9 December: Worcester Cathedral

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


Denomination: Anglican


Building began: 1084

About the cathedral:

Situated majestically overlooking the River Severn, Worcester Cathedral is, alongside Gloucester and Hereford, one of the hosts of the famous Three Choirs Festival, whose history dates back over 300 years. The cathedral itself, whose diocese covers the county of Worcestershire and the northern fringes of Gloucestershire, features a lovable mix of Norman and Gothic architecture. One of the building’s more famous attractions is the tomb of the infamous King John, though music-lovers will also want to hunt out the memorials to organist Ivor Atkins and violinist WH Reed, both good friends of Elgar. And if you can squeeze your way up the narrow stairs, the views from the top of the tower are superb.

Did you know?


Worcester Cathedral became a familiar sight to millions of us when its image, as viewed from the west, was used on the £20 Bank of England banknote from 1999. It is featured next to the mugshot of Worcester’s most famous musical son, Edward Elgar who, as in Hereford, has been honoured with a statue in a city – and, also like Hereford, he is seen facing and admiring the cathedral. Sadly, the Elgar banknote was discontinued in 2007, much to the disappointment of music enthusiasts.