With one of the most dramatic West Fronts in the country, an extraordinary creation of medieval architecture, it would be easy for the interior to be an anticlimax, but it is not. The dramatic Romanesque interior is little altered since its completion 800 years ago and the whole building has recently undergone cleaning and restoration following the dramatic fire of November 2001.
With over 1350 years of Christian worship on the site this is a treasure-house of religious and historic artefacts. Highlights of any visit include Saxon carvings from the earlier buildings on this site, the unique painted nave ceiling, amazing fan vaulting in the 'new' building, elaborately carved Victorian Choir stalls and the burial place of two queens, Katharine of Aragon and Mary Queen of Scots. There is an excellent exhibition in the North Nave Aisle, telling of the history of the Abbey and Cathedral with details of its building and its functioning as a major medieval abbey. The abbey was closed in 1539 on the orders of Henry VIII, but instead of being demolished, as so many monasteries were, it was re-launched as the Cathedral of a brand new diocese in 1541 and is still the seat of the Bishop of Peterborough and mother church for the diocese which covers Northamptonshire, Rutland and much of Peterborough.
There is a cathedral souvenir kiosk located inside the building and visitors can enjoy delicious light refreshment at 'Cathedral Coffee and Cookies' open Monday-Saturday, 10-3pm.
A range of tours can be booked in advance, with refreshments: please contact the Cathedral Education and Visits Office for details - Tel: 01733 355300; e-mail: Amber.Homer-Wooff@peterborough-cathedral.org.uk
Open all the time
Open all year
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The Cathedral Office, 12a Minster Precincts, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE1 1XS
Map reference: TL 192987 Lat: 52.57308 Long: -0.24159
From the A1M: Follow signs for city centre, follow ring road to jct 5.
By Public Transport:
From Peterborough station it is 10 minutes' walk to Peterborough Cathedral.
Accessible by Public Transport : 1 mile (1.6 kms) from Peterborough station