Carlisle Cathedral began as a Norman Priory Church in 1122 before becoming a cathedral in 1133. Despite being one of the smallest cathedrals in the country, Carlisle Cathedral boasts the largest ‘flowing decorated Gothic’ style window in England. The structure was refurbished in the 13th and 14th centuries under King Edward I who held court in Carlisle shortly before his death in nearby Burgh-by-Sands. Further renovations took place during the reign of King Henry VIII. Unfortunately, a section of nave was later demolished during the English Civil Wars to reinforce the Castle. There have been several archaeological excavations on the site to uncover the long history of the building that now stands as a prominent monument to the long history of Carlisle.

Carlisle Cathedral is open daily for quiet reflection and services. Visitors can explore the main building, shop and Treasury that displays many items of archaeological interest uncovered on the grounds of the Cathedral.

Things to do and see:

  • The Cathedral contains a variety of interesting sights including painted screens, runic inscriptions and the regimental chapel.
  • The underground Treasury houses several objects of historical interest to the area.
  • Cathedral Gift shop that stocks locally made gifts, Christian themed books, jewellery and more.
  • The Café that sits beneath the medieval cloister and fratry that sells a range of homemade meals, coffee and cakes.
  • A range of daily services and events, find more information here.

Entry is free with an optional donation, for information on opening times see here.


The main Cathedral building and Café are wheelchair accessible. A wheelchair stairlift is available to visit the Treasury.

Designated disabled parking is not available on the Abbey Grounds, however you can contact the Cathedral ahead for a permit.

They also offer a downloadable Visual Story to help visitors prepare for their visit and what they can expect.

Planning on visiting Carlisle Cathedral? Carlisle Castle is only a short walk away, see here for more details!

Q Are dogs allowed?

Dogs are allowed on the grounds but only assistance dogs are allowed in the buildings.

Q Is there car parking?

Not without requesting a permit. There is a range of street parking in the city centre as well as several car parks including the The Lanes Shopping Centre Car Park that has disabled access and is only a short distance away.

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