Chester Cathedral

view of exterior of cathedral from North East
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Chester Cathedral’s history spans almost two thousand years. According to legend, a prehistoric Druid temple existed on this site, succeeded by a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo. A church was founded here in 660, and in 875 the relics of St Werburgh were brought to Chester to protect them from attacks by the Vikings.

In 1092, a great monastery was founded here. The building evolved over succeeding centuries with a 130-year break in building between 1360 and 1490, due to the plague when not enough workers were available to continue construction. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1540, Henry VIII handed it back as the Cathedral of the Diocese of Chester. George Gilbert Scott restored it between 1868-76.

Each part of the building represents the work of different generations combining to make the Cathedral that we see today, but which remains one of the finest and most complete monastic complexes in the United Kingdom.

Five highlights of Chester Cathedral are: the woodcarving in the quire, dating from 1380; the Cobweb Picture painted on the web of a caterpillar; the Chester Imp carving of the Devil in chains; the Consistory Court, the only surviving ecclesiastical court in the country; and the Creation Window in the Refectory.

Venue Type:

Heritage site, Sacred space

Opening hours

January - March 9:00 - 17:00
April - December 9:00 - 18:00

Admission charges

Free to enter, with generous donations welcomed

Collection details

Architecture, Fine Art, Music, Performing Arts, Religion

Key artists and exhibits

  • Creation window by Rosalind Grimshaw

Chester Cathedral
12 Abbey Square



Cathedral reception

Education Officer


01244 324756

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.