The Stunning Cathedral of Kingsbridge: A Look at its History and Beauty

Have you ever wanted to visit a cathedral that combines the history of two of England’s most iconic cathedrals? Then Kingsbridge Cathedral is the place for you! Located in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, it is a combination of elements from both Salisbury Cathedral and Wells Cathedral.

Kingsbridge Cathedral was originally created by author Ken Follett as part of his book, The Pillars of the Earth. He chose to set it in Marlborough, Wiltshire because he wanted to be able to reach Winchester, Gloucester, and Salisbury cathedrals within a few days on horseback. Follett based Kingsbridge Cathedral on the cathedrals of Wells and Salisbury and used CGI technology to create the final shot of the novel.

The cathedral itself is an impressive sight. It has two towers with spires reaching towards the sky, a central nave with side aisles on ether side and chapels running down either side. Inside there are beautiful stained glass windows depicting biblical stories and scenes from medieval life. The cathedral also contains several tombs and monuments that evoke a sense of awe as you explore them.

As well as being an impressive architectural feat, Kingsbridge Cathedral also has an impressive history. It was built during the 11th century when King William I brought Norman architecture to English churches. This period saw many changes in how churches were built which included larger windows, higher ceilings, more ornate decoration and even flying buttresses which can still be seen today at Kingsbridge Cathedral.

The most recent addition to Kingsbridge Cathedral is its organ which was installed in 2017. This new organ has been designed to make full use of the acoustic properties inside this magnificent building while still staying true to its original design.

Whether you are looking for somewhere special to visit or just want to explore one of England’s greatest cathedrals, Kingsbridge Cathedral should be at the top of your list!

Is Kingsbridge Cathedral an Actual Place?

No, Kingsbridge cathedral is not real. The iconic image of the cathedral featured in the novel and subsequent television adaptation of Ken Follett’s ‘The Pillars of the Earth’ is a combination of Salisbury Cathedral and Wells Cathedral, both located in England. Whilst neither cathedral is an exact replica of the fictional Kingsbridge, both have elements that were used as inspiration for Follett. The image seen in both adaptations is a CGI recreation and does not depict either Salisbury or Wells Cathedral.

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The Cathedral Shown at the End of Pillars of the Earth

At the end of Pillars of the Earth, we see a stunning shot of Kingsbridge Cathedral. This 12th-century Gothic-style cathedral is located in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England and serves as a major setting throughout the eight-part miniseries. The cathedral is depicted with its two towers reaching towards the sky and its intricate stone carvings standing out against a backdrop of rolling hills. Its impressive size and grandeur are emphasized through this final shot, representing how far the characters have come in their journey and how much they have accomplished.

The Real-Life Town That Inspired ‘Kingsbridge’

Kingsbridge is a fictional town created by author Ken Follett for his novel series, The Pillars of the Earth. While it is not based on any real-life town, the cathedral featured in the novel was inspired by both Wells Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral. Kingsbridge Cathedral has similar features to both of these cathedrals, such as its iconic central spire, but Follett also gave it unique elements such as its two towers and gargoyles. Follett chose to set the novel in Marlborough, Wiltshire due to its convenient location beteen Winchester, Gloucester and Salisbury—all of which can be reached within a few days on horseback.

The Oldest Cathedral in England

Canterbury Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in England. Founded in 597, it is one of the oldest and most important Christian structures in England. It has been the home of the symbolic leader of the Anglican Communion and Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for centuries. The cathedral is renowned for its iconic Norman architecture and its rich history, as it has been witness to many important religious events thrughout its long history. Inside the cathedral visitors can find priceless artifacts such as a 12th century crypt and a 15th century stained-glass window depicting scenes from the Bible. In addition, Canterbury Cathedral is also home to many religious artifacts, including an original copy of Magna Carta and a 12th century copy of the Gospel Book. The cathedral also houses several artworks from different eras, including sculptures by Henry Moore and tapestries by William Morris. With its grand architecture and deep spiritual significance, Canterbury Cathedral remains an unmissable landmark in England’s religious heritage.

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The Cathedral of Kingsbridge is a fictional structure, created by Ken Follett for his best-selling nvel The Pillars of the Earth. It combines elements from Salisbury and Wells Cathedrals, two great examples of medieval architecture which inspired Follett when writing the book. Despite its fictional origins, the Cathedral of Kingsbridge serves as a reminder of England’s rich history and culture, with its design drawing on centuries of religious heritage and awe-inspiring architecture. It stands in stark contrast to Canterbury Cathedral, England’s oldest Cathedral and home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, but nonetheless is an impressive example of how dedicated imagination can create a lasting impression.

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William Armstrong

William Armstrong is a senior editor with, where he writes on a wide variety of topics. He has also worked as a radio reporter and holds a degree from Moody College of Communication. William was born in Denton, TX and currently resides in Austin.