Ely Cathedral sits within the Diocese of Ely, one of 44 dioceses of the Church of England. The Diocese is under the pastoral and administrative care of the diocesan bishop, the Bishop of Ely, whose seat of Authority is at Ely Cathedral.
Work on the present Cathedral began in the 11th century under the leadership of Abbot Simeon and the monastic church became a cathedral in 1109 with the Diocese of Ely being carved out of the Diocese of Lincoln.
The monastery at Ely was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539. Ely suffered less than many other monasteries during this time, but even so statues were destroyed together with carvings and stained glass. St Etheldreda's Shrine was also destroyed.
The Cathedral was refounded with a Chapter of eight canons in 1541, as was the Kings School. Robert Steward, the last Prior of the monastery, became the first Dean of the Cathedral.
The first major restoration took place in the 18th Century under James Essex. With the arrival of Dean George Peacock in 1839 a second restoration project began. Together with the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, he restored the building to its former glory.
A third major restoration project, the most extensive to date, was begun in 1986 and was completed in the year 2000.
Learn more about Ely Cathedral
You can learn more about Ely Cathedral and plan your visit via the Cathedral website here.
Are you keen to volunteer at the Cathedral?
There are lots of opportunities to get involved so please visit their website here to discover more.