Visit our ‘What’s On’ section to view all upcoming heritage tours, including ticketed Tower Tours on select dates during the summer months.Find out more
December 2023 – Before planning your visit, please check our ‘Visitor Notices’ for accessibility updates and one-off changes to opening times. Click here to view.
During the spring and summer months, the Cathedral presents a unique chance to ascend the iconic Lantern Tower by climbing 162 steps. This captivating journey includes a visit to the ringing room, where captivating stories from the Civil War will be shared, and you’ll have the opportunity to witness the bells up close. Upon reaching the rooftop, you will be greeted by awe-inspiring panoramic views of the city that are truly breathtaking.
Created by Newcastle Chronicle in 2022, this video showcases the invaluable dedication and contribution of the volunteers who passionately conduct our Lantern Tower Tours.
Since the Middle Ages, the Lantern Tower has graced the Newcastle skyline as an unmistakable landmark. Rising to a height of nearly 60 metres, it proudly held the title of Newcastle’s tallest structure for countless years. Its intricate ‘crown spire’ design, a rarity outside Scotland, adds to its unique nature.
Throughout the centuries, the Tower served as a guiding beacon, casting its light to aid ships navigating the River Tyne.
Constructed in 1448, during the reign of Henry VI, the Tower was funded by local philanthropists Robert and Alice Rhodes, esteemed figures among the town’s business community. A testament to their generosity, their coats of arms adorn the Cathedral’s 15th-century stone font, standing resolute in the Nave, just beneath the bell chamber.
According to popular tradition, during the Siege of Newcastle in 1644, the Tower faced the threat of destruction by invading Scottish forces. However, the quick-thinking Mayor of Newcastle, Sir John Marlay, devised a plan that safeguarded the structure from a catastrophic explosion. He ordered all Scottish prisoners to be confined within the Tower, thus averting its destruction.
Images courtesy of Newcastle Libraries