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The Ancestors exhibition has now closed.

Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 16.00 and Sunday 12.30 – 15.00.This summer a collection of the Cathedral’s earliest and most important surviving examples of stained glass will go on public display.

The Ancestors exhibit a series of life-size figures representing the Ancestors of Christ, which date to the 12th and early 13th centuries.

These beautiful examples of medieval stained glass have been temporarily removed from the Cathedral’s Great South Window, while conservation work is carried out on its crumbling stonework.

Recent research indicates that amongst the late Romanesque glass there may even be a few survivors that pre-date the great fire of 1174. This would make them by far the oldest painted windows in Britain. Detailed examination has always been hard as such windows are installed at a high level. Their removal has created a unique opportunity to see the dazzling medieval art displayed at ground level.

After two hugely successful exhibitions in the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the exhibition now gives British and continental audiences the opportunity to ‘meet the Ancestors’ face-to-face, before they return to the re-built Great South Window later this year.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a number of Friday evening lectures.

The Ancestors will run daily from Monday 18 May – Sunday 23 August 2015. Opening times Monday – Saturday 10.00-16.00 hrs. Sunday 12.30 – 15.00 hrs, with the exception of:

Friday 26 June – closed all day for King’s School Serenade preparations

Saturday 27 June – exhibition opens at 11.15 hrs

Saturday 4 July – closed all day for Ordinations

Monday 13 – Saturday 18 July (incl)  – closed for University graduations

Saturday 8 August – closed for wedding

Entrance to the exhibition is free but Precinct charges will apply.

The Ancestors Exhibition has been made possible thanks to the support of a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous.

In the Press

Click below to view related coverage from the local, national and international media

BBC History Extra

The Guardian

BBC RADIO – The Sunday Programme (timings are 01:56 – 02:27 and the main item starts at 08:40 until 13:04)

BBC News – Online

ITV News

BBC South East News – lovely footage and commentary, starting at 18 mins and 35 seconds

FIRST LOOK: Canterbury Cathedral’s stunning stained glass windows up close 

Primary Times

The Ancestors – Canterbury Cathedral  St Peters School of English

The Ancestors at Canterbury Cathedral Visit Canterbury

The Ancestors Visit Kent

Kent History and Archaeology



The List


Jan Leeming – Blog

St Peters


Canterbury Times