The 2006 Extreme Cello Cathedral Roof Tour

Between 24 July and 4 August 2006, The Extreme Cellists undertook their most demanding venture to date - the Extreme Cello Cathedral Roof Tour. During these 12 days, they visited all 42 Anglican Cathedrals in England to give a performance - mostly on the roofs*. 

*In 11 Cathedrals we played elsewhere to satisfy health & safety requirements 

This involved over 2400 miles of travelling (that's an average of nearly 200 miles a day), visiting almost every county in England, climbing countless stone spiral staircases, and lots of luck with the weather!



We started at Truro Cathedral on the morning of Monday 24 July. Our route took us through the South West of England, as far north as Worcester before heading East to cover the rest of the South Coast, before taking in London, East Anglia, the West Midlands, the East Midlands, South Yorkshire, the North West, Yorkshire & the North East, and finally finishing at Carlisle on the afternoon of Friday 4 August. Our complete itinerary was as follows:

Monday 24 July

Truro – Exeter – Wells – Bristol

Tuesday 25 July

Gloucester – Hereford – Worcester – Oxford

Wednesday 26 July

Salisbury – Winchester – Portsmouth – Guildford

Thursday 27 July

Chichester – Canterbury – Rochester – Southwark

Friday 28 July

St Paul ’s – St Alban’s – Chelmsford – St Edmundsbury

Saturday 29 July

Norwich – Ely – Peterborough

Sunday 30 July


Monday 31 July

Coventry - Birmingham – Lichfield

Tuesday 1 August

Derby – Southwell – Lincoln – Sheffield

Wednesday 2 August

Wakefield – Manchester – Chester – Liverpool

Thursday 3 August

Blackburn – Bradford – York – Ripon

Friday 4 August

Durham – Newcastle – Carlisle

Further details of where we played are available here. A map of our route is shown above: click on this if you want to see a larger version.

During the tour, we kept people updated via a daily blog - click here to read about the tour as it happened!

We also took lots of photos as we went around: photo galleries are available here.

To read more about our thoughts on the trip, including our ingenious Cathedral Rating System™, click here!


Why did we do this?

Yes, why did we do this? Well, there are two main reasons. Firstly, because we're mad, and we like a challenge! But secondly, and more importantly, because we want to raise money for two very worthwhile charities. These charities - Shelter and Aspire - have been chosen because both have names that are linked (loosely) with Cathedral roofs, and we are delighted to be able to support them.

Shelter is a charity that helps provide practical support and advice for homeless people, in particular helping to find them homes, and helps those with homes to keep them. Aspire is a charity that provides support and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury.

In total, we received £5,120 in donations - many thanks to everyone who supported us! 

Thanks & Acknowledgements

We could not have done this tour without the support of many, many people. In particular, we would like to thank:

  • The Dean and Chapter of every Cathedral for allowing us to give the performances (and in many cases greeting us personally)
  • All the other Cathedral staff who helped us - countless Administrators, Clerks of Works, Vergers, Press Officers and many others with different job titles; for your help on the tour and in setting it up
  • All our hosts during the tour for putting us up at night!
  • All our friends and family who have supported us before, during and after the tour!
  • Everyone who has sponsored us, and helped two great charities in the process
  • In particular, we would like to thank Accord Case, PIRASTRO Strings, and Aitchison and Mnatzaganian (Cello Makers, Restorers and Dealers) of Ely, for their generous support of our venture!


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