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The Fratry Project

The Fratry Project Appeal: Bringing untold stories to life

Carlisle Cathedral has great stories to tell.

Do you know why one of the swords which was used to kill Thomas Becket was displayed in Carlisle Cathedral?

Why were five bays of the Cathedral nave pulled down in 1649?

Were Jacobites really imprisoned in the Cathedral as they awaited trial in 1747?

Is it true that Walter Scott was married in the Cathedral?

Life in this city, on the border with Scotland, was never dull and we want to tell these and many other stories of faith, hope and love on the frontier. We want to tell them better – and to everyone. The Fratry Project has been shaped to help us do this.



What is the Fratry?

We want to tell the Cathedral’s great stories better. The Fratry building at the heart of the Cathedral precinct will be the hub for this new work.

The main floor of the Fratry was the dining hall for the monks of the medieval Priory. Its Undercroft now houses the popular Prior’s Kitchen restaurant. But access to this wonderful building has always been hard for anyone who finds stairs difficult.

At last plans have been developed which give easy access to both floors of the building. Both floors will be re-fitted. The main floor will be equipped for learning activity and more space will be available for catering in the Undercroft. A new “cloister room” will help us welcome our visitors more easily and there will be much more accessible toilet provision.

Latest News January 2015

Carlisle Cathedral’s Fratry Project is back on track

Plans to create a multi-million pound heritage teaching and learning centre at Carlisle Cathedral are back on track.

It follows confirmation that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded it initial support, including development funding of £81,000 for its plans to develop world-class facilities in the Fratry building inside the Cathedral precinct.

This first grant means work can now take place to complete a new building design. This should lead to a second grant application of £1.8 million from the HLF within two years.

The Dean of Carlisle, the Very Revd Mark Boyling, said: “This really is good news for us as we begin the New Year. It is a wonderful vote of confidence in our hopes and plans for our buildings."  Click here to see the full press release.

How can I help?

We know that many people in Carlisle, across Cumbria and beyond love the Cathedral. We hope you will see this as a “once in a generation” project and as an opportunity we must not miss.

Will you help us make our hopes into a reality?

To find out more, please use the contact details below to get in touch, or download a donation and gift aid form available from the PDF Downloads section on this page.

Thank you.

The Project Administrator
The Fratry Project, Carlisle Cathedral Office
7 The Abbey, Carlisle CA3 8TZ
01228 548107 or email

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