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Calling itself 'the Cathedral of the Sea', the Cathedral Church of St Thomas of Canterbury began life as an Augustinian chapel, dedicated to St Thomas, in 1188, and later became a parish church. The chancel and transepts of the current building date from this time, but it is largely a more modern creation. Following damage by Parliamentary forces during the English Civil War, the church was rebuilt and developed in the 17th and 18th centuries. It became the Anglican cathedral of Portsmouth in 1927 and the building was extended, in neo-Byzantine style; this work was halted during the Second World War and only completed in 1991. The building exterior does have a faintly Oriental look; the interior is wonderfully light, in a kind of Baroque-Greek style.