Gothic Cathedrals in England

England is home to some of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world. During the Middle Ages European society had three social classes known as commoners, nobility and clergy. At that time clergy was the most powerful estate. A well know evidence of this clerical supremacy is kneeling of King Henry IV before the Pope Gregory VII at Canossa in 1077. 

Most of the influences came from France, but very soon the English developed their own style. The most famous one is the Perpendicular style, converting interior spaces into one vertical expanse.

After the English Reformation in 16th centry former Catholic cathedrals became Anglican, ending the papal influence in Britain. However, Catholic and Anglican clergy left us with countless invaluable heritage and Cathedrals are one of them.

1. Bradford Cathedral

This Cathedral has some of William Morris’ earliest stained glass; built 14th-20th century.

Photo by Stephen Armstrong

2. Bristol Cathedral

The east end of the cathedral is built as a Hall church which means all naves have the same ceiling height. This feature is typical of German architecture and it is rare in Britain; built 13th-19th century.

Photo by NotFromUtrecht 

3. Canterbury Cathedral

The cathedral is famous for being the seat of the first Archbishop in England (6th century), and a place where Thomas Becket was murdered in 12th century, turning it into a pilgrimage destination. Archbishop of Canterbury is also the principal leader of the Church of England; built 11th-19th century.

Photo by Hans Musil

4. Carlisle Cathedral

The cathedral is home to the largest window in the Flowing Decorated Gothic style in England. Built 12th-19th century.

Photo by Diliff 

5. Chelmsford Cathedral

Thomas Hooker preached here befoer he fled to America for it’s Puritan views and founder town of Hartford, Connecticut.

Photo by Diliff 

6. Chester Cathedral

It has been a place of worship since Roman times and it houses equisite 14th century choir stalls. Built 11th – 20th century.

Photo by Stephen Hamilton

7. Chichester Cathedral

Next to the cathedral there is a rare medieval hospital dating from 13th century. The cathedral is home to Marc Chagall’s stained glass window and the tomb of Gustav Holst. Built 12th-19th century.

Photo by Evgeniy Podkopaev

8. Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

One of the smallest cathedrals in England. John Taverner, a famous renaissance composer, served here as an organist. Built 12th-13th century.

Photo by Newton2

9. Coventry Cathedral

The old 14th century gothic cathedral was bombed in a 1940 Coventry blitz by the German Luftwaffe. The new, less charming cathedral was built next to it and completed in 1962. On the wall of the old builng behind the altar there is an inscription by Richard Howard – Father Forgive.

Photo by Cmglee

10. Derby Cathedral

It is a combination of Gothic and Neoclassical style by James Gibbs. The cathedral has the oldes ring of ten bells in the worls (1678). Built 16th – 18th century.

Photo by

11. Ely Cathedral

A monumental combination of Romanesque and Gothic styles has made this cathedral a tourist destination. The most famous feature is the large crossing tower (Octagon). Built 11th-14th century.

Photo by Diliff 

12. Exeter Cathedral

The cathedral has the longest uninterrupted medieval vaulted ceiling in the world. Built 12th – 15th century.

Photo by Peter Broster

13. Gloucester Cathedral

The cathedral was a place of pilgrimage in the 14th century as it holds the tomb of Edward II. It was featured in Harry Potter films. Built 11th-15th century.

Photo by Saffron Blaze

14. Hereford Cathedral

An example of Early English Gothic. It is famous for it’s Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from 13th century. Built 11th-13th century.

Photo by Diliff 

15. Leicester Cathedral

There is a tomb of King Richard III whose remains were discovered nearby. Built 11th-19th century.

Photo by Peter

16. Lichfield Cathedral

This cathedral is the only medieval English cathedral with three spires. Built 12th-14th century.

Photo by Bs0u10e01

17. Lincoln Cathedral

From 14th-mid16h century this huge cathedral was the tallest building in the world. Inside you can find the asymmetrical crazy vaults. Built 12th-14th century.

Photo by JThomas

18. Manchester Cathedral

A fine example of Perpendicular style. Staind glass destroyed in the Manchester Blitz of 1940. has been replaced gradually until the late 1960s. Built 15th-19th century.

Photo by Peter Siroki

19. Newcastle Cathedral

The cathedral features an unusual spire with lantern that served as a main navigation point of ships. Built 12th-16th century.

Photo by dun_deagh

20. Norwich Cathedral

It has one of the largest cloisters in England. In 17th century the cathedral was abandoned for 20 years as a result of religious turmoil. Built 11th-12th century.

Photo by Diliff 

21. Peterborough Cathedral

An interesiting example of Early English Gothic as it has gigantic pointed arches on the West Front. Built 12th-13th century.

Photo by Diliff 

22. Ripon Cathedral

The church here had been built by Saint Wilfrid in 7th century. Interesting detail is the medieval woodcarving that is believed to have inspired Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland. Built 12th-16th century.

Photo by Diliff 

23. Rochester Cathedral

The second oldest of England’s medieval cathderals it is a combination of Norman and Gothic style. Built 11th-13th century.

Photo by Ray in Manila

24. Salisbury Cathedral

The tallest church spire in United Kingdom 404 feet (123m), the world’s oldest working clock (1386) and the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta. Built 13th-14th century.

Photo by Antony McCallum

25. Sheffield Cathedral

The 13th century cathedral has some modernist additions that blend perfectly with the surroundigs. Built 12th-20th century.

Photo by Ian Parkes

26. Southwark Cathedral

It has become a cathedral in 1905 and Shakespeare’s brother was buried inside. Built 12th-19th century.

Photo by Dmitry Tonkonog 

27. Southwell Minster

A great example of Norman architecture. Built 12th-14th century.

Photo by DeFacto 

28. St Albans Cathedral

Mostly Norman/Romanesque style this cathderal has the longest nave in England. Roman bricks were used to build a crossing tower. Built 12th-19th century.

Photo by Diliff 

29. St Edmundsbury Cathedral

The gothic cathedral has a new crossing tower. Work started in 2000 and it wasc completed 2005. Blends perfectly. Built 16th-21th century.

Photo by Diliff 

30. St George’s Chapel, Windsor

It is a part of Windsor castle, a burial place for monarchs and an example of perpendicular architecture. The quire has an impressive display of heraldry. Built in 14th century.

Photo by Jack Pease

31. Wakefield Cathedral

The tallest spire in Yorkshire and the City of Wakefield (247-foot (75 m)). Built 14th-20th century.

Photo by Stephen Bowler

32. Wells Cathedral

One of the first Gothic structures in Europe and UK. You can admire St. Andrew’s cross arches or Chapter house with a unique central column supporting the vaults. Built 12th-15th century.

Photo by Diliff 

33. Westminster Abbey

Founded by the Benedictines it has been a coronation church since 1066. Since 1560 the building is no longer a cathedral becoming a Royal Peculiar . It is a burial place for seventeen monarchs and it has been a place for at least 16 royal weddings since 1100. Built 10th-19th century.

Photo by Gordon Joly

34. Winchester Cathedral

The longest nave of any Gothic cathedral in Europe. Inside you can admire the High Altar ornate screen. Built 11th-19th century.

Photo by

35. Worcester Cathedral

It represents every style of English architecture from Norman to Perpendicular Gothic. The first performance of the Elgar’s revised version of his Enigma Variations took place here. Built 12th-16th century.

Photo by Dave Grubb

36. York Minster

The cathderal is famous for it’s preserved medieval stained glass. The Great East Window is the world’s largest medieval stained glass window. Built 13th-15th century.

Photo by MatzeTrier

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