Worcester Cathedral has been described as possibly the most interesting of all England’s cathedrals, especially architecturally. With royal tombs of King John and Prince Arthur, medieval cloisters, ancient crypt and chapter house, and magnificent Victorian stained glass. There is also a fascinating ancient library and archive, which houses the second largest collection of medieval manuscripts in any cathedral in the UK.

For centuries, worshippers and visitors have made the journey to Worcester Cathedral to gain inspiration and knowledge and to experience this very special place. The Diocese of Worcester was created in 680. Bishop Oswald (961) founded a Benedictine monastic community attached to its Cathedral. Bishop Wulfstan (1062) survived the Norman conquest and began rebuilding the Cathedral in 1084. During Anglo-Saxon times, Worcester was one of the most important monastic cathedrals in the country. It was a centre of great learning, which continued into the later middle ages, when Worcester’s Benedictine monks went to university to study a variety of subjects, such as theology, medicine, law, history, mathematics, physics, and astronomy. Some of these medieval university textbooks still survive in the cathedral library today. King John was among its later benefactors and asked to be buried within it. Prince Arthur, eldest son of Henry VII, is also buried in the Cathedral. However when his brother, Henry VIII, dissolved the monasteries (1540) , the shrines of Oswald and Wulfstan were destroyed and the Cathedral was re-founded with the constitution of a Dean and Chapter. The cathedral was badly damaged in the civil wars, and as a consequence a major programme of rebuilding was required after the Restoration of Charles II. From the late seventeenth until the nineteenth centuries there were several campaigns to restore parts of the cathedral, but the Victorians from 1864-75 carried out the largest of these. A  recent major project of restoration started in 1988 was completed in 2011.

Those working in this inspiring building are amazed and delighted to be able to learn something new every day. Come and discover more for yourself about the cathedral, visit any day of the year. Worcester Cathedral is open daily 7.30am-6pm, with Services three times daily. Entry is free.