produced a wonderful and, for English Medieval Cathedrals, unique octagonal central space, encompassing the nave and aisles, which may well have inspired the builders of Florence Cathedral to attempt something similar shortly afterwards.
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