10 of the best unsung Cathedrals

10 of the best unsung Cathedrals
  • Blackburn Cathedral Lancashire

Situated next door to the train and bus stations, this cathedral couldn’t be easier to reach. It was elevated from parish church to cathedral status in 1926. Improvements interrupted by the war were completed by 1977, and in 2009 the tower was topped with a gilded mitre bearing a Lancastrian Rose. There
is a café and gift shop in the crypt. 
Call 01254 503090 or visit www.blackburncathedral.com

  • Guildford Cathedral Surrey

Guildford’s construction was also interrupted by the war. The ‘buy-a-brick’ campaign (for 2s 6d you could have your name engraved on a brick) kick-started the work and ensured lasting links with the local community. The large refectory is proud of its homemade fare.
Call 01483 547860 or visit www.guildford-cathedral.org

  • Brecon Cathedral Powys

Who knew there was a cathedral in Brecon? The building became the geographical centre of the diocese of Swansea and Brecon in 1923. It houses the regimental chapel of the South Wales Borderers who fought at Rorke’s Drift. It’s not certain if the cathedral’s font is 12th century Norman or 9th century Celtic. Come and see for yourself, and don’t miss Pilgrims’ tearoom.
Call 01874 623857 or visit www.breconcathedral.org.uk

  • Newcastle Cathedral Tyne and Wear

England’s most northerly cathedral has been offering peace and calm for over 900 years and is an inviting place to pause for a rest in a bustling city. Visitors can marvel at the collection of monuments and stained glass and take refreshments at the Lantern Café. Tours can be arranged by the cathedral office.
Call 0191 232 1939 or visit www.stnicholascathedral.co.uk

  • Peterborough Cathedral Cambridgeshire

As Peterborough is on a main railway line, why not take a train to admire the cathedral’s impressive west front? The stones for this stunning edifice were transported up the River Nene. There’s a mirror to save you craning your neck when admiring the ceiling.
Call 01733 355315 or visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk

  • St Edmundsbury Cathedral Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Since becoming a cathedral in 1914, St Edmundsbury has undergone major work to add new chapels, cloisters, a treasury, and the millennium tower. A statue of St Edmund by Dame Elizabeth Frink (right) stands in the grounds. Free tours at 11.30am daily; meet the guide by the font. There’s a refectory teashop, and disabled parking opposite. Call 01284 748720 or visit www.stedscathedral.co.uk

  • Hereford Cathedral Herefordshire

Hereford’s cathedral stands on the banks of the Wye and is home to the 13th century shrine of St. Thomas of Hereford. The 14th century Lady Chapel has just been restored, and the Chained Library has books that are over a thousand years old!
Call 01432 374200 or visit www.herefordcathedral.org

  • Ripon Cathedral North Yorkshire

Ripon claims to be the first English cathedral to organise a formal dinner in its nave. This month’s Angel Dinner is sure to be a gorgeous event in a stunning setting. Some parts of the building, including the crypt, library and treasury do have limited access, but wheelchairs are available. There isn’t a refectory, but the staff recommend Morgans tearoom which is just across the road
on Kirkgate. Call 01765 603462 or visit www.riponcathedral.org.uk

  • Rochester Cathedral Kent

Rochester Cathedral is tucked away in a green space between bends in the River Medway, just ten minutes from the M2. The crypt and library are about to undergo major work, due for completion in summer 2014, but visitors are invited to come along to behind-the-scenes conservation tours.
Call 01634 843366 or visit www.rochestercathedral.org

  • Portsmouth Cathedral Hampshire

Located in the Old Town of Portsmouth, the cathedral is a mix of medieval and contemporary architecture. Start your journey with the Tree of Life doors at the west entrance and see the cannon ball that was fired at the building by Cromwell’s troops during the Civil War when the city was a Royalist stronghold.
Call 0239 282 3300 or visit www.portsmouthcathedral.org.uk

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