The Diocese of Truro was established in 1876 and its first bishop, Bishop Edward White Benson, was consecrated at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1877. Truro was not the only candidate for the siting of the cathedral - Bodmin had been the medieval ecclesiastical centre of Cornwall, while the original Cornish See of St Germans also put forward a claim. The vicar of St Columb also offered his church! Designed by the leading Gothic Revival architect John Loughborough Pearson, the building of the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as Truro Cathedral, began in 1880. Truro was the first Anglican cathedral to be built on a new site since Salisbury Cathedral in 1220. For over 650 years no one had attempted to emulate the great cathedral builders of the medieval era, and it was uncertain if there was enough money to complete the enormous project.
The first two Foundation Stones were laid on 20th May 1880 by the Duke of Cornwall, later King Edward VII. Two Foundation Stones were laid - one as a symbolic act of faith as there were not enough funds to complete building the cathedral. The central tower was finished by 1905 and the building was completed with the opening of the two western towers in 1910.
Today, Truro Cathedral is seen as a triumph of Gothic Revival Architecture and it’s magnificent spires are seen soaring above the city’s skyline.