Building usually only took place between February and November; during the winter, the stone was designed and cut. The normal working day was from sunrise to sunset with breaks for breakfast and dinner. As you can imagine, cathedrals took a long time to build!
Norwich Cathedral was started in 1096 and wasn't completed until 1145. Because cathedrals were so big and took so long to complete, no one man could mastermind the whole work from start to finish. Therefore, when the master mason changed, it usually meant a change in design.
Norwich Cathedral was begun at the east end in 1096 on the site of the present St Saviour's Chapel. Norfolk had no suitable building stone apart from flint, and Herbert, being a Norman, was well aware of the excellent quality stone back home in Normandy. Most of the stone used to build Norwich Cathedral therefore comes from Caen in Normandy. It was cut and shaped in France, and then sent by sea to Great Yarmouth. Here it was transferred to barges which sailed up the River Wensum to Norwich. A canal was specially dug from the present Pull's Ferry to Lower Close, to bring the stone as near to the building site as possible (see picture).
Did you know? - When you visit the Cathedral, you will be able to easily detect the creamy-coloured Caen stone. See if you can also find examples of Barnack stone, which is darker in colour and came from Northamptonshire.