Every year around 11 million visitors love to visit 42 of the popular Cathedrals in England. Though out of the special category of Cathedrals, St Paul is very well known to everyone, but each of these ecclesiastical fortresses merits a place in the list of the ten best Cathedrals in England due to sundry reasons.
Cathedrals in England
Each Cathedral in England is awe-inspiring in stone. Though the present building of the Cathedral is of Norman architecture and was built in the 11th century, it was probably founded in the 8th century.
The Cathedral serves its community as the mother church of its area. Often the most impressive, intricate, and antique building in the local area is the Cathedral Church, which is also a physical and cultural landmark.
Not only the Cathedral Church is a Christian place of worship, but also it makes a great contribution to the country’s ethereal life, historic environment, and social and economic activity.
1. 19 Breathtaking Cathedrals in England
1.1. Canterbury Cathedral in England
It is in Canterbury, Kent. It is the first Cathedral, founded in 597. The Canterbury Cathedral is one of the World Heritage Sites.
This Cathedral was not only part of a Christ Church before the English Reformation, but also the seat of the Archbishop. For several generations, the ongoing morning and evening prayer has been held here. St Augustine is an important early Christian teacher and a founder of the English Church. The Church of England books of daily prayer can help one to join in the formal Church prayer.
It has been home to pilgrimage and visitors since the Middle Ages. The Canterbury Cathedral Church gives us a picture of England through its stories. Its thrilling history spans over 1,400 years. The Cathedral Church of Canterbury is the oldest and the most famous Christian building.
1.2. York Minster
It is famous for its incredible gothic architecture. The largest gothic cathedral in Northern Europe is York minster. The Metropolitical Church is the Cathedral and Church of York, North Yorkshire, England, and Saint Peter in York, respectively. It is a type of diocese, along with eparchies, exarchates, and archdioceses.
1.3. Roman Catholic Cathedral
This Catholic Church is also one of the largest Cathedrals in England. It has played an eminent role in the history and development of Western civilization as it is an endlessly functioning international institution.
1.4. Westminster Abbey
Traditionally, this religious building has significance not only in the enthronement ceremony but also it is the funeral site for the English and later, for British Monarchs. Since the enthroning of William the conqueror in 1066, all crowning of English and British monarchs have occurred in Westminster Abbey.
It is an Anglican church, whereas Westminster Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church. An abbey is built to serve varied functions compared to cathedrals which are primarily for Christian worship only. Westminster Cathedral is not only the mother church but also the largest Catholic Church in England and Wales.
Even if you do not happen to be Catholic, Mother church is an enthralling place to visit.
1.4.1. Abbey Church
This Church has remained in many cases after the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. We can say Westminster Abbey is the best example in this regard.
It is basically for Christian monks and nuns, and it provides them with a complex of buildings, land for religious activities, work, and housing.
1.4.2. Parish Churches
Since the 19th century, are the smallest and most basic Churches of the country’s administrative unit. It is sometimes called the ecclesiastical Parish.
1.5. Salisbury Cathedral
One would take into account the Salisbury Cathedral which is one of the most striking examples of architecture in Wiltshire. Salisbury Cathedral is perhaps the finest example of early English Gothic architecture in existence.
It has the tallest church spire and is home to the best preserved of only four surviving Magna Carta documents from 1215. In the Southern English county of Wiltshire. Salisbury is a Medieval Cathedral City.
1.6. Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral is again another popular one which is the largest and finest example of Romanesque architecture. It is a religious building located in the city of Durham. Home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, Durham Cathedral marks a turning point in the history of architecture because of its nave vault, which has a significant architectural element. This Cathedrals in England has the world’s first structural pointed arch.
1.7. Norwich Cathedral
Famous for its Romanesque architecture as well as its fascinating history the Norwich Cathedral is the one which is famous for its tallest spire. Norwich Cathedral is an Anglican Cathedral.
1.8. Gloucester Cathedral
It is the finest medieval Cathedral Church which has superb vaulted cloisters. Situated in Gloucester, this Cathedral is the Church of St Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity.
The earliest images of golf can be depicted from the stained-glass window of Gloucester Cathedral. This magnificent Cathedrals in England where many Hogwarts scenes in the Harry Potter films were shot.
1.9. Bristol Cathedral
Situated in the city of Bristol, this Cathedral has astounding architecture.
1.10. Wells Cathedral
Well known for its breathtaking architecture Wells Cathedral is also an Anglican Cathedral situated in Wells, Somerset, and is dedicated to St Andrew the Apostle and the seat of the Bishop of Bath and Wells. It is the first Gothic Cathedral.
Having the amazing 300 medieval carvings and the rarest fourteenth-century Scissor Arches, the Wells Cathedral is an iconic one.
1.11. Lincoln Cathedral
If we talk about the tallest building in the world for 1400 years, it’s the Lincoln Cathedral Church. The central spire of Lincoln Cathedral was never rebuilt it fell in the sixteenth century.
1.12. Winchester Cathedral
This magnificent Cathedral being one of the largest of its kind, has inspired people for over 900 years. Located in Winchester, Hampshire, Winchester Cathedral Church is uniquely designed.
Dedicated to the St Peter, St Paul, Holy Trinity and St Swithun, Winchester Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Winchester. It has the longest nave in the world, along with an impressive height.
1.13. Ely Cathedral
Located in the city of Ely, Cambridge shire, it is an Anglican Cathedral. It has a unique lantern tower.
1.14. Southwark Cathedral
This is again another distinctive Cathedral Church located on the south bank of the river Thames. It is also an Anglican Cathedral.
There is an association of all Anglican Churches, called worldwide Anglican communion, which is in full communion with England.
1.15. Christchurch Cathedral
The smallest and most beautiful Cathedral Carlisle is a serene building that offers visitors a calming atmosphere. It is one of the smallest Cathedrals and plays the dual role of Cathedral and college chapel. It serves one of the largest dioceses.
1.16. English Cathedrals
The most magnificent and oldest English Cathedrals are founded in England. Some of the oldest English Cathedrals date back to the Medieval period, and some among many are more modern. The three spires of Litchfield Cathedral are unique to the medieval period. There are also beautiful English country Churches.
Particular Churches here are given a respectable title called to minister. Most famous among them is the church of York Minster and Westminster Abbey.
1.17. Paul’s Cathedral
This Cathedral has figured prominently in many major cultural and religious events, from the funeral of Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill to the marriage of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer.
1.17.1. Holy Spirit.
In Christianity, it is the Holy Ghost of God; it is the power of God that makes all things possible. God is spiritually active in the Universe.
1.17.2. St Edmund
St Edmundsbury Cathedral for the st Edmundsbury and Ipswich, which is situated in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. Present building dates of the Cathedral began in 1175. Sir Christopher Wren, who was just 30 years old and an upcoming architect, was responsible for rebuilding 52 Churches after the great fire of 1666.
1.18. Coventry Cathedral.
Located in Coventry, West Midland, this is the Cathedral Church of Saint Michael and is the seat of the Bishop of Coventry. The Church is considered to be the custodian of the single largest number of listed places of worship. The last Cathedral is the Guildford Cathedral, which was started in 1936 in Britain.
The Cathedral is not only a centre of worship and mission but also the seat of the bishop. Christian worship is its primary purpose. 10 British churches were destroyed during the dissolution of the Monasteries.
A territorial area administered by a bishop is known as a diocese. Every diocese is divided into distinct parts. The word diocese originally referred to a governmental area governed by an imperial vicar in the Roman Empire.
1.19. Liverpool Cathedral.
The largest Cathedral and religious building in Britain are Liverpool Cathedral which is the eighth- largest eighth-largest Church. It is built on St James’s Mount in Liverpool and is the Cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool. It is blessed with two Cathedrals. We can find only six medieval cathedrals in Wales.
Though London has many Cathedrals, some are more modern such as Coventry Cathedral in Coventry, the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, and Westminster Cathedral in London. Another powerful icon in the City of London is St Paul’s Cathedral.
Most of the Cathedrals in England are recognized as World Heritage Sites. Out of forty- two Cathedrals thirty- nine are listed as grade one and are the best cathedrals.
They are not only centres of learning, worship, and Christian mission but also of the Anglican choral tradition of living heritage and even tourism. Europe is also home to many of its ecclesiastical buildings that surprise thousands of visitors with their awe-inspiring architecture.