History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Shrine of St Oswald, and the tomb of King John
Wulstan made the decision to pull down Oswald's church and build a fine new cathedral. Only small portions of the transepts remain above ground from Wulstan's building, but below ground it is a different story; the crypt constructed by Wulstan to contain the shrine of Oswald is a remarkable bit of architecture, and one of the most attractive parts Worcester Cathedral. Around 1120 a round chapter house was added.
Wulstan was canonised in 1203, and Worcester became a popular centre of pilgrimage. When King John lay dying of his famous "surfeit of peaches" in 1216, he asked to be buried in Worcester Cathedral, and his wish was carried out. His tomb is fanciful creation of dark Purbeck marble topped with an effigy. Just 2 years later the church was rededicated in the presence of John's son, Henry III.
The Norman nave was rebuilt in the 14th century, and a central tower added in 1374. The cloisters were created at the same time. There was also an octagonal bell tower outside the Lady Chapel, but this was destroyed during the Commonwealth.
As mentioned earlier, a large amount of restoration work was performed in the Victorian period, and the interior is blessed with some of the finest Victorian sculpture in England, some of it the work of Sir George Gilbert Scot.
Worcester Cathedral is home of the famous Three Choirs Festival, an annual choral event which is rotated between the cathedrals of Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester. There is an exhibition in the crypt on the early history and Archeology of the cathedral.
Aside from King John, mentioned above, Worcester Cathedral is the final restiing place of several other luminaries. Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII and heir to the Tudor throne, is buried in the choir, while in the nave lie two royal commanders-in-chief. Sir Thomas Lyttleton led the royal army under Charles I in the Civil War, while William Hamilton, who held the same post under Charles II, died from wounds inflicted during the Battle of Worcester.
The best views of Worcester Cathedral are to be had from the cricket grounds on the opposite bank of the Severn.
About Worcester Cathedral
Address: The Chapter Office, 8 College Yard, Worcester, Worcestershire, England, WR1 2LA
Attraction Type: Cathedral
Location: Note: This is the office address, see the OSRef and map link for Cathedral location.
Website: Worcester Cathedral
Phone: 01905 732 900
Fax: 01905 29 119
Worcester Cathedral Photos
OS: SO851 545
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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