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Experience a sense of calm and contemplation in our atmospheric Cloister.

Follow in the monks' footsteps

We are lucky to have some of the most intact surviving medieval monastic buildings in England.

How old is the Cloister?

The Cloister was laid out at about the same time as the Norman Cathedral and completed in the late 12th century. It was remodelled to its present form in the early 15th century.

The tracery, as in stonework, was remodelled again between 1764 - 1769.


What is a Cloister?

A cloister is a covered walkway. Originally they were built for the Benedictine monks who lived and worshipped in the monastic priory here.

There would have been glazing and the monks would exercise, teach and study within the walls. This continued until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.  

What is the stone basin in the middle?

This is what remains of the monk’s lavabo where they would wash.


An important hub

Today the Cloister continues as a hub for the daily routine of worship and welcome. Our clergy and the Cathedral Choir arrive for worship through the Cloister.

In the south-east corner is the entrance to the Undercroft Restaurant and our Cathedral Shop.

To the west lies the entrance to the Open Treasure exhibition. This starts in the original Monks’ Dormitory and continues through the other claustral buildings, as in buildings leading from the cloister.

As seen on screen

You may recognise the Cloister from TV and films such as the Harry Potter series.