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NEWCASTLE CATHEDRAL
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  • OPENING TIMES

  • Saturdays and Sundays
    8am-5pm
  • Mondays to Fridays
    8am-6pm
  • Bank Holidays
    8am-6pm
  • FREE ENTRY

Opening times

  • Saturdays and Sundays
    8am-5pm
  • Mondays to Fridays
    8am-6pm
  • Bank Holidays
    8am-6pm
  • FREE ENTRY

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 14 full circle ringing bells, plus the “Major”, which is a swing chiming bell weighing 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

There is also occasional ringing for Choral Evensong on Saturdays and Sundays

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.

2022 Cathedral special ringing

For details of additional bell ringing occurring during 2022 falling outside of the aforementioned times above, please see the table below.

DateReason for ringing
Sat 22 JanNorthumberland and Durham ringers (3-4pm)
Sun 23 JanNorthumberland and Durham ringers (3-4pm)
Sat 12 FebPeal for Cathedral Guild Dinner Day (10am-1.30pm)
Mon 14 MarCommonwealth Day (10.30-11.45am)
Thu 21 AprQueens actual birthday (10.30-11.45am)
Sat 23 Apr St. George’s Day (3-4pm)
Sun 24 AprPeal by Cumberland Youths (12-4pm)
Sat 4 JunPeal for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee (12-4pm)
Sat 11 JunQueen’s official birthday (3-4pm)
Fri 11 NovArmistice Day (10.50-11am)
Mon 14 NovPrince Charles birthday (10.30-11.45am)
Sat 3 DecPatronal Festival of St Nicholas (12-4pm)
Tue 6 DecPatronal Festival of St Nicholas (7-8pm)

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.