4 December: Truro Cathedral

Every day throughout Advent, we'll be introducing a different cathedral from around the UK and occasionally beyond.


Denomination: Anglican


Building began: 1880

About the cathedral:

As the first British cathedral in over 800 years to be built from scratch and the only one to be both begun and finished in the 19th century, Truro has a certain rarity value for cathedral spotters. It is also one of only three UK cathedrals to have three spires – the others are Lichfield and St Mary’s, Edinburgh – the tallest of which is 77 metres tall. The southernmost cathedral in England, its diocese covers Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and a tiny slither of Devon. Current restoration work is being carried out to replace much of the cathedral’s porous and crumbly Bath stone with more durable Cotswold stone.

Did you know?


Though most people associate King’s College, Cambridge with the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service, the tradition actually began in Truro. Edward White Benson, the first ever Bishop of Truro, was the brains behind the format – his motive behind it was, in fact, to try and persuade the good people of the city to celebrate Christmas in church rather than head to the pub. The first ever Nine Lessons and Carols took place in 1880 in a large wooden shed while the cathedral was being built, and proved an instant success.