Photo By Peter Watts
Peterborough Cathedral - Nave & Rood Crucifix

Peterborough Cathedral - Nave & Rood Crucifix - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT

Virtual tour panorama inside Peterborough Cathedral showing a view down the Nave with it's unique painted ceiling and Rood Crucifix hanging over the altar. Picture taken in June 2011.

Peterborough Cathedral - Nave & Rood Crucifix - FURTHER INFORMATION

Peterborough Cathedral - Nave & Rood Crucifix - Peterborough visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Peterborough Cathedral - Nave & Rood Crucifix' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Cambridgeshire.

The Nave of Peterborough Cathedral is vast. Standing in the middle, it is easy to see why the cathedral is one of the top attractions in Peterborough. In addition to it's size, it has an exquisitely painted wooden ceiling, which is unique in Britain and one of only four in the whole of Europe. This alone makes Peterborough Cathedral a very important historical building, but is not it's only important feature.

Also impressive is the Gothic façade, which again has many features unique to this one cathedral. Looking down the aisle, you can not help but notice the rood, or crucifix, suspended from the Nave, over the altar. It was designed by George Pace in 1975, while the figure of Christ on it was by Frank Roper. Beyond the rood lies the 19th century Choir and beyond that the cathedral Sanctuary and High Altar. Right at the rear is the East Building, the newest part of the cathedral with a beautiful fan-vaulted ceiling.

The current cathedral dates from the 12th and 13th centuries, taking about 120 years to build between 1118 and 1238. This was built on top of two earliest churches. Within the East Building lies the Hedda Stone, part of the earliest church. This dates from the time that the Anglo-Saxon King Peada and Saxwulf built Medeshamstede monastery here at 655, and shows an image of Jesus, Mary and 10 disciples.

Peterborough Cathedral - Main Sights

A visit to the cathedral is a must when visiting Peterborough. Some of highlights within Peterborough Cathedral include:
  • Early English Gothic West Front (façade) which is unique to the cathedral with three massive arches adorned with statues of Peter, Paul and Andrew after whom the cathedral is named.
  • 44m high 15th century church tower open to the public with stunning panoramic views over Peterborough from the top.
  • The nave (shown here) with a unique painted ceiling and impressive rood cross.
  • The Choir, installed in the 18th century behind which is the Crossing with good views to the base of the tower decorated with a carving of Christ in Majesty looking down from heaven.
  • Sanctuary with a Victorian tiled floor, beautiful painted ceiling and impressive High Altar.
  • Grave of Catherine of Aragon, the first wife of Henry VIII, buried here in 1536.
  • Former tomb of Mary, Queen of Scots, interred here in 1587 before being moved to Westminster Abbey in London in 1612.
  • Cathedral treasury in which is the church silver and many other religious artefacts.
  • St Oswald's Chapel in which the arm of St Oswald lay as a relic until it was removed in 1587.
  • Three 14th century misericords.
  • Portrait of Old (Robert) Scarlett, the gravedigger who buried the two queens here in the 1500's.
  • Fan-vaulted roof of the 'new' Eastern Building.

Peterborough Cathedral is open to the public daily, free of charge. Donations are accepted for the upkeep of the cathedral. There are regular guided tours and a small gift shop.



Road: Peterborough is near the northern end of the A1(M) at the meeting of the A15, A47 and A1139 roads. It is about 37 miles north of Cambridge, 80 miles west of Norwich and 40 miles east of Leicester.
Train: Peterborough Station on East Coast Main Line, about an hour out of London


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