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Top 11 Largest Churches in the UK

The UK is home to more than 38,500 churches that are an example of fascinating medieval architecture. It is also home to some of the largest churches in the world. Some of these churches have passed the test of time by standing still after centuries. Here is the list of the 11 largest churches in the UK.

List of 11 Largest Churches in the UK

  1. Liverpool Cathedral
  2. St. Paul’s Cathedral
  3. York Minster
  4. Salisbury Cathedral
  5. Westminster Abbey
  6. Canterbury Cathedral
  7. Winchester Cathedral
  8. Durham Cathedral
  9. St. Giles’ Cathedral
  10. Bristol Cathedral
  11. Glasgow Cathedral

1) Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool is a noteworthy example of English architecture. With construction beginning in 1904 and completed in 1978, it had one of the longest building schedules of any cathedral worldwide. This Gothic-style cathedral, created by Giles Gilbert Scott, is the largest in the United Kingdom and the sixth largest in the world in terms of floor area, measuring around 9,687 square meters.

The cathedral’s tower is the highest church tower in the world, rising to a height of 101 meters (331 feet). Visitors can take in breathtaking views of the city and the River Mersey from the observation gallery. Its sumptuous interior features intricate carvings, stunning stained glass windows, and a massive organ with over 10,000 pipes.

The cathedral also houses the tallest and heaviest ringing peal of bells in the world. Beyond its beautiful design, Liverpool Cathedral is a vibrant hub for community gatherings, religious services, and cultural events. Hundreds of thousands of people visit it each year, drawn by its religious significance besides its artistic and historical attraction. Liverpool’s cathedral, a well-known landmark, is proof of the city’s tenacious spirit and rich heritage.

2) St. Paul’s Cathedral

One of London’s most iconic sights is St. Paul’s Cathedral, a masterwork of English Baroque architecture. The Great Fire of London destroyed the previous cathedral, constructed by Sir Christopher Wren. In 1675, work on the new building began. It took 35 years to complete, and in 1710 the final stone was set.

Approximately 7,434 square meters make up the entire floor area of St. Paul’s Cathedral, making it the second-largest church building in the United Kingdom. Its beautiful dome, standing at 111 meters (365 feet) high, was the largest in the world until the 20th century. There are 528 stairs to climb to reach the Golden Gallery, which offers amazing panoramic views of London. The cathedral’s interior, which features the well-known Whispering Gallery where one may hear whispers emanating from over the dome, is adorned with exquisite mosaics, skillful carvings, and magnificent artwork. Several significant events in British history, such as state occasions, royal weddings, and funerals, have taken place at St. Paul’s.

Millions of tourists visit St. Paul’s Cathedral every year, making it both a major tourist attraction and a place of devotion. London is a must-visit destination for anybody interested in learning more about its fascinating past because of its timeless beauty and historical significance.

3) York Minster

York Minster, one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe, is located in the medieval city of York and is a stunning example of Gothic architecture. The last portion of this beautiful cathedral was completed in 1472 after many years of construction. The 13th century saw the beginning of construction. Its astounding size is approximately 6,500 square meters.

The magnificent central tower of the cathedral, which rises to a height of 72 meters (235 feet) for those with the fortitude to climb its 275 steps, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape. Its intricate masonry, brilliant stained glass windows, and lovely carvings make it a masterpiece of medieval creativity. York Minster is renowned for its exceptional collection of medieval stained glass, which includes the Great East Window, the largest area of medieval stained glass in the world. Within the cathedral lies England’s largest medieval Gothic cathedral chapter house.

Throughout its history, York Minster has served as a place of prayer, a pilgrimage site, and a significant cultural landmark. Numerous important events, including religious gatherings and royal coronations, have taken place there. Besides being a crowded center of Christian worship, it still houses the York Archbishop and attracts visitors from all over the world who come to see the magnificent architecture and rich history.

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4) Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral, a stunning example of Early English Gothic architecture located in Salisbury, Wiltshire, is home to the highest church spire in the United Kingdom. Built between 1220 and 1258, this beautiful cathedral is among the best-preserved examples of its kind. The cathedral occupies an area of about 6,080 square meters.

For centuries, the cathedral’s imposing spire, reaching a height of 404 feet or 123 meters, has dominated Salisbury’s skyline, providing direction to pilgrims and tourists. Climbing the 332 steps to the summit offers a panoramic view of the city and surrounding countryside, or visitors can appreciate the spire from the charming Cathedral Close. The interior of Salisbury Cathedral is amazing, with ornate vaulted ceilings, elegant columns, and an amazing collection of medieval stained glass windows. The cathedral also houses an original copy of the Magna Carta, one of the most important documents in British history, and the oldest mechanical clock in the world, which was built in 1386.

Salisbury Cathedral has been a site of worship, a destination for pilgrims, and an important cultural icon throughout its existence. Besides offering a serene haven for prayer and introspection, it has played host to royal coronations, musical performances, and neighborhood gatherings. Its timeless spirituality, historical richness, and stunning architecture still awe tourists today.

5) Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey has functioned as a site of pilgrimage, a place of prayer, and a prominent cultural emblem throughout its history. Besides offering a serene space for prayer and meditation, it has played host to royal coronations, musical performances, and community gatherings. Its stunning architecture, extensive historical heritage, and timeless spirituality continue to astound tourists. It occupies an area of 5,826 square meters. 

The abbey’s interior is a treasure trove of medieval architecture, stained glass windows, and complex sculptures, and its famous twin towers and stunning facade make it instantly identifiable. With a remarkable vaulted ceiling and a length of 69 meters (226 feet), the nave is especially remarkable. Many kings, including Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Henry VII, as well as other prominent people including Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Geoffrey Chaucer, have their final resting place at Westminster Abbey. Poets’ Corner at the Abbey honors authors such as Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and William Shakespeare.

Westminster Abbey is not only used for royal ceremonies and worship, but it also welcomes millions of tourists from all around the world every year. Its breathtaking architecture and historical and cultural significance make it an essential destination for anybody studying London’s rich past.

6) Canterbury Cathedral

Situated in the old Kentish city of Canterbury, Canterbury Cathedral is one of the most important and historic Christian sites in England. The cathedral has undergone multiple renovations and additions since it was established in 597 AD, resulting in a magnificent mix of Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. It is around 5,170 square meters in total area.

The cathedral’s magnificent facade is made up of towers, spires, and complex brickwork, while its interior is decorated with exquisite stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings, and elaborate sculptures. The center bell tower, also known as the Bell Harry Tower, is 74 meters (243 feet) high and provides expansive views of the surrounding countryside and city. Canterbury Cathedral holds a special place in history because the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England, dwells there. It is especially well-known for its association with Thomas Becket, the Archbishop who was canonized in 1170 after being slain inside the cathedral. His martyrdom site, the Martyrdom Chapel, is now a place of prayer and contemplation.

For the entirety of its history, Canterbury Cathedral has played a crucial role in English ecclesiastical and cultural life. Numerous significant events, including royal marriages and the signing of the Magna Carta, have taken place there. It continues to be a place of worship, a place of pilgrimage, and a cultural landmark today, drawing visitors from all over the globe who come to admire the breathtaking architecture and rich history.

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7) Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral, one of the largest and most important churches in England, is situated in the historic city of Winchester, Hampshire. Since its founding in 642 AD, the cathedral has seen a great deal of renovation and expansion, resulting in an incredible fusion of Gothic and Romanesque architectural styles. It is around 5,161 square meters in total area.

The magnificent facade of the cathedral is defined by its magnificent Norman towers and brilliant Gothic windows, while the interior is filled with the grand 169-meter (554-foot) long nave. The cathedral’s architectural grandeur is enhanced by its ornate stained glass windows, fine sculptures, and soaring ceilings. One of the principal characteristics of Winchester Cathedral is the spectacular medieval timber ceiling known as the “Winchester Bible.” With pictures from both the Old and New Testaments, this beautifully preserved ceiling is the largest of its kind in all of Europe.

Throughout its more than 1,300-year existence, Winchester Cathedral has housed the Winchester Bishop besides acting as a place of prayer. There have been several notable events held there, such as memorial services, royal weddings, and the coronation of King Henry the Young King in 1172. Christian prayer, music, and culture continue to flourish in Winchester Cathedral. Along with hosting frequent services, concerts, and community activities, it welcomes people from all over the world to marvel at its architectural splendor and dig into its fascinating history.

8) Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral, one of the most famous landmarks in the country, is located in the northeastern city of Durham and is a magnificent example of Norman architecture. The cathedral was established in 1093 and took more than 40 years to build, covering an area of roughly 4,868 square meters. The cathedral was built under the direction of Bishop William of St. Carilef, and it was dedicated in 1133.

The most identifiable aspect of the cathedral is its massive Norman towers, which dominate Durham’s skyline. Known as the “Great Tower” or “The Lantern of the North,” the 66-meter (217-foot) center tower offers amazing panoramic views over the city and the surrounding countryside. The inside of Durham Cathedral is stunning, with a grand nave measuring 73 meters (240 feet) in length. The cathedral’s exquisite stained glass windows, intricately carved stone pillars, and vaulted ceilings all contribute to its architectural beauty.

The shrine at Durham Cathedral is also home to St. Cuthbert, one of the most important English medieval saints. The cathedral library holds one of the largest and most significant collections of early printed books in the country, which includes the seventh-century Lindisfarne Gospels. Durham Cathedral has always played a significant role in the social, cultural, and religious life of the neighborhood. Apart from being a place of worship and pilgrimage for millions of people worldwide, it has also been the venue for royal ceremonies, musical performances, and social events for the local community. Its timeless beauty, rich history, and deep spiritual significance continue to inspire awe and veneration even in modern times.

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9) St. Giles’ Cathedral

Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, St. Giles’ Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most iconic and important historical buildings. Originally built in the 12th century, the cathedral has had multiple renovations and additions throughout the years, resulting in a stunning fusion of Victorian, Gothic, and Romanesque architectural elements. It has roughly 2,200 square meters in surface area.

The cathedral’s most recognizable feature is its crown steeple, which towers over the Edinburgh skyline at 43 meters (141 feet) in height. Exquisite stained glass windows, intricate stone sculptures, and a stunning vaulted ceiling can all be found inside St. Giles’ Cathedral. One of the main features of the cathedral is the Thistle Chapel, which was built in the early 20th century as the chapel of the Order of the Thistle, Scotland’s highest order of chivalry. The church is decorated with exquisite oak carvings, heraldic emblems, and vivid stained glass windows depicting historical scenes from Scotland.

St. Giles’ Cathedral has played a significant role in Edinburgh’s religious and cultural life for centuries. It has witnessed many important events, including baptisms, funerals, and royal marriages. Furthermore, the cathedral continues to serve as a symbol of Scotland’s Presbyterian past and was a key participant in the Scottish Reformation. Today, visitors from all over the world come to St. Giles’ Cathedral to take in its breathtaking beauty and discover its intriguing past. Besides providing a peaceful sanctuary in the center of the bustling city, it hosts regular services, musical events, and community get-togethers.

10) Bristol Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral is a stunning example of Gothic architecture and one of the most recognizable buildings in the area. Bristol is a city in southwest England. The cathedral, which is around 2,060 square meters in size and was completed in the 14th century, was formerly an Augustinian monastery. 

The cathedral’s magnificent facade has a gorgeous combination of Gothic arches, pinnacles, and stained glass windows. Inside, the nave is a spectacular space with soaring vaulted ceilings and graceful stone pillars. At 68 meters (223 feet) high, the cathedral’s centerpiece, the “Cabot Tower,” offers expansive views of the city and surrounding countryside. Bristol Cathedral’s stunning east window, one of the biggest examples of its kind in England, and the intricate carvings and sculptures covering the walls and ceilings are both visible to visitors. The cathedral also houses a magnificent organ with over 4,000 pipes, which is frequently used for recitals and concerts.

Bristol Cathedral has been the residence of the Bristol Bishop and a place of prayer for more than 800 years. There have been many significant events held there, including concerts, town hall meetings, and visits from royalty. Notable TV shows and movies have also used the cathedral’s chapter house as a filming location. Christian music, worship, and culture continue to flourish at Bristol Cathedral today. Besides hosting frequent services, concerts, and community activities, it welcomes people from all over the world to marvel at its architectural splendor and dig into its fascinating history.

11) Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral, also known as St. Mungo’s Cathedral, is a magnificent example of medieval Gothic architecture and is situated in the heart of Glasgow, Scotland. The cathedral, which was built in the latter half of the 12th century, has been an important part of Glasgow’s religious and cultural heritage for over eight centuries. It is roughly 2,045 square meters in surface size.

The cathedral is distinguished from other structures by its beautiful Gothic architecture, which includes tall stone arches, pointed spires, and exquisite stained glass windows. The main feature of the building is its 60-meter (198-foot) central tower, which offers expansive views of the city. The Glasgow Cathedral tells the story of Scotland’s Christian past through its magnificent vaulted ceilings, intricate stone carvings, and spectacular stained glass windows. Glasgow’s patron saint, St. Mungo, whose grave is within the cathedral’s walls, is celebrated through the cathedral’s beautiful murals and tapestries, which pay homage to his life and miracles.

Glasgow Cathedral has played a significant role in the ecclesiastical and cultural life of the city for many centuries. It has marked many important events, including royal visits, marriages, and burials. Glasgow’s cathedral crypt provides a fascinating look into the medieval history of the city. It is among the rare remaining examples of a medieval crypt in Scotland. Even now, Glasgow Cathedral remains a well-liked tourist attraction and a hive of Christian devotion. It holds regular liturgies, concerts, and community get-togethers in addition to providing a peaceful retreat for meditation and reflection. Its interesting history, stunning architecture, and spiritual significance make it an essential destination for anybody studying Glasgow’s cultural legacy.


The largest churches in the UK are evidence of the architectural beauty of the land that has withstood the test of time. This article included the 11 largest churches in the United Kingdom based on their area. 

NoName of ChurchArea (Square meters)
1Liverpool Cathedral 9,687
2St. Paul’s Cathedral7,434
3York Minster6,500 
4Salisbury Cathedral 6,080
5Westminster Abbey5,826
6Canterbury Cathedral5,170
7Winchester Cathedral 5,161
8Durham Cathedral4,868
9St. Giles’ Cathedral2,200 
10Bristol Cathedral 2,060 
11Glasgow Cathedral 2,045


Which Is the Largest Church in the World?

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world with an interior area of approximately 15,160 meters. 

Which Is the Oldest Church in the World?

The Dura-Europos church in Syria is considered the oldest church in the world. The building’s history goes back to 233-235 AD. 

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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