The BISHOP'S PALACE stands south-west of the
cathedral and is, in the main, of a half-H-shaped plan
with the wings extending to the south. There are
also projections to the north-west angle and to the
south-east (the 'great kitchen'). From the last is a
long range of outbuildings extending southwards to
the gatehouse which stands at the west end of Canon
Lane. (fn. 1) The building has undergone many vicissitudes, with the consequence that the precise history of
its development is obscured by the later repairs and
There are some slight indications of a 12th-century
origin in the south wall of the 'great kitchen'; some
windows there may have lighted a basement or a lowlying chamber which has been lost in the subsequent
buildings. Otherwise the earliest remains are those
of the chapel at the east end of the main block. This
is of early-13th-century date, and may possibly have
been built or begun at least by Bishop Seffrid II
(d. 1204). It is recorded that the bishop's house was
burnt in the fire of 1187 (fn. 2) and that Seffrid rebuilt his
houses in the palace. (fn. 3) These details of the chapel
approximate closely to those of the south porch of
the cathedral, but may be a little later, as there is no
touch of the Norman carving to be seen in the porch.
The form of the building which existed side by side
with the chapel is uncertain, but there appears to
have been west of the chapel a lobby or passageway
which may have been of only one story, and west of
that a great hall some 84 ft. long and somewhat wider
than the chapel. Its walls still remain, but no
windows or other details have survived. Under the
present roof, however, can be seen its original east
gable head with a cross at the apex.
The walls of the chapel are complete without the
lobby or passage, and there are indications that the
north-west angle of the chapel had a buttress on its
west face as well as on the north face. If so, this
west buttress must have risen above the lower lobby.
Therefore it is probable that while the west gable
of the chapel was free, the east gable of the great hall
was also free above the lobby, and there do not appear
to be any traces on its east face of the abutment of a
roof against it.
The walls of the square hall known as the 'Great
Kitchen' may be also of the 13th century or earlier
date, but its roof is probably unique so that it is
not possible to fix its age by comparison with any
parallel example. The arches of the upper part of
the framing are not unlike those of St. Mary's Hospital
in the city, but the manner in which they are carried
on braced trusses or hammerbeams suggests an
advanced piece of engineering more likely to occur in
the 15th than the 13th century.
There was a reconstruction or remodelling of the
chapel in the 14th century, probably the work of
Bishop John Langton (1305–1337), when the windows
in the east wall and north wall (except the westernmost) were altered. This was probably contemporary
with the addition of a north-east wing which afterwards became the chancellor's lodgings. There
appears to have been no cause for alteration to the
south windows of the chapel: from this it may be
inferred that there already existed some building
against this side between the chapel and the 'great
Late in the 14th or early in the 15th century the
great hall was provided with a new roof; it is somewhat after the same style as that over the cloister,
but the central purlin is of an earlier section than that
over the east walk. As this roof was made higher
than the original gable, it is probable that the hall
was then made into a two-storied structure instead of
one. (fn. 4)
The south-west wing may have been added in the
15th century, and perhaps the south-east wing to
match. The former was remodelled by Bishop
Robert Sherburne (1508–1536), who may have had
the upper floor inserted for his fine painted ceiling,
the work of the Bernardis. The south-east wing
flanking the west side of the 'great kitchen' shows
now no detail earlier than the 17th century.
A wing was thrown out to the north of the main
block at the west end. It may have been added by
Bishop Sherburne; if so, the fact that it was of red
brick, whereas the south-west wing is of flint and stone,
would seem to confirm the pre-existence of the latter.
On the other hand, it may not have been built until
after the Reformation, when it was desired to provide
quarters for the female members of the household.
The wing as well as the earlier north-east wing were
subsequently destroyed, probably after the siege of
1643; only a fragment of the north-east wing remains,
and a portion of the red brick building which was
patched up in the 17th century.
There is an inscription that Bishop Edward Waddington had found the palace in a ruinous condition, and had restored it in 1727; also an additional
inscription that Bishop John Buckner had also restored
and altered the building in 1800.
Waddington. Argent a cheveron between three martlets gules.
Buckner. Gules a clasped book open between three bucks' beads razed or.
The difference between the works of the two
bishops is not altogether apparent, but doubtless the
former was responsible for the arcaded corridor on
the south front, and the latter for the fenestration and
for the partial destruction of the south side of the
great hall roof for the insertion of attic bedrooms.
Probably both are responsible for further additions
on the north side for the servants' quarters. The
main staircase north of the south-west wing (dining
room) is Waddington's work. Various repairs and
alterations have been carried out also during the last
century. The roofs throughout are tiled.
The Chapel (about 40 ft. by 19 ft.) stands east of
the main block. The east window is of three trefoiled
ogee-headed lights and net tracery of the 14th century
on a two-centred head; it has chamfered jambs and
a partly hollow chamfered arch; the internal splays
are plain: the pointed rear-arch is hollow-chamfered.
On either side of it are the remains of the outer
lancets of the original 13th-century triplet. Externally all that is now seen are the straight joints of the
outer jambs and parts of the moulded pointed arches;
the 'hold-water' base of the southernmost shaft has
also been revealed. Internally the southern nookshaft is visible, with its capital carved with 'stiffleaf' foliage and having a moulded square abacus,
and its 'hold-water' base; also rather more than
half of the moulded rear-arch. At the angles—
completely exposed on the north-east—are 13thcentury clasping buttresses of ashlar, and below the
window is a 13th-century string-course stopping at
The walling is Quarr Abbey stone and some flint.
The filling-in of the 13th-century lancets is mainly of
flints with some square stones.
The gable head has been altered and heightened in
16th-century red brick, and is crow-stepped. In it
are two brick-built loops and, lower, another one not
central. It is flanked by pointed pinnacles.
In the north wall are four windows. The eastern
three are each of three cinquefoiled lights and leaf
tracery of the 14th century: the sections of the jambs
and head are like those of the east window. The
westernmost window is one of the original 13th-century windows. It was covered by the 14th-century north-east wing (chancellor's lodgings), and
therefore remained unaltered. It has shafted jambs
inside and out and a pointed head, the arch and rear-arch being moulded with rounds and hollows as in
the east window. The north wall has two intermediate buttresses between the first and second and
second and third windows, of which the east has been
added and the west enlarged recently. At the west
end of the wall is another 13th-century shallow
buttress with the string-course carried round it, and
next to it a strip of cement and straight joint, which
appears to indicate a former similar buttress against
the west wall of the chapel.
In the south wall of the chapel are four original
windows of the 13th century, but the three eastern
are blocked and the westernmost has the sill raised
for the south doorway. This window is masked
outside by one of the 18th-century sash windows.
The doorway is round-headed and of three moulded
orders: the outer two are carried on Purbeck marble
shafts which stand free of the splayed jambs and
have stone foliated capitals and 'hold-water' bases
as well as moulded sub-bases. The mouldings bear a
close resemblance to those of the south porch of the
cathedral, but the keeled edge-rolls are well contoured.
The innermost order has a roll-and-hollow mould
continued from the jambs. The internal reveals and
segmental rear-arch are of square section. In it is
an old battened door with 18th-century framing or
rib-work planted on the face, and old half-round
ledges inside. On the south face of the wall only the
lower lines of the blocked windows can be seen
(towards the entrance-passage).
The chapel is vaulted in two sexpartite bays so
that the wall-ribs form four pointed arches against
the north and south walls. The main cross-rib is of a
moulded square section with a keeled edge-roll and
rolls and hollows, while the radial ribs are of a less
definite group of hollows and rounds. They spring
from carved capitals with moulded round Purbeck
marble abaci and rather tall pointed corbels of stone
well carved in tiers of trefoiled or cinquefoiled leaves.
The arches of the wall-ribs are stilted and the webbing
undercut to clear the side windows. While the
wall-ribs against the west wall form a good two centred arch, the arch against the east wall is semicircular, or even less, to clear the heads of the triplet
of lights. The two central bosses are carved with
In the east window of the chapel are a number of
medallions or panels of the arms of the bishops, but
the only really old one appears to be the uppermost
in the south light, which bears the arms of Bishop
Sherburne set inside out and reversed—a lion quartering a pelican—and the motto operibus cred. The top
shield in the middle light is faded and may be old.
The glass in the quatrefoils of the tracery is of the
time of Bishop Sherburne and his successor, Richard
Sampson: in the top is a Tudor rose in a shaped
frame, under a crown. In the north quatrefoil is a
shield in a garter, charged with the arms (with many
quarterings) of Sir Anthony Browne, K.G., 1540.
Bishop's Palace: Screen at West End of Chapel
In the south quatrefoil also in a garter is the quartered shield of Sir William Fitzwilliam, K.G., 1526,
who was created Earl of Southampton in 1537.
On the south wall is a delicately tinted painting of
the Virgin and Child. The Virgin is represented
seated on a throne: she is wearing a pink robe
powdered with fleurs-de-lis and is crowned: she holds
in her right hand an orb and sceptre and with left is
supporting the Child, who stands on her knee. On
either side are censing angels: the background is blue
powdered with fleurs-de-lis. The crown, the Child's
nimbus, the orb and sceptre and the fleurs-de-lis, etc.,
are gilded. It is surrounded by a quatrefoil within
a roundel which is 2 ft. 7 in. in diameter, and is
evidently of early to mid 13th-century date. There
are also two painted consecration crosses: one under
the first vault-corbel is of 1 ft. diameter and has eight
flowered arms (white) and two rings (yellow) with red
infilling; the other, under the second vault-corbel,
is of 9¼ in. diameter and is of more simple character:
it has four flowered arms and one ring. In the south
wall is a piscina with a deep round basin of twenty
foils: it is set on a rectangular recess which has
chamfered jambs with broach stops and a thin Purbeck marble lintel.
The western half-bay has an early-14th-century oak
screen across it. It has a pair of doors in the middle.
The lower half of the screen and doors is closepanelled; the upper half is open with trefoiled ogeeheaded bays and tracery: the arches are carried on
turned-round posts with moulded capitals and bases.
There are eight bays to the north half, two to each
leaf of the doorway, and six and a half bays on the
south half; three south of the doorway are normal
like the north half: next these is a square post, south
of which are the other three and a half bays. The
southernmost round post or baluster, and the half
balusters against the south side of the intermediate
square post, the north side of the north door-post, and
the north half-baluster of the north leaf, are all of
17th-century turned mouldings, the others are original.
The moulded rails of the fixed parts are original, the
cornice is modern.
The paving is modern wood blocks, but at the sides
west of the altar step are some ancient tiles set
diagonally, green glazed alternating with red tiles
6½ in. square. The altar-pace has modern mosaic.
On the west wall is a brass inscription recording that
Bishop Charles John Ridgeway (1908–1919) had
restored the chapel. The west lobby or antechamber of the chapel, which was probably of one
story originally, has now a brick barrel-vault. It is
divided into two cellars. In the south wall is a round
arched recess which may have been a doorway, and in
the north wall there appears to have been another
doorway of which there is a late-14th or early-15thcentury label in position outside. The recess formed
by the walling-up of this doorway contains a window.
The lower story of the wall outside is cemented, but the
upper story is a mixture of flints and other materials,
evidently a later work. In the east wall of this chamber, seen in the north cellar, are some stone quoins
and part of a semicircular arch suggesting a blocked
doorway which once opened into the chapel: there
are no visible traces of it in the chapel.
The range of rooms occupying the site of the great
hall are divided by partition-walls which have little
or nothing to indicate their age, but in the ceilings
are ovolo-moulded beams running both ways, which
are probably of late-16th or early-17th-century date.
There appears to have been a fairly large doorway at
the east end of the north wall of the hall, judging from
the patching of small flints and stone seen outside.
In this patching or filling-in is a modern doorway to
a passage-way. The wall-face west of this is of
The upper story of the north wall has been a great
deal altered. The walling of mixed material over the
former lobby or antechamber to the chapel contains
a modern window, and next west of this is a corbelledout brick chimney-stack of early-17th-century brick,
and again west of that at the top of the wall can be
seen six quoin-stones of the former north-east angle
of the great hall, forming a straight joint with the
later masonry: below the quoins the angle is lost
in a patching of flints. Farther west there are late17th or early-18th-century windows with wood frames
and transoms and an 18th-century projecting brick
The south front of the main block has a projecting
one-story corridor built by Bishop Waddington
(1724–31). It has a range of nine round arches; the
westernmost two are walled up; one is fitted as a
doorway and the others fitted with windows.
The main wall of the first floor has five irregularly
spaced tall sash windows, the easternmost masking
the 13th-century window of the chapel. The walling
is of stone rubble with brick dressings to the windows,
and patches of red brick repairs. The second floor
has a similar range of windows of less height. The
rooms on the first floor have little or nothing of age
except a high dado of 17th-century panelling along the
north passage. In two of the attic chambers are
remains of a late-14th or early-15th-century roof
obviously later than the gable with the cross. They
consist of arched braces to common rafters and a
moulded central purlin or ridge piece which is also
central with the gable. Those on the south side have
been mostly cut away in the later alterations to the
south front. In the north passage which runs alongside the rooms the curved timbers are plastered.
In the room east of the gable are some re-used
timbers of the 15th century or earlier. One horizontal timber is moulded and set upside down as a
kind of purlin: this is of the 14th century. Another
is an upright with two shafts worked on it, and with
moulded bases (now at the top); it may be part of a
The attic-passage is lighted by three dormer windows and the bedrooms by the sash windows seen
on the south elevation.
The south-west wing is built of flints with stone
dressings and has an embattled parapet of red brick
of the 18th century. The west side has a deep projecting chimney-stack, the lower part of which is of
flint with stone quoins. The top has a crow's-step
gable in red brick, and above that is a modern shaft.
There are two windows in the west wall which have
moulded jambs and sub-cusped cinquefoiled heads
and (inside) moulded and panelled splays and fourcentred rear-arches. The jambs are old (early 16th
century), but the mullions and some other portions
are modern restoration. At the south end of the wall
was a similar window, but this has been walled up.
There are two modern windows of the same design
in the east wall and one in the south. The upper
windows are similar.
The dining room is divided from the stair hall at
the north end by an old timber-framed partition and
has a moulded four-centred doorway at its west end.
At the other end is an 18th-century doorway. The
fireplace in the west wall has moulded jambs and a flat
four-centred arch in a square head. The spandrels
are carved with Tudor roses and foliage. Above it
is a broad plain frieze and a moulded cornice breaking
forward over flanking pilasters and having a central
corbel-head. The flat ceiling is divided into four bays
by three rather elaborately moulded beams; the
mouldings are matched in the cornice.
Each bay is subdivided by moulded ribs into eight
panels which have rounded corners and duo-foils with
foliated cusp-points. The spandrels in the rounded
corners are filled with various kinds of carving, foliage,
pelicans, etc., and foiled tracery.
All the thirty-two panels are painted, the work of
the Bernardis. Every alternate panel has a large
Tudor rose and the initials K. H. The others are
painted with initials and shields of arms, among which
can be distinguished Sherburne, Mowbray, Maltravers,
West, Mortimer, Knill and Croft.
The staircase north of the dining room, of c. 1727,
has comparatively thin spiral balusters and cut strings
(or ends of the steps) carved with foliage. The upper
chamber of the wing was altered in the 18th century.
South of the chapel is a stone-paved passage from the
east entrance. It has old joists in the ceiling and low
gabled trusses at the east end. In it can be seen the
lower lines of the blocked 13th-century windows to
the chapel. A doorway in the south wall opens into
the south-east wing. This wing, which practically
coincides in length with the south-west wing, flanks
the west side of the 'great kitchen.' The walls
(partly covered with creeper) are of flints. The south
end appears to have been gabled but was heightened
in the 18th century in rubble and brick to an embattled
parapet as on the south-west wing. In the south wall
is a modern five-light window to the lowest story; a
three-light square-headed window to the second floor
appears to be old, probably 17th century. In the
west wall each of the two floors has a range of 17thcentury two-light windows with moulded jambs
and mullions and plain square heads. They have
all been much restored. The wing is divided into
two chambers and passage-ways. They have stopchamfered cross-beams in the ceiling of the 17th
In the east wall (the west wall of the 'great
kitchen') is a blocked doorway of stone with moulded
jambs and the damaged remains of a cinquefoiled
segmental-pointed arch; it is probably of late-13thcentury date. Farther south is a modern fireplace
and next it a low ashlar buttress with a V-shaped face,
against a higher shallow buttress, probably of the
13th century. This is the only buttress of the kind
in the palace, the others to the 'great kitchen' being
The chamber known as the 'Great Kitchen' is
about 34 ft. square inside, and is built mostly of flint
and rubble with dressed angles outside. It is entered
at the west end of the north wall by a modern brickframed doorway, which is fitted with an old oak frame
with stop-chamfered posts and chamfered lintel.
Farther east is a large window with old splays of
dressed masonry but fitted with a modern wood
In the east wall are modern framed windows and a
doorway, but some of these seem to be in older openings. There are two square buttresses to this wall
and one against the north wall.
The south wall outside is more or less in line with
that of the south-east wing; in it is a blocked doorway or archway with a segmental-pointed head and
next eastward of this is a small round-headed window
which is half below the ground level. This window
may be of the 12th century and must have lighted a
lower chamber than the 'kitchen.' Inside, the wall
has a modern projecting fireplace behind which are
indefinite traces of a former large fireplace. East of
it is a rough recess apparently the back of a former
In the west wall, at the south end, is a former
square-headed window with quoined splays: it is
filled in with brick to form a recess down to the
floor, the part below the former sill-level having brick
splays. Northward is a recess formed by another
blocked window of less height than the first, which
has old square jambs with large quoins and a segmental-pointed chamfered arch of fairly small
voussoirs, that has also been filled in with brickwork. There is little to indicate the age of these
windows; the second may very well have been of the
14th century or earlier. Farther north of this is the
outline of the former foiled doorway to be seen on the
west face of the wall. It is filled in flush with stone
and flint and has a segmental-pointed arch of fairly
thin voussoirs, and it is higher than the blocking
south of it. Above it is a rough relieving arch.
Reset in the wall north of the doorway is a headcorbel or label-stop, apparently a 13th-century king.
The upper part of this wall appears once to have been
pierced by a large window of which the lower jambstones remain in place. On either side of it are patchings indicating smaller windows. The top part of
the wall is of whitewashed brick.
The roof has a central framing of purlins, about 18 ft.
square, which is carried on square posts at the angles
and between the posts are braces forming pointed
arches, one in each side. Each post, instead of rising
from the floor in the usual manner, is supported, just
below the springing-line of the arches, on the conjoined ends of two hammer-beams at right angles
to each other and sloping slightly upwards from the
walls. These form parts of cantilever trusses with
wall posts and curved braces, carried on rounded stone
corbels which have chamfered edges with tiny trefoil
stops. The spandrels of the hammer-beam trusses
have sloping struts in them, and those of the upper
arches have struts crossing each other in X form.
The arched braces have chamfered edges, those on
the north truss are hollow-chamfered. Above the
hammer-beams are principal rafters for a pyramidal
roof: these go up to the apex, but cannot be seen
as there is a flat ceiling at the level of the purlins. The
angles of the purlins have short diagonal ties.
The rafters of the sloping roof and ceiling are rather
small, and many of them are modern. The wallplates from which they spring are plain and partly
ancient. The pyramidal form survives on three sides
but is lost against the west wall, where the roof is
North of the 'great kitchen' between it and the
east entrance-passage is a small stair-hall with a mid to
late 16th-century staircase up to the first floor of the
south-east wing; it has square oak newels with
moulded square heads and pendants, and flat shaped
and pierced balusters. From the first to the second
floor the balusters have been copied in deal. On the
first floor landing are two 17th-century doors with
moulded oak battens.
The wing at the north-west corner of the main
building is of brickwork of the 16th, 17th and 18th
centuries. The early-16th-century walling suggests
that the addition of that period was at least of L-shaped plan with the wings running north and east,
the latter adjoining the older main block, and having
the north wing projecting from the west half of its
north side. There was a stair-turret in the angle of
the two wings. The north wing was destroyed
in the 17th century, but the other was left standing
with the stair-turret, and where it adjoined the
destroyed wing a new closing wall was built. In the
18th century other small additions and alterations
were made, bringing the whole north front of this
part more or less to one plane and overlapping the
end of the former great hall.
Nearly in the middle of the north front is the side
of the original 16th-century stair-turret. It has on
the first floor a window of two lights and a transom
with moulded jambs, head, mullion and label. The
brickwork of the second story appears to be later
than that below.
The Bishop's Palace: Staircase (16th cent.)
The walling next west is of 17th-century thin
bricks: the east half of it is the later stair-turret,
and has 18th or early-19th-century casement windows
to the two stories; above, the walling is of 19th-century stone and flint rubble with brick quoins. One
gable head covers the two turrets. The west half, of
similar bricks, has a gable pairing with the other;
the windows in this part are modern.
The east half of this front is of 18th-century bricks
in two periods, one being part of an enlargement of
the present kitchen.
The west front is of 16th-century bricks and has
an embattled parapet. There are square projections
at the north end and in the middle, and another at
the south end projecting southwards. The north
projection is corbelled out at a height of about
7½ ft. to a greater projection, on six courses of bricks,
one of them dentilled. A number of disused original
stone windows remain, one on the ground floor
between the square projections, two to the first floor,
one of them in the middle projection and the other
in the side of the southern projection. The significance of these windows and projections is lost in the
later internal arrangements. In the south wall of
the wing is yet another blocked window to the first
floor, but the windows in use are of the 18th or
The present kitchen occupies part of the early16th-century wing, but was enlarged to the north in
the 18th century. It retains a moulded ceiling beam
of the earlier date. The servants' hall, occupying
the rest of the wing, has no old features, but the
bedroom above it has some late-16th or early-17th-century wall panelling, made up with later deal copies.
Although the lower part of the original square
turret has lost its staircase in the lower story, the top
story retains some of the old winders now disused
and only approached from a second floor chamber.
The other former wing, which extended to the
north, overlapped the west half-bay of the chapel
enclosing its original window; it may have been
contemporary with the 14th-century windows of the
chapel. The building is said to have been used as the
chancellor's lodgings, but it was probably a part of
the bishop's residence originally. All that remains
of it now is the lower part of its east wall, which serves
as a garden wall or boundary wall to the churchyard;
it is built of small flints with much mortar and contains
the lower stones of three narrow windows.
The boundary wall extends right up to West Street
and various straight joints and changes in the masonry
suggest that there were buildings here formerly.
South of the 'great kitchen' is another long
lower range about 120 ft. long containing offices,
stables, etc. There are various blocked doorways
and straight joints to indicate other uses and changes,
but the original purpose of each part is not now
evident. A portion of the east wall is of timber
framing in the upper story. One doorway in the
west wall has chamfered jambs and a pointed head
of the 14th or 15th century.
The range terminates in the gatehouse at the west
end of Canon Lane, which was apparently built about
1327, (fn. 5) and is of two stories. It is built of ashlar
on the outer east face and of rubble on the inner
west face. It has a carriage way at the south end,
and northward of it a narrower foot-way, and north
of that again a small walled-off chamber. The archways east and west have jambs of two chamfered
orders continued on the pointed arches, the hoodmoulds of which are of a usual 14th-century section.
The east arches are rebated and fitted with doors.
There are rectangular buttresses of two stages at the
south-east angle, and two intermediate buttresses
flanking the narrower arch on each face. The west
angles have diagonal buttresses and at the north-east
is a square stair-turret splayed back to an octagonal
The upper story has two windows in the east front
of two cinquefoiled ogee-headed lights under square
heads with moulded labels, and there is a single
window in the west wall. On the west face is a chimney-stack on corbels with a single octagonal shaft
of which the upper part has been rebuilt.
The parapets are plain, with a grooved and hollowchamfered string and a modern coping. The room
here in the upper story is said to have been the prison
for criminous clerks and heretics. (fn. 6)
The gateway has a flat plastered ceiling, but it was
either formerly vaulted or intended to be vaulted.
There are chamfered wall-ribs springing from the
remains of carved corbels, the north-west with a
figure and foliage, the others with foliage only.
The north wall of the passage way is plastered;
a pointed chamfered doorway at the west end opens
into the side chamber, and midway is a cinquefoiled
light; also a small upper light with a plain ogee head.
CHAPEL OF ST. FAITH
At the east end of the south alley of the cloister are
the remains of the CHAPEL OF ST. FAITH, now converted into a dwelling-house. The origin of the chapel
is unknown, but the connection of its dedication with
Chichester can be carried back to the beginning of the
12th century, when about 1107 the feast of St. Faith
was selected as the date for the bishop's fair called
the Sloe Fair. (fn. 7) The chapel was maintained by the
cathedral body and was in no way parochial. Dean
Garland founded a chantry here in 1332 for the soul
of Master Roger de la Grave, (fn. 8) and in 1396 the
cathedral staff heard Mass in the chapel before proceeding to lay the foundation stones of the adjoining new Vicars' Hall. By 1403 the chapel was
evidently falling into disrepair. Master John Paxton,
one of the residentiary canons, was accused of making
a common path from his lodging through the chapel,
'against the ordinance of the founder of the said
chapel and the great loss and alienation of the goods
and things of the [cathedral] church deposited in the
same chapel for safe custody.' Paxton replied that
the canons residentiary inhabiting his lodging,
probably in Canon Lane, always had the right of
going through the chapel to the cathedral. He was
further charged with purloining timber deposited in
the chapel for the work of the cathedral. (fn. 9) In 1441
it was reported that the chaplain of the chantry of
Colworth in the chapel of St. Faith did not celebrate
divine service for the founders and cut down and sold
the trees growing on the chantry land. (fn. 10) Before this
date the chapel had probably fallen into decay and the
west end of it was pulled down about this time to
make room for the cloister. The chapel was left
apparently in a dilapidated condition, as Mr. Hannah
suggests, until the reign of Elizabeth, when it was
converted into a dwelling-house. (fn. 11)
The chapel was about 64 ft. long (east to west)
by 25 ft., internally. The middle part of it (about
34 ft.) is a private residence; it lost 10½ ft. at its
west end when the east walk was built, and the remaining 19½ ft. at the east end forms an open courtyard to the house.
It was built of flint with stone dressings, probably
early in the 13th century and retains a lancet window
of the period in the gabled west wall above the cloister
roof, and another in the south wall, both visible
externally; the latter has a hollow-chamfered reararch. Another in the north wall is said to be visible
internally in a cupboard. (fn. 12) In the exposed east
wall, towards the courtyard, is the north jamb and
splay of the original east window. It was foiled
and probably of three lights; there appears to be
barely space enough for a triplet of lancets. In the
adjoining north wall was another wide window of
which the east splay remains.
The building had buttresses at the four angles.
One exists at the north-east, projecting northwards;
it is built of ashlar in two stages. Another projects
into the cloister garth at the north-west angle.
When the cloister was built and encroached on its
west end, its west doorway was removed to the south
wall to serve as an entrance from the 'Dark Cloister'
which flanked the south side of the chapel. This
doorway has chamfered jambs of two orders and a
pointed head of two hollow-chamfered orders, with
a moulded label having defaced head-stops towards
the cloister. This face is probably of the 14th century,
but the rear-arch on the south face has a well-defined
moulding of the 13th century.
The end of the chapel towards the east walk was
closed by a timber-framed partition; the lower half
of it is plastered, but in the middle is a 15th-century
oak doorway with chamfered jambs and a pointed
head. The upper half of the partition has been
renewed with wood battens and vertical ribs.
When the chapel was converted into a dwellinghouse, probably in the 16th century, a large fireplace
was inserted in the original east wall; this is now
The north front of the house is coated with cement
and has a modern doorway and windows, including
two half-dormers in the roof.
The internal arrangements are mostly modern, but
the north and west walls of the western room are
lined with late-16th or early-17th-century oak panelling.
The main roof has been reconstructed, or drastically
repaired; it was apparently of trussed collar-beam
The 'Dark Cloister' is said to have been of wood
and was removed in the 18th century. (fn. 13) Several
plain corbels for its roof remain in position.
HOUSE OF THE ROYAL CHAPLAINS
The HOUSE OF THE ROYAL CHAPLAINS of Mortimer's Chantry
stands west of St. Faith's Chapel
and south of the south walk of the cloister. Its original
purpose is unknown, but it served later to house the
two priests who officiated at the chantry which was
founded in the Lady Chapel by Henry V, and confirmed by Edward IV.
It is said to have had a 13th-century hall (fn. 14) with an
undercroft 46 ft. 2 in. long. Whether the undercroft
is vaulted cannot be ascertained without inspection,
but the outline of the hall is indicated by the remaining north, south and west walls and quoins in the
north wall to show where the original west wall
(now gone) formed an angle with it; and the date is
perhaps borne out by the existence of a blocked lancet
window in the north wall (towards the cloister).
There are also in this wall three blocked rectangular
lights which lighted the undercroft. The wall is of
flint with limestone dressings.
In the existing west wall can be seen the traces of
the original gable head, a story lower than the present
eaves. In it is the head of a trefoiled square-headed
window and (over it) a cinquefoiled bull's-eye, probably of early-14th-century date.
Just east of the middle rectangular light in the
north wall is the entrance doorway. Excepting the
moulded label, this is a modern copy of the late15th-century doorway which was removed from here
and reset in the garden wall towards Canon Lane
(see below). It has moulded jambs and a fourcentred arch in a square head; the spandrels are
carved with a portcullis and foliage on the one side and
on the other a shield with a cross charged with a
Tudor rose; around the rose are bored eight holes;
there is also a late cartouche form of shield charged
with a frette (for Maltravers ?).
Above the doorway is a framed stone tablet also
of late-15th-century date carved in high relief in two
tiers; the upper half has a crowned shield of the royal
arms of Henry VII with a dragon and a greyhound as
supporters. The lower half has a representation of the
Blessed Virgin Mary (defaced) standing on a bracket
which is carved with a winged demi-angel holding a
Tudor rose; on each side of it is a kneeling figure, their
heads destroyed; above them are fragments of scrolls.
The transom between the two halves is battlemented.
The moulded frame is also carved with devices,
repeated several times; the east half has cressets or
beacons, and chained harts and swans, the west half
fleurs-de-lis, portcullises and Tudor roses alternating.
After the chantry was suppressed at the Reformation the house, instead of passing into possession of
the cathedral authorities, was granted in 1549 by
Edward VI to John Hereford of Bosbury and Richard
Wilson of Ledbury, Herefordshire. (fn. 15) It has been altered
considerably since then, chiefly in the 18th century.
The original doorway, reset in the garden wall on
the north side of Canon Lane, is as already described.
Above it is a carved stone not belonging to it which
has a kind of cartouche foiled at top and bottom in
which is a sort of a monogram, a W, and a reversed T
with foliage (or chains ?) at the top; on either side
of it are Lombardic letters E, one reversed. (fn. 16) In the
middle topfoil is a roundel.
HOUSE OF THE WICCAMICAL PREBENDARIES
The HOUSE OF THE WICCAMICAL PREBENDARIES stands between the house of the Royal
Chantry and the eastern side of St. Richard's Walk
south of the cloister. It had a main hall 36 ft. long
(east to west) by 18 ft. with two wings projecting at
right angles to the south, the eastern about 25 ft. by
12 ft., and the western roughly about 11 ft. square.
Whether the wings were connected with each other is
uncertain. The walls of the original work are of flint
with stone dressings. The building dates probably
to the second half of the 14th century. Early in the
16th century it was occupied by Archdeacon Edward
More. After his decease, Bishop Sherburne in 1523
allotted the building, with the wing east of the hall
(deambulatorium), to the four new Prebendaries he
created at that time. His description of the building
is extant with the parts allocated to each Prebendary. (fn. 17)
There appears to have been a kitchen south of or at
the south end of the south-east wing.
The house has been much altered subsequently, but
the undercroft and the thick walls suffice to indicate
the extent of the original plan.
The most remarkable feature is the cellar, or undercroft of the hall; its walls are thicker than those above,
so that its internal dimensions are less than those of
the hall (about 35 ft. by 15½ ft.), and it is vaulted in a
very irregular manner. The middle part has three
bays of chamfered diagonal ribs, which die on the sidewalls side by side, but it is really nothing but a plastered barrel-vault, with cross-vaults or groining only
where the two north doorways and two south windows
pierce (or pierced) the walls, and these are not opposite
each other. The south compartment of the easternmost bay is wider than the others and has an extra
intermediate rib to allow the vault to clear the doorway into the south-east cellar. This doorway has
chamfered jambs and a pointed head: the other
doorway farther east, leading to the staircase between
the two south wings, retains the original reveals.
There were two windows in the north wall (towards
the cloister) now blocked; the recesses formed by
them in the cloister have chamfered lintels on shouldered corbels. The wall in which they are set is of
flint. Between the windows is a projecting chimneystack apparently of the same date as the rest of the
walling, and near the west end is a blocked doorway
with moulded jambs and segmental-pointed arch
having a hood-mould with defaced head-stops. It
may be an insertion of Bishop Sherburne's time.
Internally the upper part of the house contains no
original features except perhaps the pointed recess in
the passage south of the kitchen occupying the eastern
half of the hall; this may have been an original
doorway into the south-east wing, and is seen on the
south face of the wall; there are no traces of it on
the north face, but west of where it should be is
another pointed recess.
Against the chimney-stack seen on the cloister,
the kitchen has a wide fireplace splayed across the
The roof of the hall-block as seen in the attics has
no very distinctive features; it is probably of the
The block, which is now of three stories and attics,
was probably of only two stories originally, above the
undercroft. It is gabled at the west end and has
modern windows. Its east wall (towards a small
courtyard) has a 16th-century square-headed window
lighting the kitchen; it is of four lights with a
transom, and has hollow-chamfered jambs. The
first floor has a modern sash window, south of which
is the jamb of another window like that below.
The second floor also has a modern window and
traces of a former brick window.
The small south-west wing, which now contains
the entrance hall, is also gabled on the west front
like the hall-block and is of three stories; it contains
an 18th-century doorway with a wood pediment and
fanlight; the upper windows are modern. The
wing probably had an undercroft, but it is not now
The south-east wing has a cellar to which access
was gained from the vaulted undercroft. It has a
splayed window in its west wall, now an opening
between it and the cellar stairs, but otherwise has
been modernised, as also have the upper rooms
internally. The wing was lower than the hall-block
and was originally gabled at the south end, but it was
subsequently heightened and most of its east face
rebuilt in red brick. A modern one-story addition
is built east of it.
The building (Bishop Sherburne's 'deambulatorium'), which fills the space between the hallblock and the Royal Chantry House east of it, has
a lower story of flints towards the cloister and a later
upper story of soft limestone or chalk ashlar. In
it is a doorway with a modern frame; the door,
however, is probably of the 16th century; it is of
nine panels, divided by moulded nail-studded
muntins and rails, and is hung with strap hinges
with foiled ends.
The south side of this building has its upper story
built of timber framing of late-17th-century date with
Adjoining the south side of this house is another
small residence of about the same period as the
Deanery (early to mid 18th century). It is built of red
brick; the elevation, on the east side of St. Richard's
Lane, has tall sash windows and a middle entrancedoorway with a pediment.
The entrance to the cloister from St. Richard's
Walk has splayed jambs and a four-centred arch of
two hollow-chamfered orders probably of late-14thcentury date.
The remainder of the south wall of the cloister
west of St. Richard's Walk is built of squared rubble
and was occupied by the former Treasury. A house
built in 1834 stands partly on the site.
The cloister is said to have encroached on the
original building, but the window and doorway in the
wall have their external faces towards the cloister.
The window, which is of two square-headed lights
with hollow-chamfered jambs and mullion, is now
filled with modern coloured glass. The doorway
farther east has moulded jambs and a pointed head
with a rounded apex and a hood-mould; the rear to
the south has a wood lintel. The doorway may be
of the 14th century but subsequently altered, and the
window perhaps of the 15th or 16th century.
In the south-west angle of the cloister is a splayed
piece of walling which may have been the side of a
stair-turret; in it about 10 ft. up is a cross looplight, and in the adjacent west wall of the cloister,
about 7½ ft. up, is a tiny quatrefoil piercing now
The outer face of this angle was strengthened with
a round buttress by the late Dean Burgon (1875–
1887); (fn. 18) traces of a crypt were then noticed, but
were not exposed.
In the west wall of St. Richard's Walk, which was also
a part of this building, there are another doorway and
window, opening like those in the cloister on to a garden.
The window at the extreme north end of the wall is like
that in the cloister and is also glazed. The doorway
farther south is square-headed and has chamfered
jambs and lintel; above it is a moulded string-course
In the garden wall of this residence on the north
side of Canon Lane is another doorway, which has
stone chamfered jambs and a brick four-centred arch
in a square head with a moulded stone label, probably
of early-16th-century date. The wall in which it is
set is built of flints with brick courses.
Farther east on the same side of the lane is a small
building, perhaps of early-16th-century origin, now
used as a garage by the tenant of the house of the
Wiccamical Prebendaries. The walls have some old
flint masonry with later patches of brickwork, and the
north end has a brick crow-stepped gable. A part of
the upper story of the east side is of 17th-century
timber-framing with brick nogging. The roof is
probably of the early 16th century and is divided
into four bays by trusses, none of which is in its
perfect original condition, having lost one or more
timbers. They have cambered tiebeams, which have
(or had) curved braces below them, and there are
curved wind braces below the purlins. The south
front has been modernised and the roof is hipped
instead of gabled.
The RESIDENTIARY, next to the gateway to the
Bishop's Palace, on the south side of Canon Lane,
was rebuilt in the last century (1870–80), but retains
a reset doorway and window in the front wall. The
doorway is of the 12th century and has shafted jambs
and scalloped capitals with hollow-chamfered abaci.
The round arch is of two orders, the inner plain, the
outer enriched with cheveron ornament. The hoodmould is also carved with similar ornament. Modern
renovation includes the inner order of the jambs
(all but one stone), the abaci, the west capital and the
east base. The window, farther west, is of mid to
late 14th-century date, but now mostly restored.
It has two cinquefoiled lights and a sexfoil in a twocentred head with a moulded label.
A modern oriel window on the first floor contains
some reset coloured glass. It includes an early16th-century wreath enclosing a quartered shield of
Weston. The wreath is green with purple infilling.
Another wreath has a shield of late form on which
can only be discerned a lion crowned or and
(apparently) the saltire and bougets of Sacheverell.
The wreath is of bay leaves and berries—brown
and yellow—bound with ribands. Below is a scroll
inscribed: 'Magnificate deum mecum' and an
initial capital T. The same text (or parts of it) is
visible on the ribands. There is also a roundel,
probably not English, with an outline drawing of a
crowned woman holding on her left arm a nimbed
dove and in her right hand a pair of scales. She
stands on a field of grass and flowers. Under it are
scrolls with the name in black letter: Athfhuel (?)
Falconer. On either side, a bird with yellow beak
A fireplace in the same room is said to have come
from Halnaker House (whence also probably came the
glass). It has moulded jambs and a Tudor arch with
carvings in the spandrels, the initials I. T. and foliage.
The cheeks of the fireplace have a series of Dutch
scriptural tiles, and some modern replicas. The
vestibule is paved with medieval tiles mostly in
quatrefoil patterns with a star on each foil; others
have lions, stars and fleurs-de-lis. (fn. 19)