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Welcome to Durham Cathedral, one of the great buildings of Europe.

Set on a rocky promontory next to the Castle, with the medieval city huddled below and the river sweeping round, the profile of the World Heritage Site is instantly recognisable to travellers on the East Coast railway line.

Why does it exist?

The Community of Cuthbert arrived in Durham from Lindisfarne in 995 and built an Anglo-Saxon cathedral.

In 1083 a community of Benedictine monks was established in Durham following the Norman Conquest.

Construction of the Cathedral as we know it today was started in 1093 by Bishop William of St Calais.
                

 

Our role

Durham Cathedral is a Christian Church of the Anglican Communion and the seat of the Bishop of Durham.

We are a place of worship, welcome and hospitality.

Following the example of Saints Cuthbert and Bede, we share our faith and heritage globally and empower people to transform the communities in which we live and serve.

Our purpose

Our purpose is to worship God, share the gospel of Jesus Christ, welcome all who come, celebrate and pass on our rich Christian heritage and discover our place in God’s creation.

 

Plan your visit


Foundation 2020

Help one of the world's architectural treasures by donating to our Foundation 2020 fund. The Heritage Lottery fund will double your money.

More about Foundation 2020

Open Treasure

Book your tickets now to see outstanding treasures.

Explore the exhibition

Prayer and worship

We offer a warm welcome to anyone who wishes to visit Durham Cathedral to pray, worship or simply find a quiet space to reflect.

Find out more
Don't miss...

The Rose Window

Durham Cathedral's Rose Window is one of the most stunning stained glass windows in England. It casts dappled colourful sunlight on to the Cathedral's stone floor.

See other highlights

Treat yourself

Enjoy a tasty snack or meal in the beautiful medieval undercroft. Our restaurant located just off the west Cloister offers a choice of delicious homemade food and locally-sourced produce.

More about the Undercroft Restaurant

The Cathedral Choristers

Choristers typically join the Cathedral Choir between the ages of eight and nine, and remain until the age of 13. There are usually around 18 boys and around 18 girls.

Become a Chorister

Cathedral Library

The UK's best preserved in situ medieval monastic library.  Our collections include mannuscripts dating from the 6th century to the modern day.

Become a library member

School trips and more

We offer a variety of schools' sessions each focussing on a different aspect of the cathedral, its history and life.

More about school visits