An imposing building that can be seen from across the city, the Gloucester Cathedral is rightly one of the most imposing structures in Gloucester. It also has a fascinating history, stretching back to 678 when it was founded as St. Peter’s Abbey.
The cathedral’s architecture is very impressive. It measures 130 metres long, 44 metres wide and boasts a 15th-century tower stretching 69 metres into the sky. In fact, it’s one of the largest cathedrals in the UK, with some amazing Norman features, including the crypt and four pinnacles on the tower.
The incredible history continues throughout the cathedral right down to the seats. There are nearly 50 14th-century misericords – carved wooden structures underneath the seats – which encompass a wide range of topics. These span from religion to folklore and mythology. Who knew the underneath of seats could be so interesting?
Built in 1666, the cathedral’s organ continues to be central to the life of the building. The only 17th-century cathedral organ still surviving – let alone working – in the country, it’s been rebuilt several times and can still be heard in action at one of the regular music and choir events hosted at the cathedral.
Impressively, there are also seven guided tours you can take around the cathedral if you want to gain a deeper insight into this fascinating building. Your options include tours of the crypt, the library and a two-hour evening session, which is dedicated to the cathedral’s rich musical history.
In addition to tours, Gloucester Cathedral also hosts services and a calendar of events, concerts and performances, which are often free to enjoy. With a host of family-friendly activities and special talks taking place throughout the year, it’s a good idea to check the website before your visit to see what’s on during your stay.
You will find the cathedral in a convenient city centre location on College Green. This means you’ll be close to plenty of the city’s other great attractions, alongside an array of food options, making it the perfect stop on a sightseeing tour of Gloucester.