According to legend, Paulinus, missionary archbishop of York is said to have founded a church in Southwell in 627 AD.
A church was founded on the Minster's site in 956 AD; apart from the tessellated floor, the only other remaining part of this Saxon church is the tympanum (lintel) over the North transept's doorway which dates from the late 11th century.
In 1234 the Norman Quire was replaced with the current one which is Early English Gothic.
The exceptional Chapter House was built in 1286.
The church was severely damaged by Oliver Cromwell's troops during the English Civil War of the mid-16th century.
The church was damaged by fire in 1711.
In 1884 Southwell Minster became the cathedral for the newly formed Diocese of Southwell.
In 1881 the distinctive pyramidal lead spires were added to the west towers; they are known locally as 'pepperpots' but in fact are Rhenish caps and are unique in Britain.
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