Worcester Cathedral
has been described as possibly the most interesting of all Englandís cathedrals, especially architecturally. It was founded it in 680. Saint Oswald then built another cathedral in 983, and established a monastery attached to it. Saint Wulfstan, who rebuilt the cathedral in 1084, began the present building. During Anglo-Saxon times, Worcester was one of the most important monastic cathedrals in the country. It was a centre of great learning, which continued into the later middle ages, when Worcesterís Benedictine monks went to university to study a variety of subjects, such as theology, medicine, law, history, mathematics, physics, and astronomy. Some of these medieval university textbooks still survive in the cathedral library today.

The monastery continued until 1540 when Henry VIII dissolved it, and some of the last monks became the first Dean and Chapter. The cathedral was badly damaged in the civil wars, and as a consequence a major programme of rebuilding was required after the Restoration of Charles II. From the late seventeenth until the nineteenth centuries there were several campaigns to restore parts of the cathedral, but the Victorians from 1864-75 carried out the largest of these.

Read about the many royal visitors to Worcester Cathedral


Click here for a Review of the Activities of the Fabric Advisory Committee 1991 - 2006

History Time Line

680 Diocese founded, and Bosel consecrated as first bishop. First Cathedral dedicated to St. Peter

983 Oswald founded a Benedictine monastery with a church dedicated to St. Mary which superseded St. Peter's as the Cathedral of Worcester

1062 Wulfstan, Prior of Worcester appointed bishop

1084 Present Cathedral commenced by Bishop Wulfstan, beginning with the crypt

1089 Crypt, and that part of the Cathedral above it, completed†

1170 c Two Western bays of the nave rebuilt in Transitional Style

1175 Central Tower collapsed

1203 Canonisation of Wulfstan. His shrine became a place of pilgrimage.

1216 King John buried in Cathedral

1218 Restoration of the Cathedral almost complete. Service of Rededication held in presence of Henry III

1224 Construction of the Lady Chapel begun in Early English Style

1317 Rebuilding of the Nave commenced under Bishop Cobham

1374 Present Tower completed

1386 Magnificent north porch built

1502 Prince Arthur was buried in the Cathedral

1540 Monastery dissolved

1640-60 Much of the Cathedral damaged by Parliamentarians

1857c Cathedral restored by the Victorians during the next 20 years

1988 Major restoration launched and is still ongoing.

1992 1000th Anniversary of St. Oswald

2008 1000th Anniversary of St. Wulfstan's birth

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