Carlisle Cathedral


Carlisle Cathedral with trees either side and grass (©D&H Photographers)Carlisle's imposing Cathedral occupies a central position in the heart of the ‘historic quarter'. Built for the glory of God, services have been read and choirs have sung in it for nearly 900 years.

The Cathedral was founded in 1122, but has been rebuilt several times; once in 1292 after a devastating fire and again in the 14th century. After the Cromwellian victory of 1645, most of the Norman nave was demolished and the stone used to repair the city's walls and castle. The magnificent east window contains some fine 14th-century stained glass. There are also intricate wood carvings, medieval painted panels and the Brougham Triptych - a Flemish altarpiece dating from the 16th century.

The Ceiling of the Choir

The main timbers of the ceiling date from 1400, which was part of the rebuilding of the choir throughout the fourteenth century after the fire of 1292. The decorative scheme dates from Ewan Christian’s restoration of the Cathedral 1853–6. The style we see of the restoration followed the medieval original, but the detailed design and colour of the ceiling with the angles and stars was the work of Owen Jones (1809–1874), who was one of the great decorative artists of the day. It was last repainted in 1970.

Engage with the Cathedral


Carlisle Cathedral
The Abbey

01228 548151



Getting Involved

There are a number of ways for you to get involved in the life of the Cathedral.

All their regular acts of worship are open to all and the Chapter welcomes visitors to join the congregation at these services at any time. Many people also enjoy direct voluntary involvement, acting as Welcomers, Guides, or in the Gift Shop. If any of these options is of interest to you, and you would like to explore the possibilities further; please contact Wendy Murrell on 01228 548071, or email

For information on other ways of getting involved, including joining the Flower Guild to help present the building, becoming a ‘Side-person' to assist the Vergers, or learning how to ring the Cathedral Bells, contact Carlisle Cathedral.