Gloucester Cathedral National Heritage List Data

Gloucester Cathedral is listed on the National Heritage List for England with the following data. Some information may have become outdated since the date of listing. Text courtesy of Historic England. © Crown Copyright, reprinted under the Open Government License.

National Heritage List for England Facts

List Entry ID
Grid Reference
SO 83121 18778

National Heritage List for England Description


SO8318NW CATHEDRAL PRECINCTS 844-1/8/42 Cathedral Church of the Holy and 23/01/52 Indivisible Trinity


Cathedral church. Formerly the conventual church of the Benedictine Abbey of St Peter on or near the site of a monastery founded by Osric c681. After the dissolution of the monastery the church refounded 1541 as a secular cathedral. Includes major portions of the Romanesque church built 1089-1100 for Abbot Serlo, the nave completed 1104-22, the timber roof of nave replaced by vault completed 1242; south aisle of nave rebuilt in Decorated style 1319-29; south transept remodelled with innovative use of Perpendicular details 1331-6; presbytery remodelled in developed Perpendicular style 1337-67, followed by the north transept 1368-73; the two west bays of nave and west front rebuilt and the south porch added c1420; central tower rebuilt c1450; Lady Chapel rebuilt late C15. Major repairs for Bishop Benson 1734-52; restorations by FW Waller 1847-63, Sir Gilbert Scott 1866-73, and FW Waller 1873-90, JL Pearson consultant for restoration of Lady Chapel 1896-7, C20 repairs. MATERIALS: limestone ashlar and squared coursed rubble, lead and stone slate roofs. PLAN: cruciform, with tall central tower above crossing; aisled nave of nine bays, the principal entrance through a large, two storey porch projecting from the second bay of the south aisle of the nave; the choir, entered through pulpitum occupies the east bay of the nave and the crossing; north and south transepts each of two bays with a two storey, polygonal chapel projecting from the east side of each of the outer bays; ambulatory around presbytery of five bays with the east bay canted outwards to accommodate the greater width of the C14 great east window which replaced the C12 apse (evidence of early Romanesque pier left visible in the second pier from the NE corner at Tribune level); apsidal ambulatory with north-east and south east, two storey, radiating chapels with polygonal apses, the upper chapels entered from the tribune galleries above the aisles. Lady Chapel to east, entered below a gallery inserted to replace the section of the C12 tribune gallery removed in C14, of five bays, with symmetrical north and south chapels, with singing galleries above, which project from the fourth bay to the east; below the presbytery an apsidal crypt divided into

three aisles and enclosed by an outer ambulatory aisle with three outer apsidal chapels at the east end and passages to crypt chapels below the transept chapels. EXTERIOR: WEST FRONT: gable-end of nave flanked by lower aisles; at the corners of the nave buttressed and panelled turrets with octagonal top stages supported by miniature flying buttresses and capped by spirelets; the west doorway with moulded jambs and arch in a rectangular frame, the wall crowned by an open-arcaded crenellated parapet; set back behind the parapet, within deep reveals, the great west window of nine lights divided by two buttressed king mullions, 3+3+3, with Perpendicular tracery; above the window arch panelled spandrels and an ogee gablet with finial above the crown of the arch rising into the centre of a crowning, open-arcaded parapet linking the corner turrets, and surmounted by a pierced cross; perpendicular windows in the end walls of the aisles and in the west bay of the south aisle. SOUTH PORCH: heavily restored, projecting from the second bay of the south aisle; two storeys with buttressed, square angle turrets, the pierced top stages crowned by spirelets; on each side of the moulded entrance archway a canopied niche and above a row of six richly canopied niches filled in C19 with statues of saints by JL Redfern; crenellated, pierced parapets between the turrets with an open ogee arch rising through and above the front parapet and surmounted by a cross. SOUTH AISLE: to east of porch the south aisle to the nave of seven bays each with a three-light window with identical Decorated