• Saturdays and Sundays
  • Mondays to Fridays
  • Bank Holidays

Opening times

  • Saturdays and Sundays
  • Mondays to Fridays
  • Bank Holidays

The Lantern Tower

In these one-hour guided tours, you will discover unique and fascinating stories of the history and people of Newcastle. The climb includes a stop-off at the ringing room, where you’ll be told tales from the Civil War and get to see some of the bells up-close. Reaching the rooftop, you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views.

Following a successful run in May, we’re thrilled to launch regular Lantern Tower Tours for the summer, with dates now announced until Saturday 24 September.

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Tickets for August/September 2022

Tickets for individual tours cost £10 per person. Our tour dates for throughout August and September are now available on our Eventbrite page via the link below.

Find out more

Please note: ticket sales end 12 hours before the start time of each tour.

August 2022

Thursday 4 August11:30am & 1pm 
Sunday 7 August 12pm & 1:30pm 
Wednesday 10 August11:30am & 1pm
Thursday 11 August11:30am & 1pm
Sunday 14 August12pm & 1:30pm 
Saturday 20 August11:30am & 1pm 
Wednesday 24 August11:30am & 1pm

September 2022

Saturday 3 September 11:30am & 1pm 
Saturday 10 September 11:30am & 1pm 
Sunday 11 September 12pm only
Saturday 24 September11:30am & 1pm 

Click here to read more about these tours in an article by Rachael Rickwood, the Cathedral’s Learning and Activities Officer.

Lantern Tower Film Screenings

Every Monday in August at 2:15pm

To celebrate 140 years since we were elevated to Cathedral status in 1882, special screenings of our Lantern Tower Film will take place in the Nave every Monday in August at 2:15pm. 

Stay for longer after our Organ Recitals to experience the stunning views from the tower in this 15-minute piece created by professional local filmmakers MediaBorne. 

Presented by local historian and tour guide Alex Iles, the film brings you some of the mysteries, historical stories, and sheer beauty of our iconic Lantern Tower, with two feet firmly planted on solid ground.

History of the Tower

The Lantern Tower has been an unmissable feature of the Newcastle skyline since the Middle Ages. Nearly 60 metres high, the landmark was the tallest structure in Newcastle for hundreds of years and its elaborate ‘crown spire’ is of a kind rarely seen outside Scotland.

For centuries, a blazing beacon shone inside and was one of the main navigation aids for ships sailing up the River Tyne.

The Tower was constructed in 1448, during the reign of Henry VI, paid for by local business people and philanthropists Robert and Alice Rhodes. The couple’s coats of arms are emblazoned on the Cathedral’s 15th-century stone font, which stands in the Nave, directly beneath the bell chamber.

According to popular tradition, Scottish invaders almost destroyed the structure during the Siege of Newcastle in 1644. However, Newcastle’s quick-thinking mayor, Sir John Marlay, ordered all Scots prisoners into the Tower and saved it from an almighty explosion!

Images courtesy of Newcastle Libraries