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In the cross-shaped footprint of the cathedral, the South Transept forms one of the arms of the cross.

Here, you'll find the entrance to the cathedral and Prior's clock, one of the cathedral's most famous curiosities.

Where is this space?

The South Transept is located beside the crossing of the Nave and by the entrance to the cathedral tower.

How is it used today?

The colourful medieval clock you can see in the South Transept stands above a concealed door, where our choir emerges from for worship services.

Today, you might notice this area is quite busy, as this is where our visitors begin their tower climbs. You’ll also find the Friends of Durham Cathedral, who have lots of knowledge to share about the cathedral and its history. The Friends have been responsible for funding much of what you see in the cathedral, including the embroidered altar panels in the Chapel of the Nine Altars.


The South Transept in the medieval monastery

Before the cathedral’s many additions, the footprint of the building would have resembled a Latin cross, and the South Transept forms one of the arms of the cross.

Here, you’ll find one of the cathedral’s most famous curiosities; the colourful medieval clock, which was constructed by Prior Castell in the late 15th or early 16th century.

Changes over the past 500 years

In 1845, the clock was removed, thought by the Victorians to be too frivolous for a church. The clock was later reconstructed as a working clock in 1938, funded by the Friends of Durham Cathedral.


Wheelchair users and visitors with limited mobility

The South Transept is fully accessible.

Visitors with a hearing impairment

An induction loop is available upon request.

Neurodiverse visitors

As the entrance to the cathedral tower is in this space, it can be a busy and loud area. Tower climbs usually begin on the hour, so the area can be quieter outside of these times.

Blind and partially sighted visitors

Light levels in the South Transept can be low depending on the time of day and year.