Architectural History

Peterborough Cathedral was founded as a monastic building in 654AD, however was destroyed by Vikings in 870 and rebuilt in 960. The second building was destroyed by an accidental fire in 1116, and the current building was constructed in 1238. The New Building to the east of the Cathedral was added in the time of Henry VIII. This site has been the place of worship for over 1,000 years and continues to hold regular services.

Architectural Features

The Cathedral features a 13th century medieval painted ceiling, the only of its kind in Britain, along the length of the nave. Further on is the eye catching red and gold lantern ceiling, and the impressive fan vaulted ceiling that was built around 1500 in the New Building. Within the Cathedral are the rows of choir stalls, with ornate wood carvings, the St. Oswald’s Chapel which is a small chapel that could be used separately, the burial place of Queen Katherine of Aragon and the former burial place of Mary Queen of Scots, and a striking stone font.
The North and South Aisles no longer have the colour and paint they would once have, but this has left beautiful plain cream stone, with obvious medieval architecture, meaning they could easily be used to portray any medieval building.

Outside, the iconic West Front of Peterborough Cathedral is a fine example of Early English Gothic architecture, featuring three arches, which can be seen from below thanks to access to the porticos, a tower on the south side and a golden gate. The Cloisters were damaged during the dissolution of the monasteries and the English Civil War and are now a courtyard grassed area, with incredibly detailed architecture on the surrounding walls.

In the precincts sit buildings from various time periods, the medieval Almoners Hall and Becket Chapel can be used for internal filming, while the other buildings are only available for external shooting. The precincts have a variety of archways with beautiful ceilings and carvings.

Filming Attributes

Peterborough Cathedral is a stunning and versatile venue, which can be tailored to suit a variety of periods and locations for filming. As well as the building itself, the surrounding buildings, walkways and grassed areas can create an entire area uninterrupted by modern intrusions. The Cathedral offers easy access via rail or motorway, parking and hard standing. Night shoots and exclusive access are available subject to availability.

Special Considerations

  • Night Shoots
  • Weekend Shoots


Peterborough Cathedral sits in the city centre and is easily accessed by the A1, has regular train services to London and is less than an hour’s drive from Stanstead airport.

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