Carlisle Cathedral was founded in 1122 and is the only cathedral in Cumbria. It is also the second smallest cathedral in England but nevertheless, contains a number of interesting features.
The 14th century East Window is regarded as one of the finest stained glass windows in Europe while the Brougham Triptych is a magnificent altarpiece carved in Antwerp at the beginning of the 16th century. Another gem is the barrel vaulted ceiling with its gold stars scattered on a deep blue background. The 15th century choir stalls and misericords are fine examples of medieval craftsmanship.
Opposite the main entrance is the Fratry, a 16th century building that now houses the Prior’s Kitchen. Originally, the monks’ dining hall this restaurant now provides one of Carlisle’s more unusual dining experiences. It’s open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 4 pm.
Carlisle Cathedral is open from 7.30 am to 6.15 pm Monday to Saturday, and 7.30 am to 5 pm on Sunday.
The Cathedral is situated in Carlisle city centre, off Castle Street. There is no onsite car parking but there is a large council-run car park at the Viaduct, just west of the cathedral. The car park on Devonshire Walk, next to Carlisle Castle, is also nearby.
Entry to the Cathedral is free of charge, but donations are always welcome.
In addition to its regular services the Cathedral also hosts numerous events such as lunchtime concerts (Tuesdays), organ recitals, and art exhibitions. For a full programme visit the official website.