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
The nave is the main body of the Cathedral, flowing from the Rose Window to the stone choir screen at the centre of the building.
- Elder Lady Chapel
Elder Lady Chapel
An exquisite medieval chapel used for prayer and contemplation.
- The Choir
The choir is the focal point of the medieval 'hall church', leading up to the high altar.
- South Transept
This space contains some wonderful stained glass and the Anglo-Saxon stonework marvel 'The Harrowing of Hell'.
- North Transept
The North Transept
- Nave Altar
This altar is the focus of worship on Sundays and great occasions, when the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, is celebrated.
- High Altar
The high altar is the focal point of Christian prayer and worship.
- Berkeley Chapel
This chapel was originally provided for prayer for the souls of the Berkeley family. Today it is used for Morning Prayer and lunchtime Eucharist services.
- Eastern Lady Chapel
Eastern Lady Chapel
The opulent Eastern Lady Chapel commemorates three of the monastery's Abbots and the first Bishop of Bristol.
- Chapter House
This stunning Chapter House is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in England.
- South Choir Aisle
South Choir Aisle
The south choir aisle contains the tombs of the Berkeley family and some specially commissioned pieces of modern art.