Blackburn Cathedral

The Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin

Blackburn Cathedral
Blackburn Cathedral

The former Parish Church of Saint Mary the Virgin Blackburn was elevated to Cathedral status in 1926 when the Diocese of Blackburn was created. The Parish Church was originally built in 1826 and work that began in the 1930s completed during the late 1970s and the current Cathedral was consecrated.

About The Bells

Dedication: Cathedral Church of Saint Mary the Virgin
Bells: 10 bells. Tenor 25-1-14 (1.3 tonne) in D
Association: Lancashire Association / Blackburn Branch
Practice Night: Thursday 8pm to 9.30pm
Sunday Ringing: 09.50am to 10.30am
Address: Darwen Street, Blackburn. BB1 5AA

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Peals On The Bells

The Dean and Chapter encourage peals being rung on the bells and we always welcome enquiries. There is no fee for quarter peals and for a peal attempt there is a standard fee of £5 a rope. If you would like to book the bells then please let us know.

Most peals are rung on a Wednesday evening (with a 6pm start) and Sunday afternoons finishing with the bells rung down for the 4pm service.

How To Find The Cathedral

Recent changes (November 2015) in the one way system at the top end of Mincing Lane now require cars to turn left into King Street and then immediately right (Barton Street) and right again (Cardwell Place) to access Darwen Street via Astley Gate. If you are approaching from the west, Bank Top, then it is best to follow the road into Blackburn and carry straight on, when the roads turns right, into King Street. At the end of the one way section of King Street turn left into Barton Street and right into Cardwell Place to access Darwen Street via Astley Gate.

Find the Cathedral on Google Maps


When visiting the Cathedral the best places to park are:

  • on Darwen Street (pay and display) there are various bays in Darwen Street just down from the Market Street Lane junction and all the way down. Outside BBC Radio Lancashire is popular, but there are only a few spaces.
  • Saint Peter Street or Mill Lane (both pay and display)
  • During the week and a weekends there is a pay and display car park next to Fleming Square with the entrance at the top end of Mincing Lane. This car park charges £3 for 5 hours parking and it very close to the Cathedral.
  • I understand it is also possible to park at Morrisons for a small charge.

Since building work commenced in 2014 there is very limited parking available in the Cathedral grounds. You are politely requested not to park on the flags outside the west entrance.

For parking in the town centre I recommend the Visit Blackburn website. This provides details or car parks. There is a good quantity of on street parking available in Darwen Street and Saint Peter’s Street. Please check carefully as parking changes almost as often as the one way systems.

More About The Bells

The current bells were cast by John Taylor and Co of Loughborough and were installed in 1949. More details are shown below.

14-3-222' 3"F#In memory of W. E. Wilson, Ringer and Belfry Master 1887 - 1943. Also Edward Wilson 1933 - 1946. T. Wilson, Captain
25-1-162' 4 ½"EVivos voco, mortuos plango, fulgura frango (I call the living, I mourn the dead, I overpower the thunder)
35-3-82' 6"DLaudo Deum, plebum voco, congrego clerum, defunctos ploro, pestem fugo, festa decoro (I praise God, I call the people, I assemble the clergy, I lament the departed, I drive away the plague, I proclaim the feasts)
46-1-122' 7"C#Funera plango, fulgura frango, Sabbata pango (I tell funerals, I subdue the thunder, I declare the Sabbath)
57-0-252' 9"BExcito lentos, dissipo ventos, paco cruentos (I hasten the tardy, I scatter the winds, I pacify the angry)
68-1-62' 11"ANomen Jesu Christie, tu attendas er defendas (O name of Jesus Christ, turn Thou and succor us)
710-1-73' 2 ½"GTe laudamus et rogamus; nos a morte tristi (We praise thee and we pray; deliver us from sad death). 1949
812-1-223' 5"F#This belfry was restored and the clock, with chimes, renewed in 1949. T. Stirrup, J. W. Wilson, J. L. Heppard, V. J. Abbott, Churchwardens.
917-2-233' 10"EIn memory of those of this congregation and diocese who gave their lives in the war 1939-45.
1025-1-144' 4"DThis peal was recast and enlarged in 1949, while extensions to the Cathedral were being made. W. Hare, Treasurer, Cathedral Fabric Funds from 1934, and of the Bishopric in 1926.

Prior to 1949 the Cathedral had a ring of ten bells 15cwt in F. The back six were cast by Rudhall of Gloucester and four trebles were added in 1852 cast by Mears & Co of Whitechapel Bell Foundry, London.

Hear & See The Bells Ringing