Southwell Minster

For more than 900 years Southwell Minster has been opening its doors to welcome visitors, pilgrims and worshippers. We have placed hospitality in the name of Jesus Christ as being at the heart of what we want to offer the 100,000, or so, people, who come in a typical year. As well as being a beautiful and fascinating historic building, Southwell Minster is a community of clergy, other workers and many worshippers, contributing to the public life and private lives of the town and the whole diocese.

The Nave, with three different levels, creating a Triforium and Clerestory supported by great stone pillars 16 feet in circumference,  is an exquisite example of Norman Romanesque architecture.  Construction started in 1108 and it took 50 years to complete. The oak roof was destroyed by a huge fire on, of all days, 5th November in 1711 after a massive lightning strike which also brought the bells crashing to the ground.

Southwell Minster’s Chapter House is home to ‘The Leaves of Southwell, widely regarded as the best example of 13th century naturalistic carvings in the United Kingdom, and indeed Europe, and is of significant global importance. They have recently been voted the nation’s favourite cathedral treasure. In Dame Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, she described the leaf carvings as “so subtle it is as if … stone has burst into florid life.

The Chapter House itself has undergone major conservation work over the last few years as part of a Heritage Lottery project and now includes an incredible cantilever lift that rises from the floor, allowing wheelchair users full access for the first time to these wonderful and thought-provoking carvings.

Beautiful stained glass windows, and wooden carved quire stalls of breath-taking beauty adorn the Minster throughout and with its striking ‘Pepperpots’ that can be seen from miles around, Southwell Minster truly is a quite beautiful cathedral located in the heart of rural Nottinghamshire. Southwell itself is a beautiful Georgian market town, home to a wide array of independent shops, cafes and galleries and is the perfect place to come and unwind, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The grounds of the Minster are also home to The Archbishop’s Palace, where Cardinal Wolsey spent his last summer, and beautiful Palace Gardens, home to an abundance of wildlife and flowers.

Situated just 7 miles off the A1 (and located on the popular Nottingham City bus route), there’s never been a better time to visit. Free admission, open 365 days per year.

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Southwell Minster

Church Street
NG25 0HD

01636 812649

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