Hidden in the heart of a busy city, Bradford Cathedral is an ancient house of peace and prayer -sitting in a green oasis – a treasure worth discovering.
The Cathedral is Bradford’s most ancient place of worship. The building tells two kinds of story – the Christian story dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, and the Bradford story. Throughout many generations it has stood at the heart of this growing city, connecting with the people around it, in times of sorrow and celebration, war and peace.
This ancient site has been a place of Christian worship for over thirteen hundred years. The present church, the third on the site, built in the fifteenth century, includes elements from the previous thirteenth century building and later Victorian additions. In the 1960s it was extended further, based on the designs of Sir Edward Maufe, and is a fine example of his later work.
The Cathedral is home to some wonderful glass, wood, bronze and textiles. Some of William Morris’ earliest stained glass was commissioned, in 1863, by the widow of a local solicitor in memory of her late husband. There is bronze and embroidery designed by Ernest Sichel and sculpture by Flaxman, Alan Collins and John Shaw; and a wonderful carved cross, depicting the story of St Aidan, by Chris Shawcross. Later works include a unique icon, written by iconographer John Coleman which includes the Cow & Calf Rocks at Ilkley … and three stalks of rhubarb! Enhanced by a varied series of exhibitions and events, the Cathedral is an artistic delight to behold.
Memorials include those to the Lister Family, Abraham Sharp (mathematician and astronomer); Robert Lowry and George Whyte-Watson who pioneered chemotherapy; and Joseph Priestley whose life work was to supervise the building of the Leeds Liverpool canal; others commemorate events such as the granting of a charter in 1251 to allow the weekly market to be held on a Sunday to encourage attendance at church – this plaque also illustrates the Battle of the Steeple in 1642/3 during the Civil War, when woolsacks were hung from the tower to protect it from cannon fire. More recently, a plaque commemorates those who died and were injured in 1985 during the tragic fire at the Bradford City Football ground.
Both World Wars are remembered: the WWI Memorial Window commemorates the valour of the Prince of Wales’ Own West Yorkshire Regiment throughout the battlefields of France and Belgium; and the WWII Book of Remembrance is flanked by the standards of the British Legion and Regimental Colours – its pages turned weekly.
You are assured of a warm welcome to Bradford Cathedral – whether you come to pray; to explore the architecture and heritage of the building; to wander around our latest art exhibition; or simply to sit and enjoy the warmth and quiet of the building and grounds.