There are many good reasons to visit Peterborough Cathedral in 2018. Here are six of them:
1. It’s the 900th anniversary year.
The current building was started in 1118 after a fire in 1116 burned down the previous abbey. A giant book has been installed on the green that traces those nine centuries in a timeline. It also tells visitors about some of the exciting events happening in the city to celebrate the anniversary.
2. See Tim Peake’s Spacecraft, presented by Samsung and the Science Museum Group
Yes really! This piece of ultra-modern technology will be on display in the ancient cathedral from 11th August until 5th November as part of the national #SoyuzTour. Not only that, but ages 13+ can experience an out-of-this-world virtual reality tour in the Space Descent VR which uses the latest Samsung Gear VR technology to put you in the pilot’s seat of a Soyuz capsule as it returns to earth.
3. It’s a photographers’ dream!
Amateur photographers are invited to enter a photographic competition (closing date 9th November 2018) to find the best images that capture ‘Peterborough Cathedral: A Moment in Time’ during this special anniversary year. The shortlisted entries will be exhibited and there is a cash prize. Find out more here http://www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/photocomp.aspx
4. You can climb the tower and see hidden spaces
If you go on a Cathedral Tower Tour (selected dates throughout the summer) you can climb up the Harry-Potter-style stone staircases and see the Cathedral from above. Get close up to the stained glass and see the ancient medieval windlass used by the original masons, before emerging on the top of the tower to take in the magnificent view – as far as Ely Cathedral on a clear day. On 8th and 9th September, during Heritage Open Days, rarely open rooms such as the Cathedral Library and Almoners’ Hall are open to visitors.
5. Put a pomegranate on Katharine of Aragon’s tomb
Henry VIII’s first wife – married to him for longer than all his other wives put together – was laid to rest here on 29th January 1536, having died in exile at Kimbolton Castle. Her symbol is the pomegranate and visitors often leave these on her tomb as a tribute.
6 Attend Choral Evensong
Experience the cathedral as it was designed to be, as you listen to music that is part of a continuous tradition since the monks first sang services here. The Cathedral Choir sing Evensong on most weekday evenings, at 5.30pm Monday to Friday and at 3.30pm on Sundays.