Southwell Minster, Southwell, Nottinghamshire
This impressive cathedral has been welcoming visitors, pilgrims and worshippers for over 900 years; if this is your kind of thing, go and have a look round, find out about its history, admire the magnificent architecture.
The nave is incredible, with enormous stone pillars soaring to the roof, but the jewel in the crown at Southwell Minster is the 13th century Chapter House, known throughout the world for its intricate carvings of plants, animals and green men; otherwise known as the Leaves of Southwell, this is one of the best examples of naturalistic carving in the UK, so is well worth seeing. There’s also a phenomenal collection of manuscripts and books in the Historic Chapter Library; there are annual opening days to see this but otherwise you’ll need to make an appointment.
Next to the minster is The Archbishop’s Palace, once home to Cardinal Wolsey; the State Chamber/Great Hall with its oak panelling and vaulted ceiling plays host to events throughout the year, providing a very atmospheric setting. The ruined part of the palace makes a stunning backdrop to the medieval, Tudor, Georgian and Victorian inspired gardens – think parterres, knot gardens and borders bursting with blooms in the summer time.
It’s always nice to round off your visit to somewhere like this with a cup of tea and a big slice of cake, maybe even a spot of lunch and a glass of wine, in which case, the light and airy Refectory will suit you well. Afterwards you might like to pop into the Cathedral Shop for a little something to take home and remind you that at least once, you came to this staggeringly beautiful place.
Open: Mon-Sat 8.30am-6.30pm Sun 8.30am-4.30pm
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