Each year we join in with other heritage venues across the UK to say thank you to National Lottery Players everywhere. Thank you for the support of the Eastern Cloisters Project, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund UK. We are delighted to share what we have been getting up to in the cloisters since the project was completed in 2021. 

The cathedral received £866,700 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2018 to renovate the cathedral cloisters, which are a home to many of the cathedral staff as well as housing the music department and administrative offices. The project has further enabled this beautiful and tranquil area to be opened up to the public for events and activities by creating a more accessible space and improving the facilities throughout.

As well as improving the lighting within the walkways, the previously uneven paving within the cloister have been re-laid and the roof of the eastern range completely replaced. The Old Chapel has also been transformed into a user friendly space for events and a multimedia historical reimagining experience is available for visitors to experience the history of the Cloisters.

The physical works were accompanied by a programme of activities and research which discovered many hidden stories about the Vicars Choral who had originally lived within Cloisters, from an embezzling lay clerk’s disappearance to unknown links to the suffragette movement. 

The legacy of the project has continued since and we have enjoyed welcoming visitors to the cloisters in many different ways:

- In April 2022 we launched the Escape Room, which is run in the Old Chapel and have since seen many excited groups try out their skills on this immersive clue-cracking game. The Escape Room story was developed out of the research done during the project. Find out more about and book a session to try for yourself!

- Clare Wichbold helped uncover the fascinating links between cloister residents and the suffrage movement as a researcher during the Eastern Cloisters Project, going on to write Hard Work – But Glorious (2021). We welcomed Clare back for a special talk on Tuesday 14 March celebrating Women's History Month.

- A research booklet was produced during the project and can still be purchased in our Cathedral Shop. 

National Lottery Open Week

For making their work possible, National Lottery funded projects across the UK want to say #ThanksToYou to the National Lottery players by offering free entry or other special offers this National Lottery Open Week! Between 18-26 March 2023, we are inviting people to arrange a visit to the Cloisters to see the work that has been completed as a result of National Lottery funding.

If you would like to discover more about the history of the cloisters and the Eastern Cloisters Project,  please contact [email protected] or call 01432 374 251. Please note, the cloisters are not open to the public, if you would like to arrange a private tour of the cloisters, please get in touch and we would be happy to arrange this.

The Eastern Cloisters Project was supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund

With additional support from The HB Allen Charitable Trust, The Jordan Foundation, Noel & Nienke Manns, Allchurches Trust, The Tanner Trust, Howard Bulmer Charitable Trust, The Alfreda May Phillips Charitable Trust, Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust and the Trust’s friends from Austin, Texas