Durham Cathedral

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Durham, England

Durham Cathedral Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
651 reviews
Durham Cathedral Jan 21, 2017
Durham Cathedral is a stunning cathedral in the North East of England, and an impressive display of both secular and sacred power, carved into stone.

The cathedral was built immediately after the Norman Conquest. By legend, it was built to shelter the body of St Cuthbert, which had been moved to avoid Viking attack. The body was moved south from Lindisfarne and then became too heavy to move until the disciples followed a holy cow to Durham (look out for the carving of the cow on the outside of the cathedral).

Unlike later cathedrals, this one predates technology like butressing so the pillars and stone work is absolutely massive. The zigzag patterns are typical of the age. On the other hand, a lot of the art on display and the stained glass windows are very modern. The Transubstantiation window in particular is absolutely gorgeous - you'll have to look online for it because photos are strictly banned - and there is a fantastic Pieta from roughly the 1980s.

The chapel at the back of the cathedral, the Gallilee chapel, is slightly more modern. By that I mean twelth century. It reminded me a little of the Mezquita in Cordoba - I assume it was partly inspired by returning Crusaders. It houses the remains of the Venerable Bede, Britain's first recorded historian and mathematician. The chapel of the nine alters is under the great rose window, and there is a shrine to Cuthbert and St Oswald.

Entry to the main cathedral is free, although of course they ask for donations. There is an admission fee to the Treasures of the Cathedral display in a museum off the Cloisters. That gives you access to some ancient stone crosses, the history of the cathedral, the stunning ancient kitchen (seriously, the octagonal kitchen is every bit as impressive as the ancient cathedral itself) and some nice embroidery.

Britain being Britain, there is also a tea room and a gift shop. You wouldn't expect anything less, would you?

The cathedral tower is currently closed for repairs - I would love to go back when it's open!
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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sarahelaine says:
It's well worth the trip :)
Posted on: Mar 15, 2017
Jo104 says:
Will make a note to visit thanks for a great review
Posted on: Mar 15, 2017
AdamR3723 says:
Good review.
Posted on: Mar 07, 2017
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Theresa_5566 Theresa_…
2 reviews
Durham Cathedral Jun 05, 2011
If you do visit Durham, one of the 'Must not miss attractions' I would highly recommend is the Cathedral. It is one of the most amazing cathedral I have seen. They have a small courtyard, giving you a very 'harry potter' feel. You can pay £4-£5 to go up to the top of the cathedral which is definitely worth it!. It has one of the most breath-taking views of Durham. I would recommend you to check the closing time and whether there is any services in order to avoid disappointment. A really good external view of the Cathedral can be observed from the train station (15 mins walk away from the cathedral itself) or by the 'cafe rouge' or 'topshop' bridge! Entrance is free so why not check it out:) Bon voyage!
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Laurabob Laurabob
11 reviews
Dec 07, 2005
Durham Cathedral is a world heritage site and isnamed by the University Chancellor Bill Bryson as one of the most beautiful buildings on earth. Its majesty towers above the rest of the city and living under its shadow for three years, I never grew tired of it. The cathedral choir sing beautifully every day and University services throughout the year fill the Cathedral till bursting. It makes Durham a must on any visit to England.
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UniverseRunr55 says:
it's also where part of the Harry Potter 2 movie was filmed :) its a GORGEOUS structure...
Posted on: Jul 12, 2006

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