Lichfield Cathedral & Cathedral Close

Cathedral Close developed along with the cathedral over the centuries and was enclosed by Bishop Langton who, in 1299, was granted permission to build a castle wall around the close. This wall was built over the following years, incorporating massive gatehouses to the south and west, and towers on the east and west walls.

The character of the close changed again following the three sieges of the Civil War in which a number of the buildings, the central cathedral spire and much of the defensive wall were destroyed.

Following the Civil War, during the rule of parliament and Cromwell, the cathedral and close fell into serious disrepair, with the cathedral left roofless and squatters taking up residence. After the re-establishment of the monarchy in 1660, the restoration of the cathedral and close was started by Bishop Hackett, and continued by subsequent bishops.

By the early 18th century the larger houses in the close were rented to the educated elite with residents such as Erasmus Darwin and Anna Seward. From this literary and educated enclave the reputation of Lichfield grew as a centre for arts and the sciences.

Visit Lichfield Cathedral's website for more information.