Katharine of Aragon Festival

27 - 30 January 2022

The Katharine of Aragon Festival commemorates 29th January 1536, when Henry VIII's first wife was buried at Peterborough Cathedral after her death in exile at Kimbolton Castle. She lies in the Cathedral to this day.

Thursday 27th January 2022

Canon Tim Alban Jones7.30pm, online via Zoom
Sacred Music from Katharine of Aragon’s Time

Canon Tim Alban Jones will take us on an audio tour of the music that would have been sung in church services at the Tudor Court, introducing each piece of music and pausing for questions at the end.

Tickets: £7 per viewing + booking fee. The Zoom link will be sent to ticket holders by email on the day of the event. BOOK NOW

Friday 28th January 2022

8.30am, Mass
A Roman Catholic service attended by local congregations. 

11am, Commemoration Service with Wreath Laying (photo on left)
The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, will lead a service of commemoration with readings, prayers and wreaths laid by dignitaries on Katharine’s tomb. 

All welcome, no need to book. Around 30 mins. 
Please note our Covid guidelines for worshippers.

Peterborough Museum2pm, Tudor Peterborough Walk

Meet at Peterborough Museum
Explore Peterborough’s historic city centre with a costumed guide and find out what the city was like during the time of Katharine of Aragon.
Tickets: £6 (£4 under 16s). 01733 864663. Around 60 mins.

Book tickets for the Tudor Peterborough Walk here - sold out

5.30pm, Vespers
Worship in a form that would have been familiar in Tudor times, sung by the Cathedral Choir. All welcome. Around 40 mins.

6.30pm, Cathedral Open Evening
Following Vespers the Cathedral will remain open for visitors to drop in and take time to enjoy the special atmosphere of the building at night.

Candles will be lit and there will be background music to listen to. It is a great opportunity to take photos or simply to sit quietly. The Open Evening ends at 8.30pm, when visitors are invited to take a seat ready to hear Compline sung.

All welcome. A drop-in event, no need to book. Donations invited.

9pm, Compline
A service at the close of the day, sung by the Cathedral Choir. Like Vespers, Compline would have been part of the daily Divine Office observed by the monks of Peterborough Abbey. All welcome. Around 40 mins.

Saturday 29th January 2022

10am, Family Service
A short service especially for families with children to commemorate Katharine of Aragon. We will explore her faithfulness, love for her husband, her peaceful heart and her forgiveness. During the service there will also be an opportunity to make a gift for Katharine to lay at her tomb. All welcome. Around 30 mins.

Please note booking is required for this service (free of charge, general admission not a reserved seat)

10am – 4pm, At Home with the Tudors 
Travel back in time to the 1500s, with a chance to meet Tudor characters at Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery. Mind your manners with a Tudor lady, try period food, and find out all about life in the times of Katharine of Aragon. There will also be family craft activities with a Tudor theme.
Tickets: £4 adults, £3 concessions, £12 families, under 5s Free. This is a drop-in event, so there’s no need to pre-book.


11am, 1pm and 2pm, Old Scarlett Tours
This family-friendly tour of the Cathedral will be led by ‘Old Scarlett', the Tudor gravedigger.

He lived to be 98 and buried both Katharine of Aragon and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Children receive a free copy of the ‘Monks, Mischief & Marauders’ activity book.

Tickets: £3.50 per person, £12 family (2 adults 2 children) + booking fee Around 60 mins. 
11am BOOK NOW    1pm BOOK NOW    2pm BOOK NOW


A stone spiral staircase11am and 2pm, Upper Levels and Tower Tours
Explore the fascinating upper levels of the Cathedral.

A knowledgeable guide will lead you in this popular tour of the building.

Visitors will emerge at the top to take in the views across the city from the central tower (weather permitting).

Ages 8+. Please read the Conditions for Tower Tours.

Tickets: £15 per person + booking fee Allow 2 hours. 11am BOOK NOW   2pm BOOK NOW

A guide in Tudor costume11.30am and 2.30pm, Tudor Cathedral Tours

A tour of the Cathedral with the focus on its Tudor history, led by a guide in period costume.

Tickets: £8 per person + booking fee Around 90 mins. 11.30am BOOK NOW   2.30pm BOOK NOW


John White, performance historian, as King Henry VIII

7pm, Conflict between Church and State: An audience with King Henry VIII

The year is 1542 and His Majesty, King Henry VIII, despite increasing age, is again engaged upon Royal Progress about his realm. His Majesty is in contemplative mood with the events of recent years weighing heavily upon him: the annulment of his marriage to Katherine of Aragon, the break with Rome, the dissolution of the monasteries, the revolt in the north. 

In the course of the ‘Audience’ His Majesty (also known as actor John White) will invite his loyal subjects to petition him, or to ask of him a question: a lively Question and Answer session is assured!

This event will also be online.

Tickets: £12.50 per person attending at the Cathedral, or £10 per online viewing + booking fee. Suitable for ages 12 +. Around 60 mins.

Sunday 30th January 2022

Services take place at Peterborough Cathedral at 8am, 9.15am, 10.30am and 3.30pm. All are welcome.

2pm, Tudor Peterborough Walk
Details as Friday 28th January above.

10am – 4pm, At Home with the Tudors 
Details as Saturday 29th January above.

Tickets and Guidelines

TICKETS: Follow this link to book tickets for festival events (except for 'Tudor Walk' tickets - see below). Please read our Ticket Terms and Conditions before purchase.

WORSHIP GUIDELINES: When attending a service, please note our Covid guidelines for worshippers.

EVENT ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES: When attending an event, please note our Current visiting and event attendance guidelines.

Download the Katharine of Aragon Festival 2022 leaflet.

Click here to read more about Katherine of Aragon

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