Saints Journeys: Durham Cathedral Saint Site

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Durham Cathedral is a Norman building constructed between 1093 and 1133 in the Romanesque style. It was founded as a monastic cathedral built to house the shrine of St. Cuthbert, replacing an earlier church constructed in his honor. It has been a place of pilgrimage, worship and welcome for almost a millennium. As the former monastic cathedral for Benedictine monks, it has some of the UK's most intact surviving monastic buildings.

From the Durham railway station, it is an easy stroll to Durham Cathedral, roughly one-half mile (1 km) away. The walk begins on North Road, which becomes Silver Road and takes you to the historic Framwellgate Bridge, which dates to the 1400s. While crossing the bridge, you can see the top of Durham Castle and to the right one of the Durham Cathedral Towers. After crossing the bridge stay on Silver Street until you reach Saddler Street. Take a right on Saddler Street which becomes No. Bailey Street. A bit further is the legendary Dun Cow Lane, named after a legendary dun cow that led the community of St. Cuthbert to Durham in 995 A.D. with the saint's body. At this point, the Cathedral is on your left as you walk up Dun Cow Lane.

The Cathedral houses the Treasures of St. Cuthbert. The Treasures of St Cuthbert are some of the most significant surviving Anglo-Saxon artefacts in the UK and include St. Cuthbert's original 7th century wooden coffin, his gold and garnet pectoral cross, the portable altar and ivory comb placed in his coffin when he was buried, and embroidered Anglo-Saxon vestments gifted to his Shrine. The treasures are on display in the Monks' Dormitory.

In the nearby Palace Green Library is a collection of Anglo-Saxon stones, the Museum of Archaeology, and the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre.

Last, but not least, the Cathedral houses tombs of two of the most important figures in early British history: St. Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede. The tomb of St. Cuthbert is behind the main high altar where he has lain for 900 years. The tomb of the Venerable Bede's is located in the Galilee or Lady Chapel.

Visitors Information

Visitors information may be found at the Durham Cathedral website. General tourist information may be found at the This Is Durham website.


Please check local road conditions for possible changes prior to venturing forth on this journey. A helpful resource for changes and possible trip interruptions if you are travelling in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland is the AA-UK Route Planner. Another map source that this website uses and that may be useful to you on your journeys is Streetmap UK.

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