Heritage Open Day at Worcester Cathedral Library

On Saturday the 10th of September, Worcester Cathedral Library will be opening its doors and exhibiting some of its many manuscripts, books and archives. As part of Heritage Open Day, visitors are welcome and encouraged to pop up to the library for free between 10am and 12:30pm, or between 2pm and 4pm.

In an environment of black timber frames and shelf after shelf of historical books, the Cathedral Library will feature displays of its unusual holdings. Beautiful and fascinating documents from a wide chronological range will suit everyone’s historical taste.

Come and pore over some of the library’s medieval items and those connected to royalty, including venerable Anglo Saxon fragments, luxuriously illustrated manuscripts and stately royal charters and letters.


Who is this king in royal procession? Find out in this copiously illustrated 17th Century book by Elias Ashmole. Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK).

As well as written items, you can also enjoy the library’s small array of archaeological objects, including seals, coins and the thumb bone of a certain king linked with Worcester.


From which king has this thumb bone been detached? Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK).

Worcester Cathedral is lucky to be home to many historical works about science and natural history. Some will be available to view, providing a fascinating insight into the development of how we have perceived, understood and documented the world around us over time.


This pair of ostriches is among many hand drawn illustrations of animals. Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK).

There will also be displays on ancient history, cartography, sport and local interest. So if you’d like to find out more about the county’s past, or would enjoy looking at beautiful old maps, works on ancient Rome, and pictures of Victorian sportsmen in top hats, then come to the Cathedral Library this Saturday. A team of attendants will be on hand to field any questions you may have about the library and its treasures.



Come and discover the story behind this intriguing map. Image copyright the Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral (UK).

The library can be found in the south-west corner of the Cathedral, near the font and the gift shop. It is at the top of a small spiral staircase, so access may be difficult for less mobile visitors to the Cathedral.

Chris Rouse


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