The DEANERY was erected in 1725 by Dean
Thomas Sherlock. (fn. 1) It is built of red brick with stone
dressings, the south front being plastered, and is of
two stories and attics. The roof is covered with
slates. The former deanery is said to have been
destroyed in the siege of 1643.
The north front has a slightly projecting central
bay which has a pediment, in front of a low-pitched
gable to the whole front. There is a brick stringcourse at the first and second floor levels and a
stone course at the level of the first floor window sills.
The entrance doorway has rusticated stone jambs
and a flat lintel with an entablature. In it is a heavy
oak panelled door. The windows are tall narrow
sashes. The west side also has a wide, low-pitched
gable, and three windows to each story. The south
front towards the garden has windows like those to
the north front, but one has been altered to a wide
modern window. To the east there are later additions and offices.
The entrance hall is lined with white painted
panelling of the period and contains the main staircase
to the first floor, which has thin turned and twisted
balusters with a square central block. The newels
are of Doric column form and the moulded handrail is carried over the lowest in spiral form. The
north-west room also contains similar panelling, and a
marble fireplace with a moulded shelf. Most of the
remainder of the house has been modernised.
The Entrance Gateway on the south side of Canon
Lane has brick posts with stone caps and a welldesigned pair of wrought-iron gates.
The Deanery garden extends southwards to the
city wall. At the south-west corner was the medieval
Deanery. It was built both north and south of the
wall, part of which was cut away for it. Some fragmentary walling still exists south of (i.e., outside)
the wall in a rectangular plan about 74 ft. long and
20 ft. deep. There appears to have been a doorway
in the east wall against the city wall, and there are
traces of a window in the south wall.
The city wall, west of these remains, is pierced
by a doorway (now modern) and next east of this is a
small medieval window now blocked. All traces of
the building north of the wall are lost.
The RESIDENTIARY east of the Deanery, on the
south side of Canon Lane, is probably of medieval
origin, but has been so completely altered in later times
that its original plan is not at all certain. The plan of
the present building is L-shaped, and Mr. Hannah suggests that the wing extending south contained the early
hall, which may have been of the 15th century. (fn. 2)
The part fronting the lane is probably of early-16thcentury date. It is coated with plaster or cement
and has at each end a gable head. The eastern gable
retains a 16th-century carved barge-board with a
running vine pattern and, at the apex, two human
faces. The entrance is of early to mid 18th-century
date with a fanlight. Near the east end is a small
blocked loop-light to the upper floor; the other
windows are modern. There are dormer windows
in the roof, which is tiled. The east wall also has a
gable head above which is an 18th-century chimneystack.
The south elevation has two gables like the front
and also a blocked loop-light. The south wing is built
of flints and brick of the 18th century, mostly plastered,
but appears to have been originally of timber framing.
At its south end is a modern bay window. It has
a roof of three bays now entirely concealed; the
trusses have chamfered cambered tiebeams which
carry king-posts with four-way struts below a
central purlin and collar-beams, a very common form
of construction in the 15th century. (fn. 3) The vestibule
has some 16th-century linen-fold panelling reset in
the 18th century.
The CHANTRY, which was, it is considered, the
house of the Chanter or Precentor, (fn. 4) on the south side
of Canon Lane, is an early-13th-century building which
had a great hall about 38 ft. from east to west, by
31ft. wide, and east of the hall a wing at right
angles to it about 30 ft. by 15½ ft. To the north of
the latter and overlapping the hall is a smaller wing
of two stories, the upper of which formed a chapel
or oratory; the western portion of the lower story is a
porch with an entrance to the former 'screens'
passage of the hall. The walls are of flint with stone
quoins. A modern wing extends to the east of the
The north front has an entrance archway to the
porch with moulded jambs and four-centred head
with a moulded label; it may date from the 15th
or early-16th century, but has been treated with
cement. The west angle of the porch has a diagonal
buttress, partly restored.
The upper story has a large window said to have
been brought from Halnaker House; (fn. 5) it is of four
trefoiled ogee-headed lights and semi-quatrefoils in a
square head. The lower part of it has been filled in
with masonry because the sill was too low for its
present position. Farther east is another window
with a cinquefoiled three-centred arch in a square
head of 15th or early-16th century date.
The porch is vaulted in two bays and has moulded
transverse and diagonal ribs of a section very similar
to those of the north aisle of the quire of the cathedral
and of much the same date. They are carried on
plain, half-round concave-pointed corbels. The inner
doorway is modern.
The chamber west of the porch is vaulted in
The east end of the chapel is gabled and has two
lancet windows, partly restored, and, in the gable
head, a plain quatrefoil. The west end above the
adjoining roofs also shows a lancet, now blocked, and
a quatrefoil like the eastern.
The south side of the former hall is built of split
flints and has modern windows and doorway.
The south end of the east wing is gabled. In it is a
three-sided bay window of ashlar and of early-16thcentury date, also said to have come from Halnaker.
The bay is of two stories with a tiled roof, and has
five lights with moulded jambs, mullions and transoms to each floor. The cornice in front is carved
with Tudor roses and running foliage, and in the
splays with roses and grotesque heads.
Internally the chief evidence of the original arrangement—apart from the thick walls—is in the roofspaces. The original east gable of the hall is hidden
beneath a higher and later roof; it is built of flints—
about 20 in. thick—and has against its east face an
ancient chimney-shaft, of ashlar, which rose from a
fireplace in the south-east wing. Against its north
side is a modern brick stack. The gable was probably
exposed to the open originally.
The roof itself is probably of late-17th or early18th-century date. Rising through it is a central
chimney-stack which was inserted in the 16th century
in the hall. (fn. 6)
The roof of the south-east wing is of 15thcentury construction. It is of two bays with three
trusses with tiebeams carrying king-posts and longitudinal struts under a central purlin and collar-beams.
The king-posts in the two end trusses are also
strengthened by cross-struts rising from the tiebeams. The north bay is about 17 ft. span, the south
bay about 13½ ft.; the north end is a thin partition
of old lath and plaster, so that the roof probably
originally continued to the chapel-roof as at present.
There was probably a valley between this roof and
the end of the hall.
The roof of the chapel, apparently reconstructed in
modern times, contains some old re-used timbers.
The roofs are now concealed by the first floor ceilings.
The internal fittings in the lower rooms are mostly
modern. There is no visible evidence as to when
the first floor was inserted in the hall to make it of
two stories, but it would probably have been
done when the 16th-century central chimney was
built. The fireplaces in this stack are modern. A
hall of this exceptional width would doubtless have
included aisles with wood posts or trusses, to support
the roof, rising from the floor. It would probably
have been of two 15 to 16 ft. bays, with a half-bay to
the 'screens.' There are no traces of these, but
perhaps the position of one of them is marked by a
buttress against the north wall, which is concealed in
the modern offices.
The south-east wing has a 16th or 17th-century
stop-chamfered ceiling beam, and on the west wall
of the north half of the wing is a stone aumbry or
cupboard with rebated jambs and segmental head.
It projects from the wall and is probably an alteration
from an earlier fireplace, the ashlar flue of which is
seen in the roof space against the hall gable.
The south room has a stone fireplace from Halnaker
which has a four-centred arch in a square head, the
spandrels being carved with a capital H, and a mitre
and staff respectively.
One wall in a lobby has some reset panelling of the
early 17th century. The garden of the house, like
that of the deanery and other houses on this side
of Canon Lane, extends to the city wall. In the
south-west corner are the remains of an arbour in
which is a reset window of two trefoiled lights and a
quatrefoil in a two-centred head with a hood-mould;
it is probably of late-14th-century date, and is now
rather badly weather-worn.
In a garden wall adjoining the east end of the
chapel wing is a 13th or 14th-century pointed archway
reset and somewhat altered; it has a chamfered reararch.
VICARS' HALL, ETC
The range containing the VICARS' HALL, ETC.,
extends eastwards of, and more or less in line with,
St. Faith's Chapel, but separated from it by some
15 ft. The hall was about 35 ft. long (east to west)
by 21 ft. wide and formed the middle part of the
upper story of the range. The extension west of
the hall (about 41 ft. long), which was afterwards
thrown open to it, probably contained dormitories
and offices; the remainder of the range (about 26 ft.
by 28 ft. wide) at the east end was known as the
Vicars' Parlour and is built, with part of the hall,
above a vaulted undercroft about 40 ft. long.
The undercroft or vaulted cellar is of late-12thcentury date, and is thought to have been part of the
former Gilden Hall which was granted by Richard II
to Bishop Mitford in 1394 (fn. 7) for the vicars.
The vaulting is of quadripartite plan, three bays in
the length by two bays in width; the ribs are chamfered and form pointed arches between the compartments. They are carried on two short round columns
with plain chamfered capitals and bases. The
diagonal ribs form semicircular arches, and where
they intersect have iron rings for lamps.
In the north wall are three round-headed windows,
and there is a blocked doorway in the south wall. The
entrance is by a doorway in the east wall on the South
Behind or west of this vault is the basement of the
remainder of the range. It is probably of late-14thcentury date, the entrance to this portion being
through a doorway of that period from the east
crypt. In the north wall are two square-headed
windows each of two lights. On the south side is a
projecting small chamber, the entrance to which is
through a depressed archway in the south wall. The
chamber is barrel-vaulted, and there appears to have
been originally a similar archway in its outer wall.
Against the west side of the projection is a small
square addition of which the lower story is of timber
framing with brick or flint nogging; the upper story
is tile-hung. It contained a staircase, but the steps
no longer exist. Two oak posts and brackets carry
the heavy central beam of the floor of the hall
above, but the posts are for the most part buried
in a wall which supports two later longitudinal
parallel vaults, built in brick below the hall floor.
The west end is in two sections, the southern
being entered from a small lobby which has a 15thcentury stone doorway in the south wall and a
wooden doorway in the west wall.
The Vicars' Hall: Lavatory
The Vicars' Hall on the upper floor is lighted by
four windows, two in the north and two in the south
wall, each of two trefoiled ogee-headed lights in a
square head with external labels. Farther west in
the north wall is a projecting lavatory basin, 4 ft. 5 in.
wide and 1 ft. 8 in. projection, carried on a grotesque
head corbel. It is set in an ogee-headed recess
which has moulded jambs and arch and a hood-mould
terminating in a foliated finial. The back of the
recess is pierced by a late-17th-century window with
The Vicars' Close: North-west Corner of Court
Between the two south windows is a small projecting square bay; it is carried by the vaulting of the
undercroft and served as a pulpit. The entrance to
it is by a four-centred doorway which is divided by a
mullion from an opening west of it for the preacher
or reader. The back of the bay is pierced by a
window of two trefoiled pointed lights. (fn. 8) The soffit
Opposite the lavatory, in the south wall is the
entrance to the rectangular chamber, above that
already described in the basement, which formed the
landing at the top of the former staircase. Walcott
says it was used to contain the vicars' statute chest,
plate, etc. The doorway has moulded jambs and a
four-centred head. At the west end of the chamber
is a plain doorway from the former stair-head, and at
the east end is set a small stone cross (fn. 9) 1 ft. 8 in. high
on a small corbel.
The roof is open-timbered and has three trusses
with braced moulded tie-beams on corbels, carrying
king-posts and struts below a central purlin which
supports the collar-beams. The side purlins have
The west extension is now lighted by late-17thcentury tall windows with oak frames and transoms,
and in the west wall is a large fireplace. There are
slight traces of earlier windows filled in. One blocked
window in the north wall above the
adjoining roof, from its height in the
wall, seems to have lighted an upper
story in this portion. The chamber
is entered by an 18th-century staircase
and doorway in the south wall. The
roof has a series of king-post trusses.
The Vicars' Parlour, at the east
end, has in the north wall a blocked
doorway with a four-centred head;
this must have opened into a northeast wing that has now disappeared.
Farther west is a modern four-light
window, west of which is a small skew
window which may also have borne
some relation to the former north-east
chamber; in its sill is a small drain of
rough workmanship. It is possible
that the buttress west of this window
marks the place where the west wall
of the wing met the present north wall.
The east end of the range towards
South Street is of modern red brick,
with a hipped slated roof. In the
wall is the segmental-headed doorway
to the undercroft, of which the inner
stonework is ancient, the jambs and
arch being chamfered.
The space between the Vicars' Hall
range and St. Faith's Chapel was filled
in in the 18th century with a brick
dwelling-house of L-shaped plan.
The Vicars' residences originally
formed a long narrow quadrangle south of the hall,
but only the houses in the west range and one in
the east range serve their original purpose, the remainder on the east side having been converted in
1825 into shops facing South Street. The existing
houses are said to retain the late-15th-century front
walls, but were otherwise much altered in the 18th
There was a south range and gateway to Canon Lane,
but the gatehouse and the west part of the range
were demolished in 1831; the western portion remains
as a much-altered dwelling-house. Near the west end
of its south wall is a small niche, about 8 ft. above the
ground, with a trefoiled ogee head, and above it are
the jambs of an ancient stone window now blocked.