List of cathedrals in the United Kingdom


List of cathedrals in the United Kingdom

This article lists the cathedrals, former cathedrals and intended cathedrals in the United Kingdom and the Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and those in the Channel Islands, by country.

A cathedral church is a Christian place of worship which is the chief, or 'mother' church of a diocese and is distinguished as such by being the location for the "cathedra" or bishop's seat. In the strictest sense, only those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy possess cathedrals. However the label 'cathedral' remains in common parlance for notable churches which were formerly part of an episcopal denomination, such as is the case with many former Scottish cathedrals which are now within the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. In addition former cathedrals which now exist as ruins retain their nominal status.

It is a common misconception that the term 'cathedral' may be applied to any particularly large or grand church. Whilst many cathedrals may be such, this is due to their ecclesiastical status. Such a church is grand because it is a cathedral, rather than it being designated a cathedral because of its grandeur. A cathedral may in fact be a relatively small building, particularly where they exist in sparser or poorer communities. Modern cathedrals frequently lack the grandeur of those of the Medieval and Renaissance times, having more focus on the functional aspect of a place of worship. However, many of the grand and ancient cathedrals that remain today were originally built to much smaller plans, and have been successively extended and rebuilt over the centuries

Some cathedrals were purpose-built as such, whilst others were formerly parochial, or parish churches, subsequently promoted in status due to ecclesiastical requirements such as periodic diocesan reorganisation.

The following list comprises, for the United Kingdom and its dependencies, all locations of current cathedral churches, or former cathedral churches, including those locations where no trace remains of the structure, indeed where the precise location is no longer known.

Also included are those structures or sites of intended cathedrals as well as pro-cathedrals which are churches serving as an interim cathedral, (for instance whilst a permanent cathedral is acquired), or as a co-cathedral where the diocesan demographics/geography require the bishop's seat to be shared with a building in an alternate location.

The inclusion of the UK dependencies is strictly for ecclesiastical reasons - the included dependencies are those which share a province with the mainland of Great Britain. On the other hand, Northern Ireland is shown as a link to the List of cathedrals in Ireland page because, although it politically comprises part of the United Kingdom (hence the section), ecclesiastically the island of Ireland comprises a single geographical unit.

Terms not covered in the above preamble include "translated", which is the move of a bishop's seat from one location to another, moving cathedral status from the former church and bestowing it on the destination church, such as may occur in a diocesan or provincial re-organisation.

England and Dependencies

Church of England

Province of Canterbury

Province of Birmingham

Bishopric of the British Armed Forces

Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Greek Orthodox Church

Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Anglican Catholic Church

Holy Catholic Church (Anglican Rite)

Ukrainian Catholic Church: Exarchy of Great Britain

Province of Glasgow

Roman Catholic Church, Province of Cardiff

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Northern Ireland

See List of cathedrals in Ireland; the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland form a single ecclesiastical unit.

Records

*The oldest cathedral site in the UK continuously and currently in use is Canterbury ("c."600).
*Durham Cathedral is, for its greater part, the oldest UK cathedral building currently in use (1093)
*The Roman Catholic Cathedral for Galloway at Ayr is the newest designated cathedral in the UK (2007).
*Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral is the largest (by floor area) in the UK.
*Birmingham Cathedral is the smallest (by floor area) in England.
*Salisbury Cathedral possesses the tallest spire amongst UK cathedrals, at 404 feet (123 metres) and also has the largest cloister.
*St Albans Cathedral has the longest nave of UK cathedrals at 348 feet (106 metres).
*Winchester Cathedral is the longest medieval cathedral in the world.
*Oxford Cathedral is the smallest medieval cathedral currently in use in England.
*Derby Cathedral is the smallest Anglican cathedral in area within England.
*Wells is the smallest cathedral city in England.
*St David's is the smallest cathedral city in the UK.
*Chichester Cathedral is the only English cathedral visible from the sea.
*Salisbury Cathedral is home to the Europe's oldest working mechanical clock, dating to 1386

In November 1998 the SFX Boys Choir, Liverpool, England became the first choir ever, and the only choir to date, to sing official church services in all 49 cathedrals and abbeys in England and Wales. The choir sung its first service in May 1994 in St. Edmundsbury Cathedral and completed the feat by finishing off with an Evensong service in their very own Liverpool Cathedral just 3 years later. The feat is recognised as an official world record by the 'Guinness Book of Records'.

References

*Anthony S. B. New, "The Observer’s Book of Cathedrals", Frederick Warne & Co Ltd, London & New York, 1972
*David Pepin "Discovering Cathedrals", Shire Publications Ltd, 1994
*Richard Fawcett, "Scottish Cathedrals", B.T.Batsford Ltd/Historic Scotland, 1997"
*David L. Edwards, "The Cathedrals of Britain", Pitkin Pictorials, 1989
*Stephen Platten, "Cathedrals & Abbeys of England", Jarrold Publishing, 1999
*Peter Galloway, "The Cathedrals of Scotland", Scottish Cultural Press, 2000
*Henry Thorold, "Collins Guide To Cathedrals, Abbeys and Priories of England and Wales", Collins, 1986
*

See also

* List of cathedrals
* List of abbeys and priories in the United Kingdom
* List of abbeys and priories in the Republic of Ireland
* List of cathedrals in Ireland
* List of tallest church towers
* Architecture of the medieval cathedrals of England
* Religion in the United Kingdom
* Three-spired cathedrals in the United Kingdom
* Parish Church of St Helier (Pro-Cathedral of the Channel Islands)
* [http://www.gcatholic.com/churches/data/cathGBX.htm List of Cathedrals in United Kingdom] by Giga-Catholic Information


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