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Southwell Minster Celebrates 140 Years as a Cathedral with the Cathedral 140 Exhibition

Southwell Minster proudly commemorates its 140th anniversary as a cathedral with the Cathedral 140 Exhibition, a special showcase running from February to November 2024.


This exhibition will feature 140 unique objects, each revealing a fascinating aspect of the history of the Cathedral, its gardens, and the Palace.

JUNE: A Changing World: Reform and Revolution

Southwell Minster, a hidden gem in a uniquely rural setting, is renowned for its stunning architecture, glorious gardens, and exceptional music. This month, the exhibition delves into the dramatic religious and political shifts of the Reformation and the English Civil War.

Visitors will explore the era beginning with Henry VIII’s break from Rome and the establishment of Protestantism. Notably, Cardinal Wolsey spent his final anxious days in Southwell’s State Chamber after failing to secure Henry VIII’s divorce from the Pope. The exhibition captures this turbulent period, concluding with the English Civil War when Cromwell’s troops occupied the Minster, stabling their horses in the nave.

King Charles I was also brought to the State Chamber, spending his last night of freedom in Southwell.

Highlights of the exhibition include a Papal Bull, exquisite chalices, a verge, bibles, a dragon, and beautiful portraits of Cardinal Wolsey and King Charles I.


Thomas Wren Verge (1).png
Portrait of Charles I

“We have a wonderful site to explore, as well as the cathedral itself. Our State Chamber has had a front row seat during huge turning points in history, including Cardinal Wolsey’s final days and the last day of freedom for Charles I,” said Sarah Clemson, Visitor and Volunteer Services Officer.

Visitors are invited to follow the object trail and engage with the rich history on display. The exhibition promises something for everyone.

The exhibition begins on 1st June, and further information, and previous month’s objects, can
be found at: Exhibition | Southwell Minster

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