The cathedral city of Ely lies about 14 miles north of Cambridge and, despite its city status, is home to only 20,000 people. Situated on an island at the highest point of the fens, it is still only 85 feet above sea level – a fact that has seen it fall victim to flooding on many occasions.
There is an ancient history of religious settlement in the town. In 672 AD Saint Ethelreda founded an abbey church there and the present cathedral dates back to 1083. Considered an architectural gem on account of both its scale and stylistic details, the cathedral’s most celebrated element is the octagonal tower which dominates the surrounding landscape.
Today, the cathedral continues to hold regular morning and evening services, whilst playing host to some quarter of a million visitors each year.