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Special Interest Tour - A Social History of Ely Cathedral in the 19th Century

25 October 2024


Friday 25 October, 11.30am

By the mid 19th century it was no longer possible to bury the great and the good within the Cathedral so in 1862 Ely set about acquiring 48 grave plots within the newly opened city cemetery. These burials have proved a time capsule of information about those connected with the Cathedral for over a century. Not just the dean and clergy, but vergers, choristers, local tradesmen, builders as well as their families and servants.

Join Cathedral guide Mary Stevens as she sets about revealing some of these stories as well as solving a few mysteries:

  • Who was Ely’s foremost astronomer with an observatory in his garden?
  • Which Dean challenged an Oxford colleague to a race thereby instigating the annual Cambridge / Oxford boat race?
  • Which Canon helped formulate the rules of football?
  • While another almost single-handedly filled virtually every window in the Cathedral with stained glass?

All of these questions (as well as many more) will be answered in reference to the Cathedral’s monuments, glass, and memorial plaques. The interaction of Cathedral and city in the 19th century reveals a rich social history. If you know where to look!

What's included:
Admission to Ely Cathedral.
An hour's guided tour.
Lunch at the Almonry Restaurant. (This is a 2-course lunch from the daily menu, either a soup starter and main course, or a main course and dessert. The daily menu can be found here. Please note this does not include the specials menu)

Tickets: £25 per person. Tickets must be pre-booked online up to the day before your visit, via the link on this page. This tour is not suitable for children.

Please meet your guide at the west end of the Nave, 5 minutes before your tour is due to start.