Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral

Infobox UK cathedral
building_name =Liverpool Cathedral
infobox_width =

image_size =300px
caption =North elevation of Liverpool Cathedral
map_type =
map_size =
map_caption =
location =Liverpool
full_name =Cathedral Church of Christ
geo =
latitude =
longitude =
county =Merseyside
country =England
ecclesiastical =yes
denomination =Church of England
province =York
diocese =Liverpool
bishop =
dean =
organist =
website = []
building =yes
architect =Giles Gilbert Scott
architecture_type =
architecture_style =Gothic Revival
became_cathedral =1880
number_of_cathedrals =
year_built =1904-1978
year_consecrated =
specifications =yes
capacity =
length =188.67m
length_nave =
length_choir =
width_transepts =
width_nave =
height_max =
height_nave =36.5m
height_choir =35.3m
tower_quantity =1
tower_height =100.8m
spire_quantity =
spire_height =
dome_quantity =
dome_height_ex =
dome_height_in =
dome_dia_ex =
dome_dia_in =

Liverpool Cathedral is the Anglican cathedral of Liverpool, England, built on St. James' Mount in the centre of the city. It is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool. Its official name is the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool but it is dedicated to Christ and the Blessed Virgin. [cite web | url= | title = Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the king | accessdate = 2008-07-16]

The Anglican cathedral is one of the two cathedrals in the city. The other, the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool, is situated around a mile to the north. Appropriately, in view of the divisions within Christianity, and particularly between the Anglican and Catholic Communions, the cathedrals are linked by Hope Street. This is purely coincidental: Hope Street takes its name from William Hope, a local merchant whose house stood on the site now occupied by the Philhamonic Hall, and was named long before either cathedral was built.


John Charles Ryle was installed as the first Bishop of Liverpool in 1880, but the diocese had no cathedral, merely a "pro-cathedral" in the rather ordinary parish church of St. Peter's, Liverpool. Following much debate, church and civic leaders agreed a new cathedral should be built and in 1902 held an open competition to select a design.

For architects, this was a very significant event; not only was it to be one of the largest building projects of the 20th century, but this was only the third opportunity to build an Anglican cathedral in England following the Reformation of the 16th century (St. Paul's Cathedral being the first, rebuilt from scratch after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and Truro Cathedral being the second, built in the 19th century).

The competition attracted over 100 entries including designs from noted architects such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Charles Herbert Reilly. In 1903 the assessors, George F. Bodley and Norman Shaw, selected a proposal submitted by the 22-year-old student Giles Gilbert Scott despite the fact that he had no previous buildings to his credit. The choice of winner was even more contentious with the cathedral committee when it was discovered that Scott was a Roman Catholic, but the decision stood. (Ironically and conversely, the original architect of the Roman Catholic cathedral in Liverpool, Sir Edwin Lutyens, was an Anglican.)

Although young, Scott was steeped in ecclesiastical design and well versed in the Gothic revival style with his grandfather, George Gilbert Scott, and father both designing numerous churches. Due to Scott's inexperience, the cathedral committee appointed Bodley to oversee the detailed architectural design and building work. Bodley and Scott's collaboration, however, was a stormy one, with Scott reportedly verging on resigning before Bodley's death in 1907. Fact|date=September 2007

The foundation stone was laid by King Edward VII in 1904, with the first element, the Lady Chapel, opening in 1910. It was at this time that Scott, free of Bodley and growing in confidence, submitted an entirely new design for the remaining (main) part of the structure. Scott's original design was based on Durham Cathedral and had two towers at the west end, the revised plan called for a single central, exceptionally tall tower topped with a lantern. At the same time Scott change the style somewhat, losing much of the gothic detailing and introducing a significantly more modern, monumental style, even incorporating elements from Rennie Mackintosh's competition entry. The cathedral committee approved the new plans, which also made the cathedral's interior much more spacious. With the altar completed, the church was consecrated in 1924, but regular services were not held until 1940. Construction of the tower was finished in 1942, but the Second World War and inflation slowed work and the completion of the building only came in 1978; too late for Scott, who died in 1960.


windows shows the artisans who designed and built it — Bodley and Scott are both shown, sitting together.

Admission to the cathedral is free but with a suggested donation of £3. It is open daily year-round from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, and regular services are held every Sunday.

Every summer, Liverpool Cathedral plays host to The Liverpool Shakespeare Festival - the city's annual theatre highlight presented by [ Lodestar Theatre Company] . This year from 31st July to 7th September 2008, the festival will feature a production of 'The Winter's Tale' by Shakespeare's Globe on their first ever visit to Liverpool, and Lodestar Theatre Company's magical new production of [ A Midsummer Night's Dream] .

Liverpool Church of Scotland congregation

The Liverpool St. Andrew's congregation of the Church of Scotland uses the Western Rooms of the Cathedral for Sunday services. Until the early-1980s the congregation worshipped in St Andrew's Church, Rodney Street (built in 1823 by the architect John Foster Jr, but now derelict).

Liverpool Cathedral bells

At 219 ft above floor level, the bells of Liverpool Cathedral are the highest and heaviest ringing peal in the world. There are 13 bells, named the Bartlett Bells after Thomas Bartlett (d September 4, 1912). Bartlett was a native of Liverpool who bequeathed the funding. They weigh a total of 16.5 tons and are grouped in a circle around the great 14.5 ton bourdon bell. The bells vary in size and note from the comparatively light 9cwt treble to the tenor weighing 82cwt (over 4 tons). The 13th bell (sharp 2nd) is extra to the main peal, and its purpose is to make possible ringing in a correct octave in a lighter key. All 13 bells were cast by bellfounders Mears & Stainbank of Whitechapel in London. The initial letters of the inscriptions on the 13 bells spell out the name “Thomas Bartlett” (from tenor to treble).

The bourdon bell "Great George" was cast by Taylors of Loughborough and at 14 tons 10cwt is the second only to "Great Paul" of St Paul's Cathedral in London. "Great George", named in the memory of King George V, is hung in a pendant position and is sounded by means of a counter-balanced clapper.

Organ and organists


The organ, built by Henry Willis & Sons, is the largest pipe organ in the UK with two five-manual consoles, 10,268 pipes and a trompette militaire. There is an annual Anniversary Recital on the Saturday nearest to 18th October, the date of the organ's consecration.

Notable organists

* 1910 — Frederick Willial Burstall
* 1915 — Walter Henry Goss-Custard
* 1955 — Noel Rawsthorne
* 1980 — Ian Tracey

Artists and sculptors

In 1931 the architect Giles Gilbert Scott asked Edward Carter Preston to produce a series of sculptures for the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The project was an immense undertaking which occupied the artist for the next thirty years. The work for the cathedral included fifty sculptures, ten memorials and several reliefs. Carter Preston was an excellent carver of letter forms and many inscriptions in the catherdral were jointly written by the late Dean Dwelly and the sculptor who subsequently carved them.In 2003 Liverpool artist, Don McKinlay [] ,who knew Carter Preston from his youth, was commissioned by the cathedral to model an infant Christ to accompany the 15th century Madonna by Giovanni della Robbia Madonna now situated in the Lady Chapel.


*Total external length (including Lady chapel) 584 ft.
*Length of nave, without narthex 192 ft.
*Width of nave between centres of pillars 53½ ft.
*Width across transepts 198 ft.
*Width of north façade 196 ft.
*Height of arches in nave and choir 65 ft.
*Height of barrel-vaulting in nave and choir 116 ft.
*Height of vaulting in high transepts 140 ft.
*Height of vaulting under towers 161 ft.
*Height of central towers 260 ft.
*Height of northern tower 200 ft.
*Superficial area 90,000 sq. ft.


* [ "The Book of Liverpool Cathedral"] , V. E. Cotton, Liverpool University Press, 1964.

External links

* [ Liverpool Cathedral website] .
* [ The Liverpool Shakespeare Festival] Annual theatrical performance inside the Cathedral
* [ Virtual Tours of Liverpool Cathedral] Virtual Tours of Liverpool Cathedral
* [ Video and pictures of the Bells in the Cathedral]
* [ New Bridge design]
* Description and pictures of the [ cathedral organ] .
* [ Details of the main organ from the National Pipe Organ Register]
* [ Details of the organ in the Lady Chapel from the National Pipe Organ Register]
* [ Interview with Canon Justin Welby, dean of Liverpool Cathedral]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Liverpool Cathedral — ist die im 20. Jahrhundert erbaute anglikanische Domkirche von Liverpool. Sie ist eine der letzten Großkirchen, die im Stil der Neogotik errichtet wurden. Die anglikanische Kirche schuf schon im Jahre 1880 eine eigene Diözese für die rasch… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liverpool Cathedral — Cathédrale de Liverpool Cathédrale anglicane de Liverpool La cathédrale de Liverpool, en anglais Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, est la cathédrale anglicane de la ville de Liverpool, en …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral — Church of Christ the King Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Mou …   Wikipedia

  • Liverpool Magistrates' Court — Liverpool Magistrates Courts Magistrates Courts General information Town or city Liverpool Country …   Wikipedia

  • Liverpool — This article is about the city. For the football club, see Liverpool F.C.. For other uses, see Liverpool (disambiguation). Liverpool   Metropolitan borough …   Wikipedia

  • Liverpool — City of Liverpool …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liverpool — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Liverpool (homonymie). Liverpool Haut gauche : Cavern Club. Ha …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Liverpool Blue Coat School — Infobox UK school name = Liverpool Blue Coat School size = 200px latitude = 53.393 longitude = 2.916 dms = motto = Non Sibi Sed Omnibus (Not for oneself but for all) motto pl = established = 1708 approx = closed = c approx = type = foundation,… …   Wikipedia

  • Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City — Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City * UNESCO World Heritage Site Country …   Wikipedia

  • Liverpool UAS — Liverpool University Air Squadron (LUAS) is a University Air Squadron recruiting primarily from the University of Liverpool, John Moores University and the University of Lancaster. Students are also occasionally accepted from other Higher… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”