I hadn’t visited Birmingham Cathedral before, so we thought that we’d make a quick visit whilst passing by. It’s the third smallest cathedral in the country and it was originally constructed as St. Philip’s Church and was completed between 1711 and 1715. It was expected to cost £20,000, but the actual cost was only £5,000, a bargain of some size which civil engineers of today don’t usually deliver.
The population of Birmingham increased sharply during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but it was decided in the early twentieth century not to construct a new cathedral to cater for that enlarged congregation. Instead, the church was elevated to the status of cathedral in 1905 and there were no expansions of the building, although there were plans to revisit the decision at a future point. The cathedral was badly damaged during air-raids in the Second World War, but repairs were swiftly made and the Edward Burne-Jones stained glass windows, which had been placed into storage, were returned once again to the building.
It’s not the grandest of interiors for a cathedral, but it’s bright and welcoming.