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The great West Front of the cathedral. Building began about 1200 with the nave about 1260 and the West Front about 1280. The spires on the West Front date from about 1320-30. The crossing tower originally dated from 1300 but was rebuilt between 1661 and 1669 after its destruction in the Civil War. Further restoration work was needed from 1788 to 1795 by James Wyatt. He largely rebuilt the central spire. Between 1842 and 1846 the architect Sydney Smirke did further restoration work and then 1857, Sir George Gilbert Scott followed by his son John Oldrid Scott carried out restoration until 1901. As a result much of the cathedral seen today is Scott's work.

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