The Norwich Cathedral is a stunning Gothic cathedral. Standing at 137 feet and dominating Norwich’s skyline, this 12th century masterpiece is still used for worship and events today. Getting the chance to explore the cathedral is always a treat as it has one of the best collections of medieval stained glass in England. You can even climb up to the top of tower for some breathtaking views! If you are lucky, you might get to attend a choir or organ recital held at the historic site. There are even special tours for young people to teach them more about the church’s history.
Designed by Herbert of Losinga, the first bishop of Norwich, The first church was built at the site in 1096, but this structure was not a cathedral. The cathedral sits on a site inhabited by Christians since at least Norman times. In 1101 the town became the seat of a new Bishopric and building work started shortly after the arrival of the first bishop. Work began on what would later be known as Norwich Cathedral in 1101 and took over 100 years to complete. This building was destroyed by fire in 1272 and work began on a new design that same year. The construction of this cathedral was completed in 1340, well before the completion of Westminster Abbey (in around 1517).
The main structure of the building was completed in 1145. Herbert used the money from his family’s landholdings to fund the cathedral, but unfortunately, he died before it was finished. It still remains an impressive example of Norman architecture with some Gothic details.
The interior of Norwich Cathedral is strikingly beautiful. Besides its spectacular windows, one will be able to admire the Chapter House and the ruins of St. Benet’s Abbey, a monastery that once stood on the same site. The most impressive feature is the octagonal Chapter House, with a wonderful ribbed vault. In summer months visitors can climb the tower for some brilliant views of the city, but they should take care because it’s not accessible for disabled people and has very narrow stairs.
There is a fairly new exhibition at the Cathedral called ‘In Fine Style’. It was opened in June 2012 and features an amazing collection of royal costumes from Queen Elizabeth I to Queen Alexandra. The clothes include wedding dresses, coronation robes, jewellery, shoes and other accessories.
At the moment, there are also construction works going on at the Cathedral. The scaffolding is used while they repair cracks in the walls, replace stones that have fallen off, seal things up to protect against water seeping in and making sure everything is reinforced for decades to come. It’s due to end in 2015, but you can still see all kinds of work that is carried