Nottingham Cathedral

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Nottingham Cathedral
Saint Barnabas’ Cathedral, Nottingham
Nottingham Cathedral is located in Nottingham
Nottingham Cathedral
Nottingham Cathedral
Shown in Nottingham
52°57′17″N 1°09′26″W / 52.9547°N 1.1571°W / 52.9547; -1.1571Coordinates: 52°57′17″N 1°09′26″W / 52.9547°N 1.1571°W / 52.9547; -1.1571
Location Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
Country England
Denomination Roman Catholic
Architect(s) Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin
Years built 1841-1844
Number of spires 1
Diocese Nottingham (since 1850)
Province Westminster
Bishop(s) Patrick McKinney
Dean Geoff Hunton
Director of music Alex Patterson
Organist(s) Robert Gower

The Cathedral Church of St. Barnabas in the city of Nottingham, England, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic church. It is the mother church of the Diocese of Nottingham and seat of the Bishop of Nottingham.


It is located on the corner of Derby Road and North Circus Street, on the opposite side of which are the Albert Hall and the Nottingham Playhouse (Wellington Circus).


The nave looking east
The nave looking west

It was built between 1841 and 1844, costing £15,000 (£1,340,000 in 2015),[1] and was first consecrated in 1844, fifteen years after the Catholic Relief Act ended most restrictions on Catholicism in the United Kingdom. A substantial amount of the cost was paid by the important Catholic Lord Shrewsbury. The architect was Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin who also designed the interior of The Houses of Parliament. It was built in the Early English Plain Gothic style, although in contrast, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel was richly decorated and Pugin’s later churches were built in that Decorated Gothic style throughout. Pugin was retained as architect by Rev Robert William Willson, then priest in charge of Nottingham. In 1842 he was named as Bishop-Elect of Hobart, Tasmania, and had to leave the work in Nottingham before completion.

Following the establishment of a new Catholic hierarchy in England and Wales in 1850 by the decree of Pope Pius IX, it was raised to cathedral status in 1852, becoming one of the first four Catholic cathedrals in England and Wales since the English Reformation.[2] It is the seat of the Bishop of Nottingham.

The cathedral is a Grade II* listed building of the lancet style of architecture, and is considered to be one of the best specimens of Pugin's work.[3]

The clergy of the Cathedral also serve the churches of Our Lady and St. Patrick in The Meadows and St. Augustine on Woodborough Road.

Cathedral music[edit]

The organ
The Chapel of Our Lady

There are several choirs at the Cathedral under the direction of the Director of Music, Mr. Alex Patterson, the Full choir which consists of twenty-five adults including eight choral scholars, and Schola Cantorum, which is the Cathedral's Chamber Choir. The Full Choir's repertoire ranges from Gregorian Chant to Górecki. In addition to the obvious commitment of singing at the Cathedral's Choral Masses, both choirs sing at additional special occasions and put on concerts throughout the year.

The Cathedral's choral scholarships are available to students above or of eighteen years of age who are in full-time tertiary education in the Nottingham area.

There is also a youth choir which was set up by a previous choral scholar, Sarah Smith in 2003 and is open to children between the ages of eight and eighteen. This is a great opportunity for children to gain vocal training and the intention of this choir is to provide music at some of the Cathedral's 6pm Masses as well as to occasionally support the Cathedral Choir during the hectic periods of Lent and Advent. It is directed by the Director of Music.

In addition to these three choirs, the Cathedral also has a music group which serves the third 6pm Sunday Mass of each month. The group's members lead the congregational singing, accompanied by guitars and flutes.

List of organists[edit]

  • Edmund Hart Turpin 1850 - 1865
  • James Turpin 1866 - 1873[4] (afterwards organist of Londonderry Cathedral)
  • William George Taylor 1874 - 1885[5] - 1898[6] - 1905
  • William Francis Taylor 1905 - 1963 [7]
  • Peter Smedley 1964 - 2003
  • Neil Page 2003 - 2014

List of assistant organists[edit]

  • Peter Smedley 1954 - 1964

Assistant Directors of Music[edit]

  • Christopher Burton 2008 - 2010
  • Paul Hayward 2011 - 2012
  • Alex Patterson 2012 - 2014


  1. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2015), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  2. ^ Decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, 21 April 1852. The other churches raised to cathedrals by this decree were St George's, Southwark, St Chad's, Birmingham and St John's, Salford: Decreta Quatuor Conciliorum Provincialium Westmonasteriensium, (2nd Edn, London: Burns & Oates), p.56; translation in: Robert Guy OSB, The Synods in English (Stratford-on-Avon: St Gregory Press, 1886) p.101.
  3. ^ Cathedral Church of St Barnabas and Attached Boundary Wall, Nottingham from British listed buildings, retrieved 15 May 2015
  4. ^ Nottinghamshire Guardian - Friday 1 August 1873
  5. ^ History, Gazetteer & Directory of Nottinghamshire, 1885, p.445
  6. ^ Wright's Directory of Nottingham, 1898-99, p.466
  7. ^ Nottingham Cathedral Yesterday and Today, Edward Cocking et al. 2007 p.36

External links[edit]