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Former minster and collegiate church founded 956 AD. One of only six collegiate churches to escape Dissolution in Henry VIII's reign, but it was dissolved in 1548, only to be re-instated in 1557. Its Collegiate functions were finally ended in 1841 after which, in 1888 it became a cathedral. The present church dates from the 12th century with mainly 13th century and later features. Plan of aisled nave and west towers built in 1120-1250, the choir, its aisles, and the east transept chapels were built between 1233-60, and the north-east octagonal Chapter House was added between 1290-1300. The plan also includes a crossing tower and north porch. The south-west tower, nave and crossing tower were re-roofed following a fire in 1711-4. The western spires were removed by Richard Ingleman in 1801. In 1803 William Wilkins Snr re-roofed the chapter house and the west towers were repaired in 1816. Ewan Christian reinstated the west tower spires and the chapterhouse roof, and renewed the roofs of the nave and transept in 1880. A vallum was dug around the minster in the Anarchy, and was strong enough to permit a spirited defence in 1142.

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