The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St
Cuthbert of Durham — known as Durham Cathedral is a church
in the city of Durham, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of
Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being
founded in AD 1093. The cathedral is regarded as one of the finest
examples of Norman architecture.
The present cathedral replaces the 10th century "White Church"
built as part of a monastic foundation to house the shrine of Saint
Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. The treasures of Durham Cathedral include
relics of St Cuthbert, the head of St Oswald of Northumbria and the
remains of the Venerable Bede.
Durham Cathedral occupies a strategic position on a promontory
high above the River Wear. From 1080 until the 19th century the
bishopric enjoyed the powers of a Bishop Palatine, having military as
well as religious leadership and power. Durham Castle was built as the
residence for the Bishop of Durham. The seat of the Bishop of Durham
is the fourth most significant in the Church of England hierarchy, and
he stands at the right hand of the monarch at coronations. Signposts
for the modern day County Durham are subtitled "Land of the Prince
There are daily Church of England services at the Cathedral, with
the Durham Cathedral Choir singing daily except Mondays and when the
choir is on holiday. The cathedral is a major tourist attraction
within the region, the central tower of 217 feet giving views
of Durham and the surrounding area.
Photo 422, May 2011