Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral is a glorious sacred space and iconic landmark in the heart of Gloucester, with a history that can be traced back to 679AD. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Gloucester and welcomes around 350,000 visitors every year. The Cathedral is open daily, with entry by donation, and hosts a packed and varied programme of services and events throughout the year.

The foundation stone of the Cathedral that we see today was laid by Abbot Serlo in 1089; the East End was dedicated in 1100, and by around 1130 the Nave was complete. A great deal of the Romanesque church survives, including the entire Crypt, much of the East End, the great Nave pillars and the Norman Chapter House.

Following the burial of King Edward II in the North Ambulatory, the young King Edward III wanted a more fitting resting place for his father, so the remodeling of the East End took place between 1331-1355. The South Transept is the earliest surviving example of Perpendicular architecture, and the Quire and Presbytery were remodeled in what became the standard English style of architecture for more than 200 years.

The Cloister of Gloucester Cathedral represents some of the most significant medieval architecture in the world, famed for its remarkable fan-vaulting; this imaginative new style of architecture was developed here during the 1350s, and the current Cloister was completed by Abbot Froucester by 1412. Since then, the Cloister has taken on a new life as a popular filming location, starring as ‘Hogwarts’ in some of the Harry Potter movies, as well as featuring in the likes of The Hollow Crown, Wolf Hall and Mary Queen of Scots.

During the 1350s, the remarkable Great East Window was installed. At the time, it was the largest stained glass window in the world, measuring a staggering 22 metres in height and 12 metres in width.

The Cathedral’s architectural gems – including the tomb of Edward II, the Cloister and the Great East Window – can all be seen on a Highlights Tour. You can also descend the steps from the South Transept and discover the oldest part of the Cathedral on a Crypt Tour. Highlights and Crypt Tours take place daily, led by an expert Guide, and can be booked via the Cathedral Welcome Desk. Tower and Library Tours also take place at various points throughout the year too.

There is plenty on offer for families: in the Tribune Gallery, little ones can build their own gruesome gargoyle, discover the secrets of how the Cathedral was built and dress up as a Cathedral character, whilst the Family Discovery Guide will show you some of the building’s most fascinating spaces.

The Monk’s Kitchen is the Cathedral’s on-site café, where you’ll find a varied menu including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Meanwhile, The Gift Shop is the perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir for a loved one.

Whatever your reason for visiting, a warm welcome awaits!

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Gloucester Cathedral

College Green

01452 528095

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