Photos of Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral
View all photos »

Maps of Ely Cathedral

Location of Ely Cathedral
Map of Ely Cathedral

Aerial View of Ely Cathedral

Add Your Comments

Quick Facts on Ely Cathedral

Short URL
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Ely Cathedral
ElyCB7 4DL
Ely  locality
England  country
United Kingdom  country
Europe  continent
Main date(s)
(#1331690; Sep 23, 1950)
52.398629° N, 0.263404° E
OS Grid Reference
TL 54046 80281
Opening hours
Jun-Sep: daily 7-7
Oct-May: Mon-Sat 7:30am-6pm, Sun 7:30am-5pm
Admission including optional guided tour: £6 (free on Sundays and for services) Octagon or West Tower: additional £4 each
+44 (0)1353 667735

Historical Timeline of Ely Cathedral

Description of Ely Cathedral

Ely (pronounced "eely") was an island for most of its history; the marshy Fens surrounding it were not drained until the 18th century. The great cathedral of Ely, which still appears to float on the flat surrounding landscape, has long been known as the "Ship of the Fens." Today, Ely Cathedral looks out over a lovely green space to the west, which continues around its north side. The great window of the Lady Chapel is also visible on the north side. The south side of the cathedral is home to one of the largest surviving ensembles of medieval monastic buildings in England.

Holly Hayes
October 27, 2011

Listed Building Description



Revision Number: 2

Cathedral of the Holy Trinity 1082 TL 5480 1/1 23.9.50 TL 5479 2/1 GV 2. The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity was begun in 1083 by Simeon, a Kinsman of William the Conqueror and was virtually completed in its present form by 1350 after which no further major building took place. The nave and transepts have exceptionally fine C12 work, the chancel and west porch are C13 and the central crossing, lantern and the Lady Chapel are C14. The inner porch has some C15} work. Considerable restoration work was done by Sir Gilbert Scott in the mid C19. The Lady Chapel was begun in 1321 and a year later the Norman crossing tower fell. The Octagonal tower which replaced it was designed and built under the sacrsit Alan of Walsingham and the timber-framed lantern which crowns it was built under the direction of William Hurle, one of the most famous carpenters of his age and Chief Carpenter of the King's Works. The masonry of the Cathedral is almost entirely of ashlar faced Barnack limestone. The splendid architecture of the Cathedral and College is the dominating influence of the small scale, mainly C18 and C19 town which clusters closely around it.

The Cathedral of The Holy Trinity forms the focal point connecting the following four distinct groups of buildings collectively known as The College.

Group of the North:- The Almonry, Wall to the gardens of the Almonry and Painted Chamber, the Sacristy Gate and Goldsmith's Tower.

Group to the South West:- The Great Hall (Bishop's residence), the Queen's Hall (Headmaster's House), Wall to the gardens of the Bishop's residence, Guest Quarters of the Monastery, Walls to the Guest Quarters of the Monastery and Ely Porta, Prior's House (Boarding House of The King's School), Prior Crauden's Chapel, Walls to the gardens of the Prior's House and Guest Hall, Ely Porta, Barn and Storehouse of the Monastery, Wall to the Barn and Storehouse of the Monastery.

Group to the South West:- The Dark Cloisterm Powcher's Hall, the Painted Chamber (Walsingham House) the Chapel of the Infirmary, the Black Hostelry and Cellarers Chamber, Cellarers House.

Group to the West:- Bishop's Palace, Walls of the Bishop's Palace.

Listing NGR: TL5404680281

Source: The National Heritage List for England. Reprinted under license.

Blog Posts on Ely Cathedral

Bibliography of Ely Cathedral

Comments on Ely Cathedral

Have you visited Ely Cathedral, or do you have personal connections or insider knowledge? Please tell us about it below!

Please rate for beauty, interest, importance, visitor experience, etc.
Can be 20-3000 characters (about 5 to 450 words). If submitting a correction, please include the correct information and your source.
Required. Will be displayed with your comments.
Required. Will not be displayed unless you request it. We do not sell or share your e-mail with anyone.
  Check the box if you want to display your e-mail address so you can be contacted by other readers.
Required. This just shows you're not a spam bot.