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Ely Cathedral


Friday 11 June, Wednesday 23 June & Friday 2 July, 11.30am, with lunch at 12.30pm (Tickets for these tours have now sold out!)

New for 2021! Join us on one of our 'Specialist Tours' to find out even more about the fascinating history of Ely Cathedral.

What's included: Ground floor admission to the Cathedral (no need to buy a Visitor ticket), a guided tour and a two course lunch in the Almonry Restaurant.

Tickets: £30 per person (for up to 6 people with a guide). Tickets must be pre-booked online the day before your visit.

Please meet your guide at the west end of the Nave, 5 minutes before your tour is due to start. Our guide will be wearing a face mask.

Friday 11 June - The Victorian Cathedral: Circa 1871

Visit Ely Cathedral 150 years ago. The major restoration programme and reorganisation of the building is virtually complete! Begun by Dean George Peacock when he was installed as Dean in 1839 and facilitated by the architect George Gilbert Scott from the time of his appointment in 1847, Ely's is the most comprehensive restoration of any British Cathedral attempted to date. The building was re-imagined from top to bottom, inside and out in an effort to repair the damage wrought by the Reformation and remove centuries of accretion that obscured a medieval masterpiece.

The tour is intended to be a kind of time travel back to 1871 in order to appreciate the Cathedral as it would have appeared to a visitor at that date. The guide will walk the modern visitor through the building highlighting the Victorian restoration and bringing to life the personalities of the 19th century individuals like the Dean, the clergy, the architect, the painters, the carpenters, the metal smiths who all contributed to creating Ely Cathedral as we know it today.

Wednesday 23 June - The Heraldry of Ely Cathedral - SOLD OUT!

Heraldry is everywhere! - and by looking closely at the varied and colourful heraldry throughout the Cathedral we can throw light on its history and particularly on the interesting people who have been connected with it over the centuries. These include:

  • Early Bishops, many holding important roles of state.
  • Lifesize monuments to two Steward cousins of Oliver Cromwell plastered with numerous shields showing off their family connections
  • Small shields in the 19th century glass indicating their benefactors
  • The Tabula Eliensis, a great treasure depicting the Arms of the 40 knights billeted on the monks by William the Conqueror.

When you leave this tour, you will begin to see 'heraldry' in all sorts of places in your life!

Friday 2 July - Encountering Ely Cathedral's Modern Art - SOLD OUT!

Ely Cathedral is steeped in history and heritage, and the beauty of its medieval architecture can seem timeless. But the story of the Cathedral continues to the present day, with each new generation making its own mark.

Explore the cathedral from a fresh perspective on this tour which focuses on its 20th century art. Encounter modern works which often go unnoticed or unremarked, by artists including David Wynne and Peter Eugene Ball. Find out the fascinating stories behind the pieces - how and why they came into being, what they represent, and who were the artists who created them.

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The Nave Ceiling painted by Parry and Le Strange Enlarge

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Noli Me Tangere by David Wynne Enlarge

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The Way of Life by Jonathan Clarke Enlarge