In 673 Etheldreda, Queen of Northumbria, founded a monastery on the Fenland Isle of Ely and was Abbess there until her death in 679. Work began on the present building in 1081, under the guidance of Abbott Simeon and was completed by 1189. The Cathedral is a fine example of Romanesque architecture and is within the walls of the Benedictine Monastery. A walk around the precincts reveals that Ely has the largest collection of medieval domestic buildings still in use in Europe. In addition to a look around the Cathedral (during which time you may like to join a guided tour or simply to explore the building in your own time) there is the opportunity to visit the shop, refectory and Almonry restaurant. You can also do a brass rubbing, take a tour of the Octagon Tower* or ascend the West Tower* for a fine view of the Fens, visit the Stained Glass Museum (housed within the Cathedral*). * means there is a separate charge. You may visit the college buildings and Prior Crauden's Chapel which remains, in Ely, a symbol of the Cathedral's monastic past to visit. Other attractions include Oliver Cromwell's House, the Ely museum and the waterside area.