Liverpool Cathedral

History

The Anglican Cathedral was begun in 1904 and only completed in 1978. Designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, who won the commission to design the building at only 21 years of age, it is built mainly of locally quarried sandstone. It abounds in superlatives… the largestCathedral in the UK, the largest Anglican Cathedral in Europe, largest working church organ in the world (over 10,000 pipes), highest (219ft/67 m) and heaviest (31 tons) ringing peal of bells in the world, highest Gothic arches ever built, and so on, a veritable feast of craftsmanship.

This truly is ‘one of the great buildings of the world’ (John Betjeman) - a living, vibrant witness to God, standing over the City of Liverpool, the region and the Diocese it seeks to serve.

Despite its tremendous size, it holds a warm friendly atmosphere, enhanced on any trip by a free, personal guided tour, whether as an individual, family or even part of an organised group. For a separate fee, the Cathedral also offers audio tours if visitors prefer to wander at will, (available in Adult and Child versions in English and adult versions also in French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Chinese), plus interactive workstations where you can find out about the building, its history and its heritage. This is topped off with an amazing 9 minute film in the newly created theatre where the Cathedral is literally brought to life with the story told by one of its masons and includes a simulated ‘fly-through’ of the building. An exceptional experience for all the family and historians. It includes a bistro Cafe on the new Mezzanine floor for a light snack plus the established, and refurbished Welsford restaurant (Couture Catering) for a full meal of excellent quality. The Cathedral book/gift shop carries a wide range of gifts, souvenirs, etc. High in the tower complex sits the Elizabeth Hoare Gallery of ecclesiaitical Edwardian and Victorian embroidery and then onwards and upwards to the top of the tower (over 300 feet/100m high) to take in the magnificent panoramic views across Liverpool, Merseyside and beyond. The tower and gallery are open all year (weather permitting of course!) including most Sundays (between services). It is normally closed however, on Good Friday, Dec 24-26th and New Year’s Day plus some occasions for special events/services. The Attractions ticket includes the audio tour and the Tower Experince, with tickets able to bought from the shop.
The Cathedral is proud to be the first Cathedral to hold the prestigious national ‘Child Friendly Church Award’.
Educational visits to the Cathedral are a speciality and are particulary welcome. Please contact the Education department to arrange school visits.
The Cathedral is also part of the ‘Coach Welcome’ scheme. Please contact the Visitor Manager for further details.

 

Architecture

Gothic design but 20th Century built, mostly of local sandstone from a quarry 5 miles south of Liverpool City Centre. The building was the vision of architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott who was only 22 yrs of age when he won the competition to build this magnificent Cathedral with a design that originally boasted twin towers. This was later to be modified to a vast single central tower with monies donated by the Vestey family, great benefactors of this amazing place. It has no Crypt to open to the public but has part of its lower floor dedicated to a superb Function suite (Sir Giles Gilbert Scott Suite) used for church and commercial hirings for up to 150 people. Larger dining (Corporate) is hosted on the main floor of the Cathedral. The Lady Chapel and the main Nave both boast fine works of art and large areas of glass dedicated to many of the founding ‘mothers’ and ‘fathers’ of the city who engineered/influenced great social change in the city at the turn of the 20th century as well as portrayals of ecclestical magnificence

Attractions

ADMISSION TO THE CATHEDRAL IS FREE - DONATIONS ARE INVITED. FREE GUIDE LEAFLETS ARE AVAILABLE IN OVER 20 LANGUAGES

1. The Tower Experience - (Part of Attractions Ticket purchase) see Liverpool from the highest vantage point in the city with a full 360 degree spectrum available. Ticket also includes access to Elizabeth Hoare Embroidery Gallery (ecclesiastical embroidery) within the tower complex showing Edwardian and Victorian pieces. This attracts visitors and Fine Arts Societies from all over the world
2. Audio tours available for both adults and children in English.(hire fee is part of Attractions ticket). (Adult audio tours are also available in French, German, Spanish, Polish, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese).
3. Film of Cathedral - amazing 9 minute film in the specially built theatre opened in March 2007 - experience a ‘fly-through’ in CGI of the cathedral to get a feel for its scale. (Entry fee included in Attractions ticket)
4. Enjoy a meal in either of the 2 restaurants, whether a simple snack or a full freshly cooked meal.
5. Enjoy a personal tour with a guide - FOC - to gain more insight (10am to 3pm weekdays - other times by arrangement - NOT Sundays)
6. Check out the interactive stations around the floor - FOC- giving great insight into the work, life, and history of this great place.
7. Browse the cathedral book/gift shop for a wide range of goods/books/gifts etc - plenty to meet the needs of families.

So much to see and do - give yourself at approx 3 hours to do it all justice if you can. Ask at the cathedral bookshop for details of the Attraction tickets or visit the Cathedral website.

Local Interest

Beatles Story
Albert Dock (shops, restuarants + other amenities)
Tate Gallery, Liverpool (Albert Dock)
Philharmonic Hall
Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (RC) - only 1/2 mile away
Chinatown
Echo Arena & BT Conference Centre
Liverpool Wheel (by Arena)
Duck Tours (land and river)
Mersey Ferries
Museum of Liverpool (by Albert Dock)
St George's Hall (Lime Street)
Walker Art Gallery (by Lime Street)
National Museums, Liverpool (by Lime Street)
Liverpool One Shopping Centre
Western Approaches (wartime Museum)
Maritime Museum (Albert Dock)
International Slavery Museum (Albert Dock)
On route of local tour bus from Albert Dock