19A The Close
When Bishop Chad of Mercia died in 672, pilgrims began to come to his shrine in Lichfield. In 700, Bishop Hedda built a new church to house his bones. Starting in 1085 and continuing through the twelfth century this Saxon church was replaced by a Norman Cathedral, and this in turn by the Gothic Cathedral begun in 1195.
Pilgrimage to the shrine of Chad continued throughout this period, the Cathedral was expanded by the addition of a Lady Chapel, and there were perhaps as many as twenty altars around the Cathedral by 1500. All this changed at the Reformation, and the Cathedral was severely damaged during the Civil War, being under siege three times.
Bishop Hacket restored the Cathedral in the 1660s, and William Wyatt made substantial changes to its ordering in the eighteenth century, but it was Sir George Gilbert Scott, Cathedral Architect from 1855-1878, who was responsible for its successful restoration to Medieval splendour.
Today, Lichfield Cathedral still stands at the heart of the Diocese and is a focus for pilgrimage, the regular worship of God, and a thriving community.
07.30-18.15 Mon - Fri, 08.00-18.15 Sat,
07.30-17.00 Sun (Winter), 07.30-18.30 Sun (Summer)
Entrance is free, but we ask each visitor to make a donation.