The latest exhibition to open in the Mappa Mundi & Chained Library will explore Hereford Cathedral’s Cloisters and the hidden stories within their walls.

Voices from the Cloisters, which opens in the Mappa Mundi & Chained Library on Tuesday 11 June, has been inspired by the National Lottery Heritage Funded Eastern Cloisters Project. Last year, the cathedral announced that they had received a grant from the NLHF to repair and conserve the College Cloisters, preventing further disrepair and enabling the area to be opened up to the public for special events and activities.

The Cloisters, which currently house offices and residences for cathedral staff, were originally home to the Vicars Choral, the twenty-seven men who formed the cathedral choir from 1475 until 1937. Voices from the Cloisters sets out to explore the fascinating stories of these men and discover the different aspects of their domestic lives and religious duties through images and texts from the cathedral archive. One of the pieces on display will be a reference book called Theatrum Botanicvm which includes a hand written note from a member of the Vicar’s Choral about the effectiveness of a herbal remedy which soothed the throat. This exhibition unveils not just the professional life of these singing men, but their tales of music and worship, disobedience and also some scandal!

This exhibition has been curated by Eastern Cloisters Project Research Intern, Jess Stallwood, who has joined the cathedral team to help lead the research on the project. SHe said: ‘Since beginning my research post here in April, new evidence continues to reveal itself all the time. It really is proving to be a rich history which is unlike anything I have looked into before.’

Voices from the Cloisters opens on Tuesday 11 June and runs until Saturday 28 September in the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library with normal admission charges applying. The exhibition is one of the first events within the Eastern Cloisters Project activity programme to help further understanding of the history of the Cloisters.


Banner image: View of the College from Thomas Dingley’s History from Marble (1685), printed for The Camden Society, London, 1867, page 200.


This exhibition is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is part of the Eastern Cloisters Project currently taking place at Hereford Cathedral. To find out more about the project, please click here.