• Saturdays and Sundays
  • Mondays to Fridays
  • Bank Holidays

Opening times

  • Saturdays and Sundays
  • Mondays to Fridays
  • Bank Holidays

Bell ringing

Newcastle Cathedral has a long tradition of bell-ringing, going back hundreds of years. The iconic Lantern Tower had bells in it as early as the fifteenth century.

The oldest bell was cast between 1385 and 1418 and is called Michael. It is the bell rung out for all occasions of national mourning or rejoicing. The Lantern Tower with its incredible and intricate design was the tallest landmark in the town for centuries and was designed to be a beacon for ships coming up the Tyne. 

By the middle of the eighteenth century, the renowned local historian Henry Bourne said the bells “have a bold and noble sound, and yet an exceedingly sweet and harmonious one.” There are currently 13 ringing bells and three fifteenth century ones. The biggest bell, The Major, weighs nearly 6 tonnes!

Today, the bells at Newcastle are rung by the Newcastle Guild, members of the Durham and Newcastle Diocesan Association of Change Ringers. They are all volunteers and range in age from 20s to 93 – the 100+ steps to the bell-ringing chamber keeps them fit. Newcastle Cathedral’s bells are some of the finest in the country and we have hosted many bell-ringing groups from all over the country.

Bell ringing occurs every Sunday throughout the year at the following times:

9:00am to 10:00am for Morning Eucharist

Occasionally these times are subject to change, depending on the liturgical calendar and, for example, whether any special events or wedding bookings request bell ringing. Newcastle Cathedral will always endeavour to publish any changes as soon as possible.

Additionally, bell ringing practice occurs every Tuesday evening throughout the year from 7:30pm to 9:00pm. On the third Tuesday of the month, the practice is from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. There is no bell ringing practice in Holy Week.

2021 Cathedral special ringing

For details of additional bell ringing occurring during 2021 falling outside of the aforementioned times above, please see the table below.

DateReason for ringing
Tue 2 FebAccession of Her Majesty the Queen
Mon 8 MarCommonwealth Day (second Monday in March)
Wed 21 AprHer Majesty the Queen is 95 today
Fri 23 AprSt George’s Day
Wed 2 JunAnniversary of the Coronation
Wed 9 JunThe Blaydon Race (after start of race)
Sat 12 JunHer Majesty the Queen’s official birthday (2-6pm)
Sun 25 JulPlanned rededication service at Cathedral (before service)
Sun 25 JulAnniversary of the Magna Carta
Fri 10 SepGreat North Run (after start of race)
Wed 15 SepBattle of Britain Day
Sat 18 SepASCY Peal (2-6pm)
Thu 11 NovMemorial ringing
Sun 14 NovPrince Charles’ birthday
Sat 20 NovSRCY Peal (2-6pm)
Sat 4 DecPatronal Festival of St Nicholas (2-6pm)

All weekday ringing will start at 10:30 unless there is a special service, in which case ringing will most likely take place an hour before the service.