The fourteenth-century priory kitchen is one of only two intact surviving monastic kitchens in England, with a distinctive octagonal shape and a high rib-vaulted ceiling.
The kitchen’s scale reflects the size of the community that would have been resident at the Cathedral at the time of its construction. The space was used as a kitchen until the mid-1940s!
Open Treasure has transformed the Great Kitchen into an exhibition space designed to provide a fitting and permanent home to the most precious and sacred of the Cathedral’s treasures, the Treasures of St. Cuthbert. The space is environmentally-controlled to current British exhibition standards, creating the opportunity to display short-term loans from the complementary collections of other institutions.
Visitors can enjoy a spectacular exhibition featuring church plate and metalwork, in advance of the Treasures of St Cuthbert being added in late 2017 following a period of environmental monitoring.
The end of the Open Treasure journey returns visitors to the Cloister through the twelfth-century Covey, which now houses the interactive Pilgrimage Gallery and Community Gallery.
A new level, ramped access connects the Great Kitchen to the Cloister. On return to the Cloister, visitors can relax in the Undercroft Restaurant and browse the excellent range of products available in the Cathedral Shop, both located in a redeveloped retail area in the undercroft of the West Range of the Cloister.