Photographer's Note

A thousand years of history wraps itself around you as you walk in here and it is very beautiful, not because of gold and silver embellishments, just the glory of the stone masons craft. Unfortunately one needs written permission to take photographs inside and I didn't have that so had to make do with this exterior shot.
The official website is if ever you decide to go.

Here is a little of the history from the site -
Built in 1093 to house the Shrine of St Cuthbert, Durham Cathedral has been a place of pilgrimage, worship, welcome and hospitality for almost a millennium.

Originally built as a monastic cathedral for a community of Benedictine monks, Durham Cathedral boasts some of the most intact surviving monastic buildings in England. The Cathedral holds an annual Benedictine Week when there is an opportunity to explore in more depth the historical and living tradition of St Benedict, focusing on its expression at Durham Cathedral in the past and present.

The Cathedral also served a political and military function by reinforcing the authority of the prince-bishops over England’s northern border. The Prince Bishops effectively ruled the Diocese of Durham from 1080 until 1836 when the Palatinate of Durham was abolished.

The Reformation brought the dissolution of the Priory and its monastic community. The monastery was surrendered to the Crown in December 1540, thus ending hundreds of years of monastic life at the Cathedral. In January 1541 the Cathedral was re-founded, the last Prior became the first Dean, and twelve former monks became the first Canons.

Despite the continuity of some of the personnel, this period must have been very traumatic in the life of the Cathedral as medieval worship and monastic life gave way to the new Book of Common Prayer. There was much regrettable destruction of historic furnishings and artefacts in the later sixteenth century as the reforms were zealously upheld.

Much valuable information about life in the Cathedral in the period immediately prior to the dissolution can be found in a 1591 work, ‘The Rites of Durham’ which it is presumed was written by a former member of the monastic community and is available in the Cathedral

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Additional Photos by marion morgan (jester5) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 97 W: 66 N: 609] (2024)
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