Worcester Cathedral

 Worcester Cathedral and the River Severn, Worcester, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom, Europe



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.

Geology and Building Stones

Facilities & attractions

  • Stunning architecture
  • Archaeological treasure
  • Royal tombs of King John and Prince Arthur
  • Medieval cloisters
  • Ancient crypt
  • Chapter house
  • Magnificent Victorian stained glass
  • Fascinating ancient library and archive
  • Daily and festival services; sermons
  • Events and exhibitions throughout the year
  • Cloister Cafe
  • Information leaflets of Worcester Cathedral available in several languages
  • Cathedral shop
  • Toilets
  • Nearby parking, bus and train stations
  • Access to most parts of the Cathedral is available for disabled visitors – access is not available to the Tower and the Library
  • A tactile guide can be used by the visually impaired
  • A loop is available at all services for the hard of hearing 
  • Education programme
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Meeting, Training and Conference facilities in the The Hickes room available for hire (for 6 – 60) with optional supporting Catering
  • Professional catering service for a range of functions and events that can be held in The Chapter House, The Cloister, College Hall and on College Green
  •  Tours of Worcester Cathedral
  • Historical tours – prebooked all year round and tailored to your own requirements
  • Turn up for a Tour at 11am and 2.30pm, Monday to Saturday (March –end Nov, excl Good Friday); 11am and 2.30pm Saturday’s only (Dec – end Feb); £4 pp pay at the Cathedral Shop
  • Climb The Tower (weather and events permitting) from 28 March – 1 November 2015 on Saturdays, Bank Holidays (excluding Good Friday) and weekdays during the school spring, summer and autumn holidays from 11am to 5pm, last entry at 4.30pm
  • Private tour of the ancient Library – by prior appointment only
  • A World War 1 – Worcester Cathedral Connections Tour can be arranged with a Cathedral Guide linking some of the people who were part of the Worcester Cathedral community and their part in the war.
  • Talks by King John’s Tomb for pre-booked groups of 6 or more persons.
  • View King John’s Will and artefacts (from Sept 2015). Pre-booked group visits to the Cathedral’s medieval Library to see King John’s Will, the oldest remaining Royal Testament in England, his artefacts and relics.  £5 per person
  • Bespoke tours of the Bell tower, including a Battle of Worcester 1651 talk from the top; Upper Reaches (Behind the scenes); or of our working Mason’s yard
  • Tours for School groups or young people
  •  Mobile App trails and interactive touchscreens
  • Crypt exhibition
  • Main floor – Choose the Cathedral or Pilgrim Trail to bring to life the rich historical and spiritual significance of the cathedral.
  • Find out about the Cathedral’s Anglo-Saxon roots, special saints, glorious musical heritage and much more.
  • Download the free App for phones and tablets
  •  Music
  • Bellringing
  • Choirs
  • Concerts and Recitals
  • Three Choirs Festival


Opening times

Cathderal opening times 2015

Daily: 7.30am-6.00pm

Services three times daily

Entry is free


Cloister Cafe opening times 2015

  • Monday – Saturday: 30am to 4.30pm
  • Sundays: 10.30am – 4.00pm on Sundays
  • (Cloister Cafe will be closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Good Friday)

Worcester Cathedral photo gallery

Contact information