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Just a start on a page or pages about Durham Cathedral. There are a great many photographs & postcards available about the Cathedral, & over the years, I have bought a number of them. Hopefully in due course the page, or maybe many pages, might include a summary of the long history of the cathedral with images inset to illustrate the text, which images will hopefully not be confined to postcard images.

First a few images. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to read the subject matter.


To save repeating the comment, I often do not present the entire available image, rather such portion of it which is, to me, visually the most interesting.


Early days - just a few images to start us off. But now quite a few, I think! In no particular order at this time. All of the images that follow are beautiful in their own way or perhaps just visually interesting. All are worthy of your review.

1) The North Prospect of the Cathedral Church of Durham, a print published in 1682 by Wilkinson, Dring and Harper - engraved by Daniel King. The print, 11 x 7 in. in size (engraved area) was an e-Bay item early in 2014. It sold for U.S. $59.95.

2) Another print of Durham Cathedral that dates from 1682 - as you can next read.
i) A print of Durham Cathedral published in 1718/23 - ex an e-Bay item which sold in Oct. 2014 for the modest price of U.S. $3.85. Somebody got a bargain - what a beauty! The print was described by the vendor as being 'Antique Copper Plate Published 1718-23, London for "Monasticon Anglicanum: Or, The History of the Ancient Abbies, Monasteries, Hospitals, Cathedral and Collegiate Churches" by William Dugdale. Most views Illustrated by Hollar & Daniel King. Paper Size: 13.5 x 8.5 inch (34 x 22cm)'
ii) Note ... the print would seem to have been originally published rather earlier than 1718/23, certainly in 1682 as per a similar print, which sold via e-Bay on Dec. 14, 2014 for U.S. $47.96. Described by the vendor as being 'Ecclesiae Cath. Dunelmensis facies Australis (English Cathedral) Issued 1682, London by Wilkinson, Dring and Harper. Engraved by Daniel King. Sheet measures c. 13 1/8" W x 8 1/4" H. Fine and scarce original antique engraved print.'

3) A floor plan of Durham Cathedral. Published in 1760 by Alexander Hogg, at 16 Paternoster Row, London. At the 'King's Arms', which I think was an inn or public house, there located. Yes or No? A very large print - 39 cm wide by 24 cm deep (image size 30 cm by 29 1/2 cm). The plan likely was published in a book, whose title is at present unknown to the webmaster. An e-Bay item in Apl. 2021 - here. Do drop by!

There are, of course, many floor plans of the cathedral available, including those included in the host of guide books to the cathedral that have been published over the years.

4) An early view of Durham Cathedral believed to date from C. 1778. Early for us, but not early in the total history of the Cathedral!

5) Another early view of Durham Cathedral - a copper engraved print dating from 1786. Published in 'Historical Descriptions of New and Elegant Picturesque Views of the Antiquities of England and Wales", published by Alexander Hogg, at the King's Arms, 16 Paternoster Row, London. I read that it was published 'under the inspection of Henry Boswell Esq.' Overall size of approx. 20 cm x 18.5 cm with large margins. An e-Bay item in Apl. 2021 offered at what would seem to be modest price - here. Do drop by! A rare & expensive book should you wish to own a copy - Book-finder

6) The cover of 'Penny Magazine' of Aug. 8, 1835, with a fine illustration of the Bishop's Throne in Durham Cathedral. Offered via e-Bay in 2020 is a complete disbound issue of the magazine - of 8 pages - with cover as below. Would look most beautiful in a frame. The item was offered for sale by 'cosmobooks2013' of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, U.K. I cannot tell you if the issue contained a related article.

There are a great many prints which portray the Bishop's Throne. As you will see if you search for such via e-Bay.

7) The cover of a 1983 Digital LP recording of Durham Cathedral Choir. It would be good to know the origin of the beautiful print shown on the cover.

8) The next aerial image of the Cathedral shows its splendid location high above the River Wear. The image is derived from a sepia aerial image by 'Valentine & Sons, Ltd.' modified into a black & white image, for inclusion here.

9) I cannot tell you about the print that follows. Which was an e-Bay item, long expired now, that I downloaded long before this page was even contemplated. I do not know, today, exactly when it was e-Bay available. The vendor (moniker unknown) did provide an image which showed the artist's signature - Roy S. Coleman perhaps? - but it would seem that the work is by Samuel Colman, a 19th century artist.

10) Two maps of the centre of Durham, both showing the meandering course of the River Wear & the loop in the river where the Cathedral is located.

The first map was published, I read, by Vernor & Hood, of London, in 1804, for 'The British Atlas' - to accompany 'The Beauties of England & Wales'. An e-Bay item in Oct. 2013. It would seem that the print was republished, unchanged, in 1849 as per this 'Pictures in Print' page. The prints certainly seem to me to be quite identical. My composite image combines the 'Pictures in Print' 1849 reference panel with a section of the 1804 map.

The second map is ex the 'Royal Atlas of England & Wales' of date unknown. The map was e-Bay available in Jun. 2013 by vendor 'prints-4-all', whom we thank. His truly vast e-Bay store can be seen here.

11) A pair of postcard images of part of Elvet Bridge, Durham, both images being to my eyes most attractive. The image at right features a George Parsons-Norman (1840-1914), painting of the bridge. While the left image is of a Tuck 'Oilette' postcard.

Elvet Bridge is a medieval bridge, today of 10 arches, though it is believed to have had, in earlier times, additional arches. It dates back to 1160. Once guarded by a gate & towers, buildings stood upon the bridge in medieval times. The river flows, I read through just 4 of the bridge's arches, the others being dry or semi-dry. I do hope you will understand my words when I indicate that the bridge is located at the top right of the peninsula river loop in the above maps. Framlington Gate Bridge, about map-level with it, is located on the other side (left) of the peninsula.

And most of a Valentine's postcard image of the Old Chantry Chapel, Elvet Bridge, Durham.

12) A Tuck 'Oilette' postcard image of Durham Cathedral and Castle from the river. Viewed from the north west. Click the image to see it in a larger size.

13) A steel engraving - a south-west view of Durham Cathedral. The engraving was published in 'Winkles's Architectural and Picturesque Illustrations of the Cathedral Churches of England and Wales', by Robert Garland, published in 1850. Engraved by Benjamin Winkles, drawn by C. Warren, from a sketch by B. Baud. Is it not a beautiful engraving! Ex a long expired, Feb. 2011, e-Bay listing, by (my notes indicate) e-Bay vendor 'richben1866', whose giant e-Bay store is here. Do drop by! Another view of the print, indeed of two similar prints, the second being a north-west view.

14) A pair of fine & most similar images of Durham Cathedral from the river. The first engraving was, I believe, published in an 1875 issue of 'Illustrated London News', however it was surely also published in a number of editions of a book entitled 'Cathedral Cities' &, since it is so fine, was probably published in many other places also. The second image dates from 1882, I believe. Its origin is not known to the webmaster.

15) Durham Cathedral, the river & the bridge. An 1883 engraving, entitled 'Durham Cathedral', engraved by John Saddler (1813/1892) of an original artwork by Henry Dawson (1811/1878).

16) A fine postcard view of Durham Cathedral.

17) Durham Cathedral from the railroad station.

This image is ex Century Magazine of Dec. 1887. Such issue would seem to have contained an 18 page article about Durham Cathedral, with many illustrations. As I read in this Apl. 2021 e-Bay listing. The page which contains this particular image can be seen here.

18) Under the Refectory, the monastic dining room - at Durham Cathedral.

19) The crypt - of Durham Cathedral.  c.1890

20) A postcard image of the nave of Durham Cathedral.

21) A very different view of the Nave of Durham Cathedral, a pencil sketch stated to date from 1944. The available image was modified by the webmaster, to a black & white image, to eliminate the yellowish stains of age.

22) A c.1930 postcard image ex Ebay of the N. door of Durham Cathedral i.e. the sanctuary doorway. We thank 'lotsoflovexxx', the vendor. The rear of the Tuck's postcard advises that between years '1464 & 1524, 331 persons claimed the sanctuary of St. Cuthbert. 283 of them were murderers and homicides.'

And the sanctuary doorway knocker.  Actually it is a replica, put in place in 1980. I have heard however (correct?) that such replica dates from the 1870s. The original knocker, created back in 1154, is considered to be most precious & is displayed in the Cathedral Treasures Exhibit within the building.

23) A postcard image of the Monk's Dormitory of Durham Cathedral.

24) A Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd. 'Real Photograph' postcard image of the Choir of Durham Cathedral.

25) A Pencilette Series postcard, published by Photochrom Co. Ltd. of Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in or prior to 1938, when the postcard was posted. Image modified by webmaster from an original is sepia. Ex E-Bay but the item is long gone.

26) A 'Delittle, Fenwick & Co.' of York, postcard from the 'D. F. & Co.' Series. Posted in 1904. Durham Cathedral at night.

27) 'Durham Banks' - a postcard stated on its rear to have been printed by 'Delittle, Fenwick & Co.' of York, for 'Shurey's Publications'. I cannot tell you its date. Early 20th century most likely. I include the image here in the belief that it depicts the treed slopes above the river Wear at Durham, near Prebends Bridge. Roughly at bottom left if you will of the yellow map you can see above - just above item 8. Is my belief correct?

28) A view over the city of Durham to the Cathedral. A 'Monarch Series' postcard published by R. Johnston & Sons of Newcastle. Converted by the webmaster from a sepia image to a black & white.

29) A Royal Worcester 1928 plate entitled 'Durham Cathedral'. 10 3/4 in. in diameter, I read. An expired e-Bay item which sold in 2020 for GBP 39.99 or approx U.S. $50.00.

30) Durham Cathedral - The Chapter House & the Library. Fine e-Bay postcard images.

31) A Belle Vue Pottery plate entitled 'Durham Cathedral'. 10 1/2 in. in diameter, I read. An e-Bay item which is available, as this page is amended in Jun. 2021, here.

32) An item in progress, to relate, once complete, to the Dun Cow of Durham Cathedral fame. My interest was stimulated by a fine e-Bay item in Jun. 2021 that caught my eye - a brass knocker, beautifully photographed by the vendor, that it would seem (from its number I believe, i.e. #550720), dates from 1909 & depicts Durham Cathedral's 'dun cow' stone panel found high on the N. facade of Durham Cathedral, visible from Palace Green. An e-Bay item which sold for GBP 85.00 & can be seen, as this page is amended, here. The knocker is said to be 3 3/4 in. tall & 2 3/4 in. wide.

My understanding is that a stone carving, similar to the one you can see today (image next below), was described in 1593 as ‘a monument of a milk maid milking her cow ... '. Can anybody tell us when such panel or one similar to it, first appeared on the cathedral's wall? Now carvings exposed to the elements become decayed over the years, so what is visible today is, I have read, a replacement panel which dates from 1775.

A composite image. The 'Dun Cow' panel at Durham Cathedral in a 'Valentines' postcard image. Durham Cathedral exterior showing the panel in situ. An 18th century drawing of the panel, attributed to Samuel Hieronymus Grimm (1733/1794), held in the British Museum.

Lots more to come on this interesting subject.

Some publications about or referencing Durham Cathedral that, while I have not read them, surely look to be of considerable interest.

'Durham Cathedral: Artists & Images', a soft-cover of 72 pages, by Patricia R. Andrew assisted by & Suzanne L. Robinson. Published in 1993, ISBN 0952083604 & 9780952083603, by the 'Arts, Libraries & Museums Department', of Durham County Council, Durham,  to accompany an exhibition mounted by 'Durham Art Gallery', to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Cathedral, i.e. Bishop William's laying, on Aug. 11, 1093, of the foundation stone of the present cathedral.

'Durham Cathedral City, from old photographs', a soft-cover of 160 (or maybe 128 only) pages, by Michael Richardson. Published in 1996 or 1997, ISBN 0750916540 & 9780750916547 by The History Press Limited, & also published, ? the year, ISBN 0750916540, by Sutton Publishing Limited. And again in 2010, ISBN 1848685068 & 9781848685062, by Amberley Publishing, of Chalford or Stroud. Per an e-Bay listing, 'A unique and charming look at the history of Durham Cathedral through a fascinating collection of beautiful photographs. -- Gardners'


The 18 page illustrated article about Durham Cathedral included in the Dec. 1887 issue of Century Magazine.

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