EASTERN APSE AND AMBULATORY
The Ambulatory, from the Latin ambulare, to walk, provides a link between the North and South Aisles. In a medieval cathedral the main shrine would have been located behind the High Altar and pilgrims could have approached it via either aisle without disturbing a service being conducted in the Nave.
This beautiful Rosamond Praeger carving on the north side of the Ambulatory picks up the Christian interpretation of the Isaiah text, ‘In the shadow of the great rock’ as being under the protection of Christ
Memorials include Kegworth Air Disaster, 8th January, 1989; Coventry Cross of Nails; books belonging to the bereavement counselling organisation Remember our Child.
“The Breastplate of St Patrick” (in the small glass case) is the work of Charles Braithwaite, a Belfast artist and teacher. Photographs show choir and clergy at various times, and one poignant image of the Cathedral standing proud while around it Donegall Street has been reduced to rubble in an air raid (1941). Portraits depict three nineteenth century bishops of Down and Connor and Dromore: Richard Mant, hymnwriter and historian; Robert Knox, later Archbishop of Armagh; William Reeves, antiquarian.
On display in the Treasury are vessels regularly used in cathedral services. Among them are items which came to St Anne’s when the Corporation Church was closed in 1774. These include a paten, dated around 1650, and the 1743 Claudius Gilbert flagons. The bowl on display contained the soil which was scattered on Lord Edward Carson’s coffin. The soil was taken from the six counties of Northern Ireland and the cemetery at St Columb’s Cathedral, Londonderry. It is now used at baptisms.