A reader kindly sent in images of the basilica prior to its having been renovated, which shows rather some stunning murals, and an even more stunning ciborium over top the high altar -- not to mention high altar itself.
It is a particularly great shame that so many ciboria seem to have been lost following the renovations of the more recent decades, as they have always seemed to be one of the most desireable architectural revivals of recent times, and even more ideally so in a time that sees the dominance of the free-standing altar. Sadly, even the ciborium of Fr. Adrian Fortescue's parish of St. Hugh in Letchworth did not survive.
One can see the particular prominence, beauty and substantiality that this gave the altar -- not to mention that which was also lent by the antependium.