Bill Bryson has nominated Durham Cathedral as Heritage Site of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2017 and with only a few days left to vote, we need your help!
World famous for its Romanesque architecture, Bryson once descriped Durham Cathedral as "the best Cathedral on planet earth" and on nominating it for this award he said it was "one of the supreme achievements of the architectural world" and "a wonder to behold from every possible vantage point, inside and out".
Here are ten things you might not knnow about Durham Cathedral, and just a few reasons why we think you should vote for it to win Heritage Site of the Year:
- #SpiritualHeritage – Durham Cathedral has been a place of worship for almost one thousand years. It is the resting place of two of the North’s best-loved saints, St Cuthbert and St Bede, and is still a living place of worship with at least three services daily.
- #MusicalHeritage – Durham Cathedral’s musical heritage dates back to the 11th Century and since 1416 the Cathedral Choir has been accompanied by a team of choristers. You can hear them singing Evensong in the Cathedral most days and there’s nothing more uplifting than hearing this incredible building filled with the sound of music!
- #NaturalHeritage – Durham Cathedral is surrounded by woodlands and riverbanks. This beautiful space at the heart of Durham City was created as part of a planned 18th Century landscape but is now open for everyone to enjoy, a haven for wildlife offering spectacular views of the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- #LiteraryHeritage – Durham Cathedral Library dates back to the library of the monastery founded by St Aidan on Lindisfarne in 635AD. It is now the largest in-situ medieval library in the UK with manuscripts dating from the 6th century onwards and 30,000 early printed books!
- #ArchitecturalHeritage – Durham Cathedral is renowned as one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe and boasts the world’s first known example of a structural pointed arch, which paved the way for the development of Gothic architecture in Europe.
- #MonasticHeritage – One of few places to survive the Reformation intact, Durham Cathedral now boasts the most intact surviving set of medieval monastic buildings in the UK. These incredible spaces are now part of Open Treasure, including the UK’S best-preserved monastic dormitory with its fourteenth-century oak-beamed ceiling and the stunning Great Kitchen, one of only two surviving monastic kitchens in the UK.
- #ArtisticHeritage – Durham Cathedral is home to many pieces of modern artwork by Paula Rego, Fenwick Lawson, Colin Wilbourn and Kirill Sokolov. The Cathedral continues to exhibit the work of local artists including Judy Hurst and the late Norman Wade.
- #GlobalHeritage – Durham Cathedral is part of the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the first World Heritage Sites to be inscribed by UNESCO in 1986 and one of only two World Heritage Sites in the UK to include a Cathedral!
- #LivingHeritage – The heritage of Durham Cathedral is not confined to the past. Durham Cathedral is a place of living heritage that many of us call home, with annual events celebrating the vibrant culture of the region of Durham from the Miners’ Festival Service to Durham BRASS Festival.
- #YourHeritage – Most importantly, the heritage of Durham Cathedral is #yourheritage and we’d love to hear what makes Durham Cathedral special to you! Please share your stories with us on Facebook and Twitter before 28 February using the hashtag #yourcathedral to celebrate your heritage.
You can vote for Durham Cathedral in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards here, before 28 February.