Chichester Cathedral is open all areas for one day only

For one day only, two normally closed areas of the Chichester Cathedral will be open to the public.

Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 12:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 1:57 pm
Chichester Cathedral SUS-180409-124415001

On Saturday September 8, visitors can see ‘behind the scenes’ at Chichester Cathedral free of charge from 1pm until 4pm, whilst they can also experience a rare ‘Vinegar Bible’.

A Chichester Cathedral statement read: “Each year the cathedral takes part in Heritage Open Days, England’s largest festival of history and culture, by offering visitors the chance to see ‘behind the scenes’.

“This year the event gives access to two historic areas of the cathedral normally closed to the public – the cathedral library and the song school.”

The Vinegar Bible printed by John Baskett in 1717. Picture contributed

Visitors to the library will be given a unique opportunity to see a rare copy of the ‘Vinegar Bible’, printed by John Baskett in 1717.

The statement added: “These versions of the King James Bible would have been very expensive and owned by royalty, and prominently displayed as a status symbol.

“But they were not intended to be read, which is why the Bibles were filled with typographical and typesetting errors, the most blatant being the chapter heading in Luke 20, verse 9, which reads ‘The Parable of the Vinegar’ instead of ‘The Parable of the Vineyard’ – hence the Bible’s nickname.”

The cathedral said they are ‘very grateful’ for the loan of the ‘fascinating and rare’ Bible which was brought to the cathedral library from Rye Parish Church in 1936 to ‘dry out’.

The cathedral said the library is also home to other rare books including an early text by Chaucer, several medieval manuscripts and an ‘intriguing’ book called the Kenilworth Missal from the 13th century.

Both the library and the song school can be found at the top of a spiral staircase in the cathedral.

No bookings are needed and ‘all are welcome’ to turn up,

For more information call 01243 782595 or visit

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