Durham Cathedral, Durham (must see)
While looking for a safe place to settle, the monks followed two milkmaids, the saying goes, who were looking for their lost cow. The search led them to a high peninsula of the Wear River. It was here that Cuthbert's coffin could be moved no further. It was a sign, without a doubt. They founded the shrine that would become the City of Durham.
Protected by the Earl of Northumbria, the monks built a chapel to house St Cuthbert. It was wood and wattle. They called it the White Church. It was replaced in 998 by a stone structure also called White Church. Durham became a popular pilgrim site where King Canute was a frequent visitor. The White Church became a cathedral in 1018.
The Norman monk, William de St-Calais, was appointed Bishop of Durham by the first king of England, William the Conqueror, in 1080. In August 1093, St-Calais, together with Prior Turgot of Durham, began the construction of the new cathedral. The new building was intended, among other things, to house the bodies of St Cuthbert and the English monk Venerable Bede.
The interior features rib vaults in the choir aisle and the nave. Pointed arches are supported on piers and massive columns. The triforium gallery over the aisles masks lateral abutments. The main features are pre-Gothic, but the cathedral overall is considered Romanesque.
Saint Cuthbert's tomb is at the east end of the chapel feretory. Fragments of his coffin are on display. Twenty-two other bodies are entombed within the cathedral: in the chapter house, the transepts, and the chapels, in front of the high altar and outside the cathedral.
In 1986 the Durham Cathedral was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and placed among the significant monuments of the Norman Conquest of Britain. It is also one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Durham. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Durham Cathedral on Map
Walking Tours in Durham, England
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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles