English Cathedrals

About the gazetteer

The cathedrals in our gazetteer are primarily medieval. Most were intentionaly built as cathedrals, though there are several that were originally monastic churches (e.g. Bath Abbey) or parish churches (e.g. Southwark Cathedral) that were later raised to cathedral status after the Reformation, as population expanded and settlement patterns changed. Dress warmly. Even in summer the medieval stone giants can chill your bones.

WHAT IS A CATHEDRAL?
Technically, a cathedral is the 'seat', or home church of a bishop. The term originated with the Latin word 'cathedra', which was a throne, a literal 'seat' for a bishop. Some of the original medieval 'cathedra' - stone bishop thrones - are still preserved.

CATHEDRAL TRIVIA
The honour of 'first English cathedral' is usually awarded to Canterbury Cathedral, begun in 597 AD by St Augustine. However, the first cathedral in England may actually have been built around 370 AD by the Romano-British Emperor Magnus Maximus, on Tower Hill, later site of the Tower of London. That 4th century church was destroyed by barbarians in the 5th century, and the masonry was used to build London's city walls and the Tower of London itself.

Did you know ... The smallest cathedral - Oxford - serves the largest diocese!

Cathedral List
Name County Heritage Rating
Arundel Cathedral West Sussex 4 Heritage Rating
Bath Abbey Somerset 4 Heritage Rating
Brentwood Cathedral Essex 2 Heritage Rating
Bristol Cathedral Bristol 4 Heritage Rating
Canterbury Cathedral Kent 5 Heritage Rating
Carlisle Cathedral Cumbria 3 Heritage Rating
Chelmsford Cathedral Essex 3 Heritage Rating
Chester Cathedral Cheshire 3 Heritage Rating
Chichester Cathedral West Sussex 4 Heritage Rating
Durham Cathedral County Durham 5 Heritage Rating
Ely Cathedral Cambridgeshire 5 Heritage Rating
Exeter Cathedral Devon 4 Heritage Rating
Gloucester Cathedral Gloucestershire 4 Heritage Rating
Hereford Cathedral Herefordshire 4 Heritage Rating
Lichfield Cathedral Staffordshire 4 Heritage Rating
Lincoln Cathedral Lincolnshire 5 Heritage Rating
Norwich Cathedral Norfolk 5 Heritage Rating
Norwich Catholic Cathedral Norfolk 4 Heritage Rating
Oxford, Christ Church Cathedral Oxfordshire 4 Heritage Rating
Peterborough Cathedral Cambridgeshire 5 Heritage Rating
Portsmouth Cathedral Hampshire 3 Heritage Rating
Ripon Cathedral Yorkshire 4 Heritage Rating
Rochester Cathedral Kent 4 Heritage Rating
Salisbury Cathedral Wiltshire 5 Heritage Rating
Southwark Cathedral Greater London 3 Heritage Rating
Southwark Catholic Cathedral Greater London 3 Heritage Rating
Southwell Minster Nottinghamshire 4 Heritage Rating
St Paul's Cathedral Greater London 5 Heritage Rating
St. Albans Cathedral Hertfordshire 4 Heritage Rating
Wells Cathedral Somerset 5 Heritage Rating
Westminster Abbey Greater London 5 Heritage Rating
Westminster Cathedral Greater London 3 Heritage Rating
Whipsnade Tree Cathedral Bedfordshire 1 Heritage Rating
Winchester Cathedral Hampshire 5 Heritage Rating
Worcester Cathedral Worcestershire 5 Heritage Rating
York Minster Yorkshire 5 Heritage Rating
Name County Heritage Rating
Cathedrals Menu
Wells Cathedral, Somerset

Cathedral A-Z Gazetteers
England | Scotland | Wales

Historic churches (i.e. parish churches)
England | Wales

Church architecture - visual dictionary

Cathedral plan - Most medieval churches followed a fairly similar layout. Here is a cathedral floor plan, based on Westminster Abbey.

Most popular English cathedrals
Ripon Cathedral, Yorkshire

These historic gems are at the top of many visitor's list:

Architectural highlights
York Minster, Yorkshire

Cathedrals with unique or unusual architectural features:

  1. Ely - unique lantern tower
  2. Salisbury - highest spire (404 feet high)
  3. Bath Abbey - last major pre-Reformation church in England
  4. Gloucester - superb vaulted cloisters
  5. Wells - striking scissor vaulting
  6. Durham - the world's first structural pointed arch


Attraction search
in


Give a gift of Britain

CARDS & PRINTS from our own
IMAGE COLLECTIONS

Thatched cottage greeting cards and prints
THATCHED COTTAGES

more British scenes ..

Cards from £3.75 / $5.95
Prints from £14 / $22


Featured Historic Hotel
The Anne Boleyn Hotel

The Anne Boleyn Hotel
Staines, Berkshire

Heritage Rating: Heritage Rating

The Anne Boleyn Hotel, now under new management is a charming 3 star listed hotel opposite the River Thames, dating back to the 16th century. The hotel caters for both business and leisure users and is conveniently situated near many attractions and transport hubs, including Thorpe Park, Windsor Castle, Legoland, … more >>

More hotels in Berkshire >>


HISTORY CORNER

Name the Historic attraction

Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image



British History Quiz

The first Hanoverian monarch of England, he spoke no English and relinquished political control to a Prime Minister, Robert Walpole



 Clue

This Day in British History

05 December, 1766

Christie's auctioneers hold first sale

The date is open to some debate, but according to Christies themselves, James Christie conducted his first sale in 1766.

Monarch Mayhem

This king abdicated the throne on 11 December, 1936, before he had officially been crowned



 Clue



National Trust

National Trust membership

National Trust membership

Free entry to National Trust properties throughout England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, plus discounted admission to National Trust for Scotand properties.

Membership details

About the National Trust


Landrake (Self catering)
2 Port View Terrace, Landrake

2 Port View Terrace

This stone-built mid-terrace property is situated on the edge of Landrake, 10 miles from Plymouth and can sleep four people in two bedrooms.
Sleeps 4

More cottages in Cornwall >>

Launceston (Self catering)
Cottage: HCWRENC, Launceston

Wren Cottage

1 OF 2 PROPERTIES SET IN A PEACEFUL LOCATION OVERLOOKING COUNTRYSIDE Situated on the edge of Launceston tucked away along a country lane sit these two new semi-detached cottages with …
Sleeps 6

More cottages in Cornwall >>

Passionate about British Heritage!