Cotswolds Finest Guide to Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral is impressive in many ways for its long history, as the burial place of kings.

Gloucester Cathedral is impressive in many ways; for its long history, as the burial place of kings, and architecturally. In recent years, it has become celebrated as a Harry Potter movie location. Purists should note that filming took place in the attached cloisters, not strictly speaking within the cathedral.

Gloucester, has been a strategic crossing point of the Severn and a settlement for a long time. The first Christian religious house was recorded in the late 7th Century. Later, a monastery was built then later still, a Norman Abbey. Boomtime followed in the Middle Ages after Edward II was buried here and pilgrims flocked to visit the shrine. 

The Cathedral came into being when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries and Gloucester Abbey became Gloucester Cathedral. 

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Don’t forget to look up! Gloucester cathedral roof

Resting Place of Kings

Visitors today can enjoy a calm and impressive space and will be drawn according to their own interests and priorities. 

Architecturally, the fan vaulting in the cloisters is majestic and the progression through Norman and Gothic style is a history lesson in stone.  

In terms of British history, this is where the Domesday Book was ordered, home of the Norman Winter Court. The nearby Forest of Dean was a Royal hunting forest. You can see the tomb of Robert Curthose, William the Conqueror’s eldest son. Henry III was crowned here and Edward II’s canopied shrine still causes you to catch your breath. 

The Cathedral and its buildings have been used as a location for several notable film and TV projects. The first, second and sixth Harry Potter movies were filmed here. The BBC productions of Doctor Who, The Hollow Crown, Wolf Hall and Sherlock were filmed here too. In the cloisters, a small part of the Harry Potter set has been left to hide a lightbox. 

Gloucester Cathedral stained-glass windows

The huge and glorious stained-glass windows of Gloucester Cathedral include the first image of golf being played, dating from 1350. 

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The Cloisters, Gloucester Cathedral | Photo by Michael D Beckwith

Gloucester Cathedral is, of course, a working house of God and visitors should check for services and special events. The Three Choirs Festival happens here on a rotating basis with Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals.

Cotswolds Finest Hotels Nearby

Gloucester is at the western edge of the Cotswolds and within easy reach of most hotels. Painswick Hotel is nearest. 

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