The city's origins lay in the foundation of an abbey in 673, one mile (1.6 km) to the north of the village of Cratendune on the Isle of Ely, under the protection of Saint Etheldreda, daughter of King Anna. This first abbey was destroyed in 870 by Danish invaders and rededicated to Etheldreda in 970 by Ethelwold, Bishop of Winchester. The abbots of Ely then accumulated such wealth in the region that in the Domesday survey (1086) it was the 'second richest monastery in England'. The first Norman bishop, Simeon, started building the cathedral in 1083. The octagon was rebuilt by sacrist Alan of Walsingham between 1322 and 1328 after the collapse of the original nave crossing on 22 February 1322. Ely's octagon is considered 'one of the wonders of the medieval world'. Architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner believes the octagon 'is a delight from beginning to end for anyone who feels for space as strongly as for construction' and is the 'greatest individual achievement of architectural genius at Ely Cathedral'.
The bus will leave from outside the Post Office at 9am. We will have a guided tour with Professor Snape.
Tickets are available from Sandra on 01206 123456 or by sending us an application form.
Please book soon: we are often fully booked.