History and heritage

The Choir

The choir, built in 1298, is at the heart of the medieval 'hall church'. It is one of the most important, beautiful and original works of the medieval era in Europe. It is the focal point of the Cathedral, leading up to the high altar.

The original Norman choir was re-built by Abbot Knowle in the fourteenth century, and the choir stalls were added by Abbot Elyot in the sixteenth century. The current stalls date from the nineteenth century but incorporate some of the fine sixteenth century carving, including the original misericords. These are located on the underside of the seats in the choir, and were originally used by the monks of the abbey. They were required to stand all the way through their long services, so the misericords were used as supports. They derive their name from the Latin for 'mercy'. The carvings include secular themes, including a mermaid, and scenes of bear-baiting and wrestling.

The organ dates from 1685 and was made by the famous Renatus Harris - read more.


  • The Nave
  • Elder Lady Chapel
  • The Choir
  • South Transept
  • North Transept
  • Nave Altar
  • High Altar
  • Berkeley Chapel
  • Eastern Lady Chapel
  • Chapter House
  • South Choir Aisle