Derby Cathedral: A historic gem in the heart of Derby

by | Apr 21, 2023 | Explore Derby

Derby Cathedral, originally established in 943, stands proudly as one of the most captivating historic sites in Derby. With its rich heritage and significant monuments, it serves as a testament to Derby’s and Derbyshire’s past. Inside its walls, a wealth of treasures awaits visitors, including the tomb of Bess of Hardwick, a memorial  dedicated to Florence Nightingale, and a stunning wrought iron screen crafted by the talented Robert Bakewell.

The Enlightenment

During the Enlightenment period, the nave of Derby Cathedral underwent a remarkable transformation. In 1725, architect James Gibbs redesigned it in a Neo-Classical style, imbuing the interior with simplicity and an abundance of natural light. Despite having only two modern stained-glass windows, the cathedral’s plain interior is beautifully balanced by the inclusion of a magnificent wrought-iron chancel screen, skillfully fashioned by the local iron-smith Robert Bakewell. Stretching across the width of the church, this screen stands as a prominent feature and a testament to the craftsmanship of the time.

Derby Cathedral


The Bridge Chapel: Beyond the walls of Derby Cathedral, visitors can explore the nearby Bridge Chapel, a short 5-minute walk from the cathedral itself. Situated along the banks of the River Derwent, this medieval bridge chapel is one of only six remaining in the entire United Kingdom. Built to provide spiritual solace to travellers, it also served as a toll collection point for those crossing the bridge into Derby.

Guided Tours: For those seeking a deeper understanding of the cathedral’s history and significance, guided tours are available to individuals, groups, organizations, and clubs. Led by experienced guides, these tours offer valuable insights into the cathedral’s past, its monuments, and the workings of the cathedral itself.

Tower Tour: One of the highlights of a visit to Derby Cathedral is the opportunity to embark on a tower tour. This unique experience allows visitors to climb one of the tallest church towers in England, standing at an impressive 212 feet and consisting of 189 steps. From the top, breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surroundings can be enjoyed. Additionally, the tower is available for private tour hire, providing an exclusive and memorable experience.

Cathedral Treasures: For those with an interest in ecclesiastical silverware, the Cathedral Treasures await discovery. Housed in the Sir Richard Morris Room of the Cathedral Centre, this collection showcases remarkable pieces, some dating as far back as 1491, with several originating from the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Regrettably, the Sir Richard Morris Room is currently not open to casual visits from the public.


  • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday: 09:00 – 17:15
  • Wednesday and Saturday: 09:00 – 17:00

Located just a brief 5-minute drive from The Stuart Hotel, Derby Cathedral offers a convenient and enriching experience for visitors. It is one of the best hotels in Derby near Derby train station – just a 5-minute walk away.The hotel is conveniently positioned on the bustling London Road (A6). After a day of exploration, retreat to our modern, comfortable, and spacious rooms for a restful night’s sleep. Alternatively, indulge in a delectable culinary experience at our fully equipped bar and restaurant, the ideal way to complete your stay. Learn more: www.aghotels.co.uk/the-stuart-hotel

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