Cathedral View: An amazing view from upon high

Stuart Orme

Stuart Orme

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Last month – causing much comment on the Peterborough Telegraph website and social media – I wrote about the underground features of the Cathedral and the legends of tunnels leading out from underneath it. Whilst the excavated areas under the building sadly aren’t open to the public, there is another unusual view of the Cathedral which is available to visitors.

This Easter sees the beginning of our annual programme of Tower Tours, an opportunity to climb up to one of the highest points in the city and scrutinise the views of Peterborough. On a good day, it’s been claimed that you can spot Ely and perhaps even Lincoln Cathedrals on the far horizon. It’s an amazing view that you won’t find anywhere else in the area.

It’s not just the view though; it’s the chance to explore narrow spiral staircases, admire the details of the architecture, artwork and stained glass close-up from the Triforium and taking in the spectacular internal views of the Cathedral from the gallery of the main tower on the way up. Other highlights on the way back down include the opportunity to see the bell ringing chamber, as well as our rare 12th century windlass, which was used to lift the heavy stones up to where the stonemasons were building walls, towers, and arches high above the ground. It’s one of the few pieces of original medieval machinery to survive in the UK and is still in working order.

The tour is led by a knowledgeable volunteer guide and is a brilliant experience – don’t take my word for it though as one visitor last year described it as “Quite possibly the best tenner I’ve ever spent”!

Just be warned though that there are several hundred steps involved and it’s really not recommended for those who don’t like heights…

Tower Tours are scheduled for 1.30pm on April 12th, 15th, 19th and 22nd, as well as May 27 and 31. Tickets, for ages 10-80 years only, are £10 adults and £8 concessions.

It’s also a great opportunity to not only the spectacular architecture of the Cathedral and the surrounding views, but to contemplate the powerful faith of those that built this magnificent structure nearly 900 years ago. This seems particularly appropriate at Easter, the most important festival of the Christian year, which marks Jesus’ journey to the cross and his resurrection to new life on Easter Sunday. There are a range of services at Easter, to which all are welcome, from Good Friday through to Easter Sunday.

Both the Easter story and the Cathedral’s amazing history are also explored with a special free family trail around the Cathedral, running 11am – 4pm each day from April 17 -21 (except Wednesday), with accompanying craft activities.

For more information on our Easter services, activities and Tower Tours, please visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk. Bookings for the Tower Tours may be made online or in person from Peterborough Information Centre on 01733 452336.