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


Featured Historic Hotel
The Kings Arms

The Kings Arms
Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire

Heritage Rating: Heritage Rating

Welcome to The Kings Arms, Bar, Hotel & Chop House situated in the centre of the Cotswold market town of Stow-on-the-Wold. The Kings Arms is a charming 500 year old former coaching inn; a Cotswold stone building situated on the corner of Stow-on-the-Wolds historic Market Square and is an ideal … more >>

More hotels in Gloucestershire >>


HISTORY CORNER

Name the Historic attraction

Name the mystery historic attraction
See larger image



British History Quiz

The 'rough wooing' described what action by Henry VIII?



 Clue

This Day in British History

26 May, 1676

Fire of Southwark

Ten years after the devastating Great Fire of London, this blaze sweeps along the south bank of the Thames, burning 625 houses

Monarch Mayhem

This king's men brought the Stone of Scone to London, where it stayed beneath the coronation chair for almost 7 centuries



 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


Bude (Self catering)
1 Jacques Cottage, Bude

1 Jacques Cottage

Jacques Cottage which is a mile of the North Cornwall coast, is a pretty, thatched cottage in the small, friendly village of Shop. It is comfortable and inviting, and equipped …
Sleeps 4

More cottages in Cornwall >>

Liskeard (Self catering)
Coachman's, Liskeard

Coachman's

This studio style property is situated within the coach house. Spacious kitchen with dining area. Three steps up to large living room with double four poster bed and sitting area. …
Sleeps 2

More cottages in Cornwall >>

Passionate about British Heritage!