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Gloucester Cathedral



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  • The ecclesiastical origins of Gloucester Cathedral stem from the foundation of an abbey dedicated to Saint Peter in 681 although the present church was started in 1072 by Abbot Serlo.
  • The catheral is essential a Norman church was has been modified with every style of Gothic architecture. The nave is Norman as indicated from the massive columns in the nave (note image 16), with an Early English roof; the crypt, under the choir, aisles and chapels, is Norman, as is the chapter house.
  • The crypt is one of only four apsidal cathedral crypts in England, the others being at Worcester, Winchester and Canterbury. The geographical closeness to Winchester indicates that perhaps this was a popular local trend.
  • The south porch is in the Perpendicular style along with the tower with fan-tracery roof, as also is the north transept, and the south being transitional Decorated Gothic. The choir has Perpendicular tracery over Norman work, with an apsidal chapel on each side.
  • 1541 saw the church become a cathedral with the appointment of the first bishop as it was broken from the See of Worcester.
  • The cathedral contains a number of treasures including the tomb of King Edward the Second who was reputedly murdered by a red hot poker inserted anally. There is also a monument to the eldest son of William the Conqueror, Robert Curthose, the man who was almost king.
  • The East Window (see image 20) contains original medieval glass that has survived the years. It is the largest stone traceried medieval window in England and is roughly the size of a tennis court. The height to the highest point from the lowest is 22 metres (72 feet).
  • Gloucester Cathedral is 128m long and 44m wide.


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Masterplanning Architect
Thomas of Canterbury
Renovation Architect
George Gilbert Scott

Reference Data

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Building Location

The Chapter Office, 2 The College Green, Gloucester. GL1 2LR
Gloucester City Council
South West
United Kingdom

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Building Specification

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Heritage Status
Grade I

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Primary Use
Place of Worship

Metres > Feet