There’s a famous old saying about Norwich: ‘there’s a church for every week of the year… and a pub for every day’. Of all the city’s religious buildings, Norwich Cathedral is without a doubt the pick of the bunch. It takes pride of place in the heart of Norwich city centre. Surrounded by cobbled streets and historic attractions, the cathedral has naturally attracted some great cafés and tearooms to set up shop nearby. In fact, the Cathedral Quarter is now home to some of the best places to eat in Norwich, including Storm in a Teacup with their perfectly poached eggs, and The Tea Room where the scones are the bee’s knees.
All in all, the Cathedral Quarter is a great area for a spot of exploring and is full of excellent photo opportunities. And when it’s so conveniently located, there’s really no excuse for not visiting. Norwich Cathedral is half a mile from both our Norwich Nelson City Centre hotel and our Norwich City Centre (Duke Street) hotel, so it only takes 10 minutes to walk from either and pay a visit to what is one the city’s must-see attractions.
If we were playing a game of cathedral top trumps, Norwich Cathedral would be right up there with the very best. It’s the most complete Norman cathedral in England, and one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in the whole of Europe. For a time, it held the title of being the largest building in East Anglia. It has the second largest cloisters in England with over 1,000 bosses and is only beaten by the stunning Salisbury Cathedral. Norwich’s cathedral close is also one of the largest in Europe and has more residents than any other. Oh, and the cathedral spire is the second-tallest in England, clocking in at a whopping 315 feet. As far as religious buildings go, it’s got a lot going for it, we think you’ll agree.
Building work on Norwich Cathedral began in 1096 and was completed in 1145. Incredibly, the cathedral retains much of its original stone structure. In fact, the ground plan remains almost exactly as it was during the Norman period. It was between the 15th and early 16th century when Norwich Cathedral’s original timber ceilings were replaced with the stunning stone vaults you see today. With over 1,000 ornately carved and gilded bosses, each one meticulously decorated with a theological image to show the history of the world – from The Creation, through the life of Christ and the Apocalypse – collectively, they form one of the most impressive cathedral vaults in the Christian world.
It’s free to visit Norwich Cathedral, however, charitable donations do help to cover the cost of running the cathedral each year.