Back near the entrance, at the west end of the church is the Galilee Chapel; begun in the 1170s, its light and exotic decoration is in imitation of the Great Mosque of Córdoba. The chapel contains the simple tombstone of the Venerable Bede, the Northumbrian monk credited with being England’s first historian. Bede died at the monastery of Jarrow in 735, and his remains were first transferred to the cathedral in 1020.
The Monks’ Dormitory and Treasures of St Cuthbert
A large wooden doorway opposite the cathedral’s main entrance leads into the spacious cloisters, flanked by what remains of the monastic buildings. On the right of the passage lies the Monks’ Dormitory with its original twelfth-century oak roof – it now houses the cathedral library. At the end of the passage, in the undercroft, the Treasures of St Cuthbert exhibition displays some striking relics, including the cathedral’s original twelfth-century lion-head Sanctuary Knocker (the one on the main door is a replica), and a splendid facsimile copy of the Lindisfarne Gospels (the originals are in the British Library in London). A couple of interesting audiovisual displays detail the history of the cathedral, too.