Gloucester Cathedral

Visible from miles around, Gloucester Cathedral sits at the heart of the historic city of Gloucester. As well as being a place of worship, this beautiful building, dating back over a 1000 years, is a fascinating place for all to visit. 

Step back in time and feel the weight of history as you enter through the grand wooden doors. Parts of the current building date back to 1089, when a catholic monk from Mont St Michel, appointed by William the Conqueror, began construction of the magnificent Norman abbey. 

With such a long and, at times, turbulent history, it’s not surprising that Gloucester Cathedral has some interesting royal connections. King Henry III was crowned here in 1216, while King Edward II (who met a particularly gruesome end at nearby Berkeley Castle) was buried here in 1327. This royal patronage had the benefit of attracting funds and further building work continued to take place in the 14th and 15th centuries, including the construction of the present tower. 

As you wander through the cathedral, highlights include the tomb of King Edward II, the Great East Window (dating back to the 1350s), the hidden Whispering Gallery and the peaceful Lady Chapel. One of our favourite spots is the Cloisters with its beautiful fan vaulted ceiling. If this looks at all familiar, that could be because you’ve seen it before in three Harry Potter films (used to represent Hogworts School), Sherlock and Doctor Who. 

For some of the best views in Gloucestershire, wind your way up the medieval spiral staircase to the top of the tower. Tower tours take place at set times on Wednesday to Saturday afternoons (and additionally Mondays and Tuesdays in school holidays). During the tour, look out for Great Peter – the largest medieval bell in Britain – and listen out for it ringing across the city each hour. Private tower tours can be arranged in advance. 

To gain a true insight into the history of Gloucester Cathedral, join one of the guides for a daily 50-minute highlights tour. Among other things, you will learn about the monks who used to live in the Cloisters, discover how the building has evolved over the last 1000 years and visit the spots where Harry Potter was filmed. The tours run at various times each day and cost £5 per adult and £1 for under 16s. 

Gloucester Cathedral opens daily until 6pm. Check their website for opening times and services as these can vary. While donations are gratefully accepted to enter the cathedral, the highlights and tower tour are both chargeable. 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in the Cotswolds here.

12 College Green, Gloucester GL1 2LX | www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk 

Images copyright Gloucester Cathedral, Kevin Lewis and Sandie Conway 

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