Chester Cathedral is a Church of England cathedral and the mother church of the Diocese of Chester. It is located in the city of Chester, Cheshire, England. The cathedral, formerly the abbey church of a Benedictine monastery dedicated to Saint Werburgh, is dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary. The cathedral's construction dates from between 1093 and the early 16th century, having been modified several times throughout history, a typical characteristic of English cathedrals, however, the site itself may have been used for Christian worship since Roman times. All the major styles of English medieval architecture, from Norman to Perpendicular, are represented in the present building. Here are a few of the listed things you can see over there.
Chester Cathedral Choir Stall
The choir stalls found in the Quire, date back to 1380 and feature intricately carved misericords. Here you’ll find all kinds of creatures including hounds, angels, dragons, and maidens carefully weaved into the woodwork. However, on many occasions, the craftsmen may have gone off-piste when depicting animals, they’d never seen before. One elephant appears to have a horse’s hooves for feet. Other wicked-looking creatures have human heads meshed with the bodies of beasts. It’s a vivid insight into these creators’ imaginations.
The Simon Ripley Stone
Another historical highlight is the Simon Ripley Stone, a huge stone slab in the shape of a truncated crosshead. The stone was found under the floor of the chapter house in 1723, covering a stone coffin. The stone bears the emblem of a wolf's head and the initials 'SR' for Abbot Simon Ripley (1485-1493) who completed the rebuilding of the nave and central tower.
St Werburgh's Shrine
During the turmoil of Henry's Dissolution of the Monasteries, the 14th-century shrine of St Werburgh was broken up and her relics were scattered. Parts of the 14th-century stonework were rescued and used to reassemble the shrine which is now on display in the Lady Chapel at the east end of the cathedral. You can see the niches where medieval sufferers rested their heads while spending the night in a prayer for healing.
Chester Cathedral LEGO
The Chester Cathedral in LEGO build project will take 350,000 individual LEGO pieces and transform them into an accurate scale model of the cathedral that will reach almost four meters in length and two meters in height.
Chester Cathedral Wall Mosaics
The wall mosaics were designed by J. R. Clayton of Clayton and Bell, and date from 1883 to 1886. The mosaics depicting the patriarchs and prophets Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah were installed by Burke and Co. They are made from different shades of marble and are one of the largest examples of Pre-Raphaelite work in an English Cathedral.
Cathedral at Height
It is one of the best things to do in Chester. Climb right to the top of our central tower and see one city, two countries, and five counties. Along the way, you will catch inspiring views of the Cathedral from an elevated position (perfect photo opportunities!) For 1,000 years, the tour’s secret spaces have been inaccessible to the public. The height of the Cathedral tower is 125 feet. The number of steps up and down is 216.
The library of Chester Cathedral has a long history and is maybe the oldest library in the North West. The 350 of the volumes added to the library in the 18th century, some still remain in the library. There was an accumulation of books over 60 years – many on non-theological subjects, such as architecture, travel, regional history, and philosophy. The present library consists of three rooms, the largest being the Exhibition Library which houses nearly 3,000 volumes of pre-1800 data. The other two rooms contain the Jacobson Collection (some 1600 volumes) as well as works published from 1801 to date.
Exhibitions & Events
The caretakers of Chester Cathedral are happy to allow thrill-seekers to traverse its ancient interior with ropes and grappling hooks for a good cause. This is just one example of how the cathedral readily adapts its space to enhance community interest and welcome peoples of all denominations. Chester Cathedral has also hosted numerous modern art exhibitions, one of the most recent being David Mach’s ‘Two Twisted.’ Two classic cars were delivered into the cathedral and displayed in shipping containers – now that’s something you don’t see every day in a place of worship.
The gift shop has a unique collection of gifts, books, and homeware. They are very eco-conscious, aiming to inspire with a range of sustainably sourced unique gifts and souvenirs.
The Refectory Café
The Refectory Café is set in our 13th-century monk’s dining hall and is one not to be missed. The cafe includes a seventeenth-century tapestry on the west wall, paintings representing the Earls of Chester, and the beautiful Creation Window depicting the six days of creation.
Visiting Chester Cathedral is much more than a place of worship. It’s a site of incredible historical importance, an impressive example of several architectural styles, and a progressive community hub for people from all walks of life.https://chestercathedral.com/