Cathedrals

Cathedrals in Britain. A cathedral is the seat of a bishop and centre of worship for a diocese.  Cathedrals are primarily active places of Christian worship, but are also often the oldest building in continuous use in a city and surrounding area, and of significance to the heritage and culture of the local community – and beyond.

Royal Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey Lady Chapel

Westminster Abbey is part of a World Heritage Site. It has been at the centre of English, and British, state occasions – coronations, weddings, funerals, services of commemoration – since William the Conqueror was crowned there on Christmas Day 1066.  In fact, its roots are pre-Conquest.  The powerful bishop, archbishop and later saint, Dunstan, established […]

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St Giles’, High Kirk of Edinburgh

St Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh

St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh is more properly known as the City Church, or High Kirk of Edinburgh, as well as the mother church of Presbyterianism.  As a shining example of one of those confusing curiosities that we Brits love so much, it is not technically a cathedral at all, although most people still refer

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World Heritage Sites in Britain

World Heritage Sites in Britain

Britain has 29 World Heritage Sites.  The United Kingdom has 30, including the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland but excluding overseas territories.  It would have been 31, but Liverpool’s maritime mercantile city was, sadly, stripped of its status in 2021.  Don’t let that put you off; Liverpool is more than worth spending

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Inside Worcester Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral

The views of Worcester Cathedral, elegantly perched on the east bank of the River Severn, are surely among the best of any cathedral in Britain.  Inside, Worcester is also one Britain’s most fascinating cathedrals.  This compensates for it being a little hemmed in and its east end being crudely violated by a busy road, Deansway. 

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Tales of Lincoln Cathedral

Eleanor of Castile, Lincoln Cathedral

I will never weary of wandering round medieval cathedrals.  The motivation and faith behind these places, as well as the financial and temporal power, is astonishing. I gaze in awe up at soaring arches, bathed in coloured sunlight, filtered through exquisite stained glass and dappling across old stones, absorb myself in the memorials and lap

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Ten of the best places to visit in North East England

Bamburgh Castle

Frankly, you’ll be spoiled for choice if you’re looking for things to see and do in North East England.  From dramatic, wild coast and countryside, to wildlife, castles, Roman remains, the simple grandeur of Durham and the culture and vibrancy of Newcastle upon Tyne, there is something for everyone.  To start you off, here is

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An introduction to Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral has such publicly ancient roots that I was surprised to learn it only got promoted to cathedral as recently as 1836.  As a matter of fact, Ripon is a physical link with the earliest days of Christianity in Britain, and particularly associated with Wilfred – bishop, saint and builder of the 7th century

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The search for King Richard III

Street names, medieval, Grey Friars

Attempting to write anything about Richard III is somewhat daunting. He was king of England for little over two years, from July 1483 until being slaughtered at the Battle of Bosworth on 22 August 1485, yet he is one of our most controversial monarchs, whose reputation and character still divide opinion more than five centuries

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Thank God for Southwell Minster

Southwell Minster

There are so many reasons to visit Southwell Minster that it’s a good job someone decided to build it… A few miles north-west of Nottingham, in the English East Midlands, Southwell is neither on a major route to anywhere, nor in traditional tourist-land. So, for most people, going there is a premeditated act; it took

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Don’t underestimate Dornoch Cathedral

Dornoch Cathedral, ceiling

Mrs Britain had been banging on about Dornoch Cathedral almost since the time we first met. A relative had been married there and it had made a deep impression on her; you know how young girls can be. Its only other claim to fame, as far as I could make out, was that Madonna and

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Mungo’s Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow, one of Britain’s great cities and Scotland’s largest, is famous for many things; but probably not for its cathedral.  Indeed, at first glance, Glasgow Cathedral appears a little drab compared with some of its squeaky-cleaned up, maybe wealthier, siblings elsewhere; there is not much trace of a busy, comfort-blanketing close, or precinct, as you

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Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral, near Framwellgate Bridge

Durham’s story is a fascinating piece of the story of England.  It is partly a tale of saints and kings and moving bones, and it begins back in the 7th century. The founding of Durham Cathedral Actually, it was mostly Cuthbert’s fault – with some help from the Danes, a lost cow and perhaps a

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St Davids, too much beer and the lost apostrophe

St Davids Cathedral - the largest cathedral in Wales in Britain's smallest city.

The River Alun trickles through the neat Cathedral Close, between the Cathedral Church of St Davids and the majestic ruins of the 14th century Bishop’s Palace.  In this little green valley, tradition says that St David, son of King Sant and St Non (sainthood ran in the family) and Patron Saint of Wales, established a

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Ladies of the Vale

Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire

There are few things more agreeable than pootling around and about a medieval cathedral.  I found Lichfield’s reflected in the Minster Pool, a small reservoir which has been used by the city since the 11th century.  You’d think it couldn’t get any better, wouldn’t you?  Then you wander up the Cathedral Close, past Erasmus Darwin’s

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