Newcastle Cathedral: A Treasure Chest of Stories

02nd February 2023

A new guidebook written by the former Dean of Newcastle as a legacy to the cathedral where he served for four years will be launched this Saturday.

A Treasure Chest of Stories, Geoff Miller

Newcastle Cathedral: A Treasure Chest of Stories is the first visitor guide in 18 years and was written by the former Dean, Geoff Miller, and tells the rich history of the cathedral and the people who made it.

Tales include the Siege of Newcastle by Scottish invaders in 1644; the Cathedral’s connections to Trafalgar hero Admiral Lord Collingwood; and a brief look at the Cathedral’s vast collection of ledger stones which commemorate notable people of the city, including local businesspeople and artists.

More recent events include the ‘Unknown Knight’ effigy’s return to its former resting place and the introduction of a new set of liturgical furniture created and made by local designers, Raskl.

Geoff said:

“The Cathedral is a shrine to people’s stories; people who have co-created this place, who have lived and laughed, loved and cried here. This guidebook tells a mere fraction of the stories that are recorded within the walls.”

The former Dean will give a talk about the book and its inspiration at the launch event in the cathedral on Saturday (4 Feb) at 11.30 am.

The book has been funded by the Friends of St Nicholas, an independent charity whose mission is to maintain and beautify the Cathedral and enhance the experience of all those who visit and worship there.

Lesley Lee, the Secretary of the Friends, said:

“It’s wonderful that the Cathedral has a new book available – the first official guide for visitors since 2005. The book is a must for anyone interested in local history, sacred architecture or human-interest stories.“

Newcastle Cathedral reopened in summer 2021 following the completion of the £6m National Lottery Heritage Fund project, Common Ground in Sacred Space, which took inspiration from the Cathedral’s ancient roots to reinvent the space as a dynamic hub for worship and community activity.

Newcastle Cathedral: A Treasure Chest of Stories

Changes include a remodelled interior and heritage interpretation scheme, improved disabled access and a landscaped outdoor terrace and churchyard.

A Treasure Chest of Stories is available for £5.99 from the Cathedral’s retail area, which is usually open on Mondays to Fridays, 10am-4pm, and Saturdays, from 10am until approximately 3:30pm.

The launch event is free to attend with an optional donation.  You can find out more details about the event via the Cathedral website here.

Dean Geoff retired last November. The Very Revd Jane Hedges, former Dean of Norwich has been appointed interim dean until an appointment is made later in 2023. 

Photo of the Reredos and High Altar courtesy of Andrew Perkins/Jigsaw Design & Publishing.