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Historic England Research Records

Ely Cathedral

Hob Uid: 375282
Location :
Cambridgeshire
East Cambridgeshire
Ely
Grid Ref : TL5410180261
Summary : A double religious house was founded on the present site by Etheldreda, a daughter of Anna, King of East Anglia, in 673. The monastery was laid waste by the Danes in 870, but 8 monks are said to have returned and founded a secular college, (minster). It was refounded by Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, as a Benedictine abbey in 970, and dedicated to St Peter and the Blessed Virgin by Dunstan in 974. The building of the present church and monastic buildings was begun under Simeon, the first Norman abbot, in 1083, and was virtually completed in its present form by 1350 after which no further major building took place. The nave and transepts have exceptionally fine 12th century work, the chancel and west porch are 13th century, and the central crossing lantern and Lady Chapel are 14th century. The inner porch has some 15th century work. Considerable restoration work was done by Sir Gilbert Scott in the mid 19th century. It is not known when the north west transept collapsed, but it was probably in the first half of the 15th century. The Lady Chapel was begun in 1321 and a year later the Norman crossing tower fell. The octagonal tower which replaced it was designed and built under the sacrist Alan of Walsingham, and the timber framed lantern which crowns it was built under the direction of William Hurle, Chief Carpenter of the King's Works. The monastery was dissolved on 18th November 1539, and the dedication of the Cathedral was changed to the Holy and Undivided Trinity. (For the associated monastic buildings, see TL58SW14). See TL58SW13 for a possible carved stone from the Saxon monastery.Dependencies: Denney, Mullicourt, St Neots, Spinney; and St John's Hospital, (Ely).
More information : (TL 54108025) Ely Holy Trinity Cathedral (C of E)
(NAT) (1)

A religious house was founded on the present site by Etheldreda, a daughter of Anna, King of East Anglia, in 673. The monastery was laid waste by the Danes in 870, refounded by Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester, as a Benedictine abbey in 970, and dedicated to St Peter and the Blessed Virgin by Dunstan in 974.

The building of the present church and monastic buildings was begun under Simeon, the first Norman abbot, in 1083, and was virtually completed in its present form by 1350 after which no further major building took place. The nave and transepts have exceptionally fine 12th century work, the chancel and west porch are 13th century, and the central crossing lantern and Lady Chapel are 14th century. The inner porch has some 15th century work. Considerable restoration work was done by Sir Gilbert Scott in the mid 19th century. It is not known when the north west transept collapsed, but it was probably in the first half of the 15th century. The Lady Chapel was begun in 1321 and a year later the Norman crossing tower fell. The octagonal tower which replaced in was designed and built under the sacrist Alan of Walsingham, and the timber framed lantern which crowns it was built under the direction of William Hurle, Chief Carpenter of the King's Works.

The monastery was dissolved on 18th November 1539, and the dedication of the Cathedral was changed to the Holy and Undivided Trinity.

For the associated monastic buildings, see TL 58 SW 14. (2-6)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:2500 1972
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely : volume two
Source details : 1948
Page(s) : 199-210
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : The Victoria history of the county of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely : volume four
Source details : plans, illust, photo
Page(s) : 50-77
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Pictorial Hist of Ely Cathedral 1968 plan photos (C P Hankey)
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : Medieval religious houses : England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 53, 64, 447-8, 472
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 6
Source : List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest
Source details : DOE (HHR) City of Ely 19. 6. 72
Page(s) : 1
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 7
Source : Medieval religious houses in England and Wales
Source details :
Page(s) : 64,472
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Founded 673; wasted 870
Monument End Date : 870
Monument Start Date : 673
Monument Type : Double House
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Reopened by 900?
Monument End Date : 970
Monument Start Date : 900
Monument Type : Minster
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Early Medieval
Display Date : Refounded 970
Monument End Date : 1066
Monument Start Date : 970
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Abbey
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Dissolved 1539
Monument End Date : 1539
Monument Start Date : 1066
Monument Type : Benedictine Monastery, Abbey
Evidence : Documentary Evidence
Monument Period Name : Medieval
Display Date : Built 1083-1350
Monument End Date : 1350
Monument Start Date : 1083
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : C19th restoration
Monument End Date : 1899
Monument Start Date : 1800
Monument Type : Cathedral
Evidence : Extant Building
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : 1934-98 alteration
Monument End Date : 1998
Monument Start Date : 1934
Monument Type : Cathedral, Museum
Evidence : Extant Building

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : NBR Index Number
External Cross Reference Number : 85113
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 48663
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Unified Designation System UID
External Cross Reference Number : 1331690
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TL 58 SW 3
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 363283
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 375143
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 380691
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 371795
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 355766
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 375292
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 358810
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 363778
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 375293
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1578935
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, BISHOP'S GARDEN, ELY CATHEDRAL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1994-01-01
End Date : 1994-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ELY CATHEDRAL, SOUTH CHOIR AISLE
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 1995-01-01
End Date : 1995-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, INVESTIGATION BY RCHME/EH ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-11-14
End Date : 1995-11-14
Associated Activities : Primary, ELY CATHEDRAL, SOUTH PORCH AND SONG SCHOOL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, BAYS 5-9, SOUTH CHOIR AISLE, ELY CATHEDRAL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 1996-01-01
End Date : 1996-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LADY CHAPEL AND CHOIR, ELY CATHEDRAL
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, SOUTH OF THE LADY CHAPEL, ELY CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2000-01-01
End Date : 2000-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ELY CATHEDRAL, MONASTIC BUILDINGS
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2001-01-01
End Date : 2001-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ELY CATHEDRAL, HIGH ROOF
Activity type : ARCHITECTURAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2003-01-01
End Date : 2003-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ELY CATHEDRAL: PRIORS COMPLEX
Activity type : DENDROCHRONOLOGICAL SURVEY
Start Date : 2004-01-01
End Date : 2004-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, LAND AT WESTFIELD FARM
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2006-01-01
End Date : 2006-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, ALMONRY RESTAURANT EXTENSION
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 2013-01-01
End Date : 2013-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, CANONRY HOUSE DRIVE
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2014-01-01
End Date : 2014-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, THE OLD LIBRARY, ELY CATHEDRAL
Activity type : WATCHING BRIEF
Start Date : 2015-01-01
End Date : 2015-12-31
Associated Activities : Primary, FIRE ENGINE HARDSTANDING, ELY CATHEDRAL
Activity type : EVALUATION
Start Date : 2017-01-01
End Date : 2017-12-31