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Tours > Gloucester > Gloucester Cathederal Close

Gloucester Cathederal Close
Gloucester Cathedral Close

Returning to the main thoroughfare of Westgate Street, the Cathedral Close can be entered from College Street - just follow your nose to King Edward's Gate. This ancient 13th century portal marks the entrance to the old burial ground of St. Peter's Abbey.

In 1541, King Henry VIII made the beautiful abbey church into the seat of a new Bishop. Thus it was saved from the ruinous fate of so many great English abbeys and priories: St. Oswald's included. The magnificent cathedral stands proudly in the centre of the close and a short tour of its exterior and surrounding precincts is recommended before entering. To the ast are the best views of the cathedral and its magnificent perpendicular architecture (at present - 1999 - much of the nave is, unfortunately, covered in scaffolding due to renovation work). The superb latticed tower can, of course, be seen from all angles.

Passing around the eastern Lady Chapel brings you to the Northern transept, Locutorium and Chapter House and the ruined arches of the old infirmary - a reminder of the many associated monastic buildings which have long disappeared.

Gloucester CathedralNearby is the entrance to the King's School, housed in the Victorian Bishop's Palace. You can enter the cathedral cloister from here (unusually on the north side) or, instead, duck down a tiny alleyway beneath the overhangs of timber-framed medievalism to Miller's Green. Here stands the Inner Priory Gateway and the 15th century timber-framed 'Parliament House' built upon a stone undercroft two hundred years older.

King Richard II held a parliament here in 1378. Through the Gate is College Green and St. Mary's Gateway (13th century) from where the cathedral chapter watched the burning of Bishop Hooper in 1555. His memorial stands just outside. Church House, adjoining the great West Front of the Cathedral was the Norman Abbot's Lodging where numerous monarchs have stayed whenever they have visited the city.

Next Stop: Inside Gloucester Cathedral

Related Pages:
Gloucester City Page
History of Gloucester
History of Gloucester Cathedral
Architectural Development of Gloucester Cathedral