Cathedral’s 900th anniversary celebrations continue into autumn

CARLISLE Cathedral’s 900th anniversary celebrations continue into the autumn with a line up of talks, concerts and events.

The packed programme includes an opportunity to take a sneak-peak behind the scenes this weekend as part of the Heritage Open Days event, and a major role for the city landmark in Carlisle’s City of Lights event in October.

With the Cathedral due to feature on Songs of Praise this Sunday to mark its 900th anniversary, the Rev’d Canon Dr Benjamin Carter, Canon Warden at Carlisle Cathedral, said: “The year to date has been a wonderful and varied celebration of the whole life of the Cathedral in its 900 years of service to the people of Cumbria.

Author and archeologist Max Adams who will give a talk at the Cathedral

“We are looking forward to continuing our celebrations into the autumn and hope that as many people as possible are able to journey with us as our wonderful anniversary year comes to a fitting conclusion.”

On Saturday, September 10, author and archaeologist Max Adams will give a talk at the Cathedral about Carlisle’s important role following the fall of the Roman Empire, with the lecture part of the 1900th anniversary celebrations of Hadrian’s Wall.

The Heritage Open Days event also takes place on Saturday, with visitors offered the opportunity to climb the 137 steps of the Cathedral’s Bell Tower and volunteers from Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life leading tours of the Border Regiment Chapel. The Cathedral’s medieval Prior’s Tower will open to visitors later in the week. Further details are available on the Cathedral’s website.

In October, Carlisle Cathedral will host an exhibition by artist Harvey Tye, who works with Carlisle-based charity Prism Arts and, from Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23, the Cathedral will be at the heart of the Carlisle City of Lights event.

Upcoming concerts include a celebration of the work of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams on Thursday, October 20. The event, which is sponsored by Dynamic IT, will feature music by the famous composer who created much-loved hymns.

The Cathedral’s 900th anniversary year draws to a close with a service of thanksgiving at 3pm on Sunday, November 20 when the Cathedral community will mark and recommit themselves to the Augustinian roots of the Cathedral.

The programme of events follows a busy summer at the Cathedral which saw hundreds of people visit its Rest Under The Stars art installation, created by Prism Arts. One of those visitors was TV presenter, The Rev’d Kate Bottley, during filming for the Songs of Praise episode which is due to be broadcast on BBC One at 2.15pm on Sunday, September 11.

Carlisle Cathedral

The theme of the 900th anniversary year is Journey and Rest to reflect the Cathedral’s role as a place of rest, welcoming and giving shelter to visitors, travellers and pilgrims, throughout the centuries.

Carlisle Cathedral was founded by King Henry I as an Augustinian Priory in 1122 and became the Cathedral Church of the newly created Diocese of Carlisle in 1133.

The principal sponsor for Carlisle Cathedral’s 900th anniversary programme is Hayward Tod estate agents, based in Carlisle, with many of the events in the programme supported by grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Friends of Carlisle Cathedral.

The events take place in and around the Cathedral including The Fratry which reopened in 2020 following a major restoration project for the former medieval dining hall including a new cafe extension.

For a full programme of events visit

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