Everything About Ely Cathedral

Think You Know Everything About Ely Cathedral? Think Again!

If you grow up in Cambridgeshire, it is likely you went on a school trip to Ely Cathedral. You will have visited the cathedral at some point or even done a school project on it. So, you may think you know everything about Ely Cathedral? But perhaps you don’t!

In this blog post, we share just some of the many random facts about Ely Cathedral that you might now know. If you get to the end and know all of them, then perhaps you can share some more random facts about the Cathedral with us. We can use them next time!

Did you know that Ely Cathedral is a large Romanesque atone church? It is part of the Anglican Diocese of Ely and home to its bishop.

Did you know Ely Cathedral has another name? It’s known as the ‘Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Ely. Ely Cathedral has another name too. It’s also known as The Ship of the Fens’.

Do you know how tall the highest point of the Cathedral is? The west tower measures 66 metres, which is just over 216 feet. The building spreads over almost 164 metres, around 538 feet. It covers an area of 4273 square metres which is 46,000 square feet. So, in other terms, it is about one-and-one-fifth times as tall as The Leaning Tower of Pisa and about one-third as big as Trafalgar Square!

Did you know that the Cathedral is situated on the spot that a monastery was established in 673AD for both genders? It was established by Queen Etheldreda whose shrine existed on the site for many years.

Did you know the original monastery was thought to be destroyed by the Vikings in the 9th century? In fact, it was a revival in the area caused the re-establishment and rebuilding of the abbey from 970.

Did you know that the Normans seized control of the site in the 11th century? They ordered the rebuilding of most monasteries in the UK, and this included Ely. 

Did you know that the construction of Ely Cathedral was halted? The construction commenced during the 1080s by Abbot Simeon. When he died in 1903 construction was halted for some years. The first bishop of Ely Cathedral didn’t begin until 1109.

Did you know the central tower collapsed? It was in 1322 and was reconstructed as an octagonal tower. Sometime later another part of the cathedral collapsed, but this was never repaired.

Did you know that there are two main towers in the Cathedral? One of these is the west tower which comprises of almost 290 steps. But don’t worry, there is a café and restaurant at the cathedral so you can have a rest and a nice cup of tea when you have finished tackling the steps.

So, how many of these things about Ely Cathedral did you know?


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