It was begun during the reign of King Henry I by the first Bishop of Carlisle, the Englishman Athelwold (1133-1155), who built a moderate-sized Norman minster of which the transepts and part of the nave still exist. The present cathedral has fine examples of stone tracery, mediæval stained glass, paintings and carvings. The building is made of red sandstone, which due to local weather at some places appears black.
Rev. C. Arthur Lane Illustrated Notes on English Church History (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1901)