Dinosaurs Roar in to Peterborough Cathedral

At last, from Monday 18th July 2022 at 12 noon, dinosaurs from the Natural History Museum will be on show to the public at Peterborough Cathedral.

The touring exhibition T.rex: The Killer Question will be displayed in the iconic 900-year-old-building throughout the school summer holidays, until 3rd September 2022. In it you can see roaring and moving animatronic dinosaur scenes, a 12-metre-long static model of a T. rex and a life-size replica of a T. rex skeleton.

The medieval Cathedral location will be the last chance to see the exhibition in its current form. Having toured internationally for 15 years and been seen by more than 3 million people, T.rex: The Killer Question it is to be retired by the Natural History Museum as a touring exhibition.  

The exhibition poses the killer question: Was T.rex a ferocious hunter or a mere scavenger? Viewers can compare the behaviour of several different dinosaur species with T.rex to see what they can learn. Visitors will be able to look at the evidence, decide whether they think T.rex was a predator or a scavenger, then cast their vote.

Activities during the exhibition include ‘Dino Window Wednesdays’ at St John’s Church on Cathedral Square. These free drop-in sessions, organised jointly by the Church and the Cathedral, are for families to enjoy a ‘stained glass’ craft activity and refreshments.

There will also be a short series of talks in late August, picking up some Other Killer Questions raised by the exhibition. On 23rd August, Tony Juniper, CEO of Natural England will talk on ‘What is really happening to our planet’? Then on 30th August, Canon Andy Bryant of Norwich Cathedral will tackle the question ‘In the beginning God created… dinosaurs?’ A special podcast in the acclaimed GodPod series is also being prepared for release on 5th August, picking up some of the questions posed by visitors after seeing the exhibition.

The Very Revd Chris Dalliston, Dean of Peterborough, said:

“We’ve been planning for this exhibition since 2019 but nothing quite prepares you for the sight of these spectacular models in the historic, sacred space of the Cathedral. We hope that people, particularly families during the summer holidays, will come to be entertained and be fascinated by the sheer scale, not just of the dinosaurs but also the Cathedral itself and the God that inspired people to build it.”

Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum said:

“I am delighted to see our T.rex: The Killer Question exhibition reaching new audiences in the magnificent setting of Peterborough Cathedral. Visitors of all ages will undoubtedly enjoy delving into the history of this fascinating theropod in this engaging exhibition. I hope this will inspire them to find out more about natural history and to become an advocate for nature at a truly critical time for our planet.”

Entry to the exhibition is by timed ticket and booking in advance is recommended to avoid queueing at the ticket desk in the Cathedral. Tickets are £6 for children, £8 for adults or £25 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children, or 1 adult and up to 4 children). You can book online at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/cathedral-dinos.

The Cathedral is particularly grateful to the companies which are supporting the exhibition through practical help or financial contributions, including Anglian Compressors, Elite Electrical, Optimum Electrics, Gap Lifting, The Peterborough School, Henson Crisp, Speed Agency and Ecclesiastical.

Changes for general Cathedral visitors

During the T.rex exhibition, the nave will be the only part of the Cathedral open for sightseeing, but additional guided tours will give the opportunity to explore the Cathedral’s fascinating history at the upper levels and outside. Upper Level and Tower Tours take place at numerous times during July and August, and outdoor Precincts Tours take place on selected dates during August.

The Sprite Chapel will continue to be available for quiet prayer and the daily pattern of worship will continue at its usual times throughout the exhibition. The location of some services will change, so do ask on arrival or check details on the Cathedral website.

Events during T.rex: The Killer Question
18th July to 3rd September 2022

Activities and events that could be combined with a trip to see the T.rex exhibition.


Upper Level and Tower tours
Selected Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays at 10am, 11.45am or 2pm

Alice in Wonderland
Thursday 28th July at 2pm
Outside in the Cloisters

The Jungle Book
Saturday 30th July at 3pm
Outside in the Cloisters

Saturday 30th July at 7.30pm
Outside in the Cloisters


Precincts Tours
Selected Thursdays and Saturdays, plus Bank Holiday Monday during August, at 11.00am

Dino Window Wednesdays
Wednesdays 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st August, from 10am to 12 noon
At St Johns Church on Cathedral Square
A free, drop-in event for families, run jointly by St John’s Church and Peterborough Cathedral. Enjoy refreshments and help make some dinosaur-themed ‘stained glass’ windows to hang in St John’s. No ticket needed

Upper Level and Tower tours
Selected dates, usually 10am, 11.45am or 2pm

The Three Musketeers
Friday 19th August at 6.30pm
Outside in the Cloisters

Your Killer Questions: GodPod tackles your dino questions
5th August 2022
Podcast, available free via sptc.htb.org/godpod
Described as a “quintessentially British podcast…  comprised of three top theologians answering listener’s questions over tea and biscuits”, GodPod is a regular podcast from St Mellitus theological college. The three contributors, Graham TomlinMike Lloyd and Jane Williams will be joined by Canon Steve Benoy of Peterborough Cathedral to chew over some of the questions raised by visitors to T.rex: The Killer Question. Got a question? Email it to canon.missioner@peterborough-cathedral.org.uk by 24th July.

The Killer Question: What’s really happening to our planet?
Tuesday 23rd August at 7.30pm
Peterborough Cathedral
Tony Juniper, CEO of Natural England and author of What’s Really Happening to Our Planet will review the current state of the planet and the way in which our unchecked human activity could change the world forever. Drawing on insights from globally respected scientists, states people, cultural leaders and thinkers, he will offer fresh perspectives on how we can begin to reverse the damage caused by the recent dramatic increase in human population and consumption. The talk will be hosted by Dr Pete Brotherton, Natural England’s Director of Specialist Services and Programmes, who is also Environment Adviser to the Bishop of Peterborough.  It will be followed by questions from the audience.
Tickets: £10 per person + booking fee. Includes a glass of wine or soft drink during the evening.

The Killer Question: In the beginning God created… dinosaurs?
Tuesday 30th August at 7.30pm
Peterborough Cathedral
How big is God? The Revd Canon Andy Bryant, Canon for Mission and Pastoral Care at Norwich Cathedral, will explore the huge questions raised by the discovery of dinosaurs, creatures who lived before human life existed, so long ago that we can hardly imagine it. How do we expand our thinking to encompass such a vast perspective of space and time? What kind of God creates on such a scale and in such detail, and what does this tell us about where human beings fit in? These are topics that Andy Bryant has given much thought to, inspired by Dippy the Dinosaur’s visit to Norwich Cathedral during 2021. The talk will be followed by questions from the audience.
Tickets: £10 per person + booking fee. Includes a glass of wine or soft drink during the evening.

You might also enjoy a visit the Extinction exhibition on show at Peterborough Museum, a short walk from the Cathedral.