Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

A photograph of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

One of the finest examples of Victorian Gothic architecture in England.

Norwich's Catholic Cathedral was gifted to the city of Norwich by Henry Fitzalan Howard, the 15th Duke of Norfolk, providing a new centre of worship for the Catholic community in Norwich.

The Cathedral was built on the former site of the City Gaol. At the Duke's request it was designed in the Early English style of the 13th century by architect George Gilbert Scott junior, a recent convert to the Catholic faith.

One of the first things that you notice as you walk up the steps to the Cathedral is the thousands of fossils contained within the stone steps. Once inside, this element is continued with more fossils speckling the black Frosterley marble pillars surrounding the nave.

The nave consists of ten bays, supported by massive cylindrical columns. It is over 49 m (160 ft) long and 18 m (60 ft) high.

Also of note are the great number of attractive sculptures and some of the finest nineteenth century stained glass in Europe.

After nearly a century as the parish church of the Catholic community in Norwich it became the mother church of the new diocese of East Anglia in 1976. It is now the second largest Catholic cathedral in the country.

Venue Type:

Sacred space

Opening hours

The Cathedral is open every day of the year from 7.30am to 7.30pm. Visitors are welcome at all times but are asked to respect the silence rule during services.

The Narthex is open to members of the public from Tuesday to Saturday. It is normally closed on Mondays and is used by the church on Sundays.

Admission charges

There are no entrance fees, however donations which will go towards the Cathedral's development and upkeep are warmly welcomed.

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist education pack

This pack is aimed at teachers of Religious Education, Citizenship, Art and Design and History. The activities can be pitched at a variety of levels, appropriate to age and Key Stage.
The pack includes background notes for teachers on the historic framework of the cathedral and symbolism, as well as a 'Cathedral and Community' trail which ties in with the QCA standards and the best practice recommended in The Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education in Norfolk (2006).


  • Written by Saul Penfold with photographs by Paul Hurst and designed by Isobel Simons Educational Resource Design.

How to obtain

The file is available as a free download via the link above. (It is quite large so may take some time). If you are not able to download it, please call HEART on 01603 305575 and we will send you a CD with the pack on it.

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Cathedral House
Unthank Road




01603 624615


01603 762512

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.