Durham cathedral: Description of church

A History of the County of Durham: Volume 3. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1928.

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'Durham cathedral: Description of church', A History of the County of Durham: Volume 3, (London, 1928), pp. 96-123. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/durham/vol3/pp96-123 [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "Durham cathedral: Description of church", in A History of the County of Durham: Volume 3, (London, 1928) 96-123. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/durham/vol3/pp96-123.

. "Durham cathedral: Description of church", A History of the County of Durham: Volume 3, (London, 1928). 96-123. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/durham/vol3/pp96-123.

In this section


The church consists of an Eastern Transept, 129 ft. 5 in. long internally from north to south and 34 ft. 2 in. wide, Aisled Quire of five bays, North and South Transepts, each of four bays in length, with eastern aisle, Central Tower, Nave of eight bays, with North and South Aisles terminating at the west with Towers projecting in front of the aisle walls, and a Western Porch, or Chapel, known as the Galilee.

The Quire is 125 ft. long by 32 ft. 8 in. wide, and the total width across Quire and Aisles 77 ft. 2 in., the Aisles being each 15 ft. 3 in. wide, and the piers of the arcades 7 ft. thick. Each of the Transepts is 62 ft. 9 in. long, by 33 ft. 7 in. wide, exclusive of its Aisle, the total length across Transepts and Central Tower being 171 ft. 9 in. The Nave is 198 ft. long and 32 ft. 4 in. wide and the width across Nave and Aisles 81 ft. 1 in., the Aisles being each about 17 ft. 6 in. The Western Towers are each about 24 ft. 8 in. east to west and 26 ft. north to south, and the Galilee measures 76 ft. 6 in. from north to south and 48 ft. from west to east. All these measurements are internal.

The whole of the building is faced with dressed stone, very much renewed, and the roofs of the Nave, Quire, North Transept and Chapel of the Nine Altars are slated. All the other roofs are covered with lead. (fn. 1)

The eastern transept, or CHAPEL OF THE NINE ALTARS, is divided vertically into three main sections marked externally by major buttresses on the east side in line with the walls of the quire, the middle section being thus much narrower than the others, each of which internally is divided into three bays. The north-west and south-west angles are each covered by a massive octagonal staircase turret, and at the north-east and south-east angles are strong piers of masonry forming buttresses weighted by lofty pinnacles. The chapel is vaulted at the same level as the quire, but additional height is obtained by placing the floor 2 ft. 8 in. below the quire aisle floor, an arrangement due primarily to the fall in the ground at the east end of the church. The walls, with the exception of the north wall, are divided horizontally into two main stages, the division between the stages being slightly above the triforium level of the quire. A passage, approached by large vices in the western angle turrets, is carried through the north, east, and south walls at the sill-level of the windows in the lower stage, and there is a second passage in the east and south walls at the base of the upper stage, which is also the sill-level of the upper windows. Smaller vices at the top of the main vices lead to passages on the west side through which access is gained to the eastern compartment of the quire clearstory. A vice in the turret capping the southeast buttress formerly led from the upper wall passage to the roof, but was blocked at the time of Wyatt's restoration.

In the ground stage the wall surface below the windows and between the vaulting-piers is entirely occupied by an arcade of elaborately moulded trefoil arches inclosed by labels with headstops, over the intersections of which are elongated quatrefoil panels touching the sill string, but not meeting over the heads of the arches. Two of these panels, in the east wall, are enriched—one with foliage and the other with a sculptured figure—but all the rest are plain. The arches spring from detached marble shafts with stiff-leaf capitals and water-table bases standing on a boldly moulded plinth, which on the east wall is stepped upwards to clear the altars which formerly were placed along it and drops at the extremities of each section nearly to floor level, the outermost shafts as originally designed being nearly twice the length of the others.

The east wall is divided internally into seven bays by the vaulting-piers and externally by four major and four minor buttresses. The width of the great central bay was governed by that of the quire, of which it now forms the structural eastern termination; three altars were placed in it, and the three bays on either side were set out to contain one altar each, the clear width of each bay between the vaulting-piers being roughly equal to one third of the central bay.

The central bay is occupied by three lancet windows in the lower stage and a large wheel window above. Each of the narrow side bays contains a large lancet window with a second and less lofty lancet above it. The vaulting-piers flanking the central bay are of half-lozenge plan, each having seven detached marble shafts, three on either face, and one, somewhat stouter, at the apex of the pier. These are separated from each other by stone shaft-rolls, and all have richly carved stiff-leaf capitals some 4 ft. 6 in. above the sill-level of the upper windows. The shafts are encircled by annulets at the sill-level of the lower tier of windows, and again at a point about midway between this level and their capitals. The vaulting-piers which divide the three bays on either side are of the same character and rise to the same height, but they are of slighter proportions, having each only five detached marble shafts. The repair to the southernmost pier referred to above consists of the renewal in stone, with plain bell-capitals, of about 2 ft. of the upper part of the detached shafts next the wall. The rear-arches of the outer lancets of the group of three which occupy the lower stage of the central bay spring on the north and south respectively from twin marble shafts with foliage capitals and water-table bases with circular plinths standing upon the sill. The splayed jambs of the middle window meet those of the side windows, and at the apex of each pair of meeting splays are three similar shafts, the rear-arches thus forming a continuous arcade. All these jamb shafts are ringed at the level of the upper annulets of the vaulting-piers. The reararches are of two orders moulded with filleted rolls, the soffits of the inner orders being enriched with dog-tooth. They are inclosed by labels decorated with a foliage ornament set at intervals on their undersides, and having headstops at their intersections and at the extremities. The spandrels are plain, and the heads of the labels touch the hollow string set with stiff-leaf knobs which divides the two stages of the chapel here and elsewhere. The jambs are pierced by shouldered openings to take the lower wallpassage, and at the level of the heads of these openings the triple shafts at the splay-angles of the middle lancet are cut short, and rest upon short shafts of marble with plain bell-capitals. These windows, as well as all the other lancets in the east wall of the chapel, were filled with two-light tracery in the 15th century like that which still remains in the southern windows, but this was removed by Wyatt at the end of the 18th century. Beneath the sill, which is emphasized by a moulded string-course continuous with the lower annulets of the vaultingpiers, are nine bays of the wall-arcading, the northernmost shaft of which has been curtailed by the insertion of a later aumbry in the plinth beneath. A second aumbry has also been formed in the plinth near the middle of the bay. These, with a third aumbry in the north wall, make up the ' 3 or 4 little anvryes in the wall' described in Rites. (fn. 2) In the upper stage the wall is set back nearly to the face of the tracery of the great wheel window, and the passage at this level pierces the piers on either side as far back from their inner face as possible, to ensure the maximum amount of stability. The tracery of the wheel window, which consists of thirty-six trefoiled lights radiating from a central multifoiled circular light, was inserted by Wyatt in 1795. This window is described in Rites as a 'goodly faire round window called St. Katherns window, the bredth of the quere, all of stone … hauinge in it 24 lights (fn. 3) verye artificially made, as it is called geometricall …' (fn. 4) The glazing of the window is known to have been done in the early 15th century at the cost of Thomas Pikeringe, rector of Hemingbrough, 1409–12, (fn. 5) but whether the tracery removed by Wyatt was of this period, or contemporary with the building of the chapel, is uncertain.

The lancets in the lower stage of the side bays are slightly narrower than those in the central bay, but are of the same general design except that the outer jamb shafts are of stone instead of marble. (fn. 6)

The jambs are pierced by the wall-passage and the labels touch the enriched string-course which divides the stages; the inner orders, however, have dog-tooth enrichment on the face as well as on the soffits. (fn. 7) Below each window are three bays of wall-arcading.

In the upper stage the three lancets to the south of the central bay have marble shafts to their inner orders, but the outer orders are continuous; the three windows north of the centre bay are different, having attached double jamb shafts of masonry, except the south jamb of the innermost opening, which has a single shaft of marble made out at the top with stone. The jambs of all these windows are pierced by the upper wall-passage, and the heads, which are partly hidden by the vaulting, are inclosed by labels. All this work was probably completed up to the vault within a few years after 1242.

In the four angles of the chapel the vaultingpiers consist merely of three attached stone shafts with annulets of the same material and foliage capitals and bases similar to those of the other piers. The south wall is divided into two equal bays by a central vaulting-pier, each bay being filled by two tiers of coupled lancets. In the north wall the idea of a central vaulting-pier appears to have been abandoned after the work had reached the lower sill-level, and the whole of the area above was filled by the present large six-light window. This window, which cannot have been constructed much before 1280, is described in Rites as a 'goodly faire great glass window called Josephs window, the Wch hath in it all the whole story of Joseph most artificially wrought in pictures in fine coloured glasse accor(d)inge as it is sett forth uerye good and godly to the beholders therof.' (fn. 8) The window is of six trefoiled lights under a twocentred main head, and the tracery is of two orders, the master-mullions dividing the lights into three groups with as many two-centred sub-heads, each filled by a trefoiled circle. The tracery in the main head is formed by the intersection of the master-mullions, which meet considerably above the sub-heads, and the compartments thus formed are filled by cinquefoiled and trefoiled circles. The stiffening of the enormous window surface is effected by an inner system of tracery, consisting of clustered stone shafts (fn. 9) with moulded bases and capitals carrying finely moulded arches, which repeats the main order of the outer tracery and is connected with it by through-stones. The lower wallpassage is continued along the sill, the jambs being pierced by shouldered openings, but the upper passage is of course interrupted. The wall arcade is continued below the sill, the plinth being stepped upwards at the east end to clear the altar-pace. In the easternmost bay of the arcade is the aumbry above referred to, while the westernmost bay, which is nearly equal in width to three of the others, has a stilted two-centred head, and incloses a doorway, now blocked, with a rear-arch of the same form. The fact that the arcading is purposely designed to allow room for the doorway leaves no doubt that the work is all of one date, despite the tradition which declares that it was made for the admission of the body of Bishop Bek in 1311. (fn. 10) The foundations of the intended central vaulting-pier are visible in the pavement, and indications exist in the stonework of the arcading which lead to the conclusion that the pier was actually carried up some distance above the base before the change in plan was decided upon. On the exterior the beginning of the intended sustaining buttress remains, terminated by a gablet below the sill of the window.

The south wall with its four coupled lancets is the least satisfactory feature in the design of the chapel. This may have been felt by the builders themselves, and possibly determined the change of treatment adopted in the north wall which resulted in the substitution of the magnificent six-light window for the somewhat haphazard fenestration necessitated here by the retention of the constructionally superfluous central vaulting-pier, the design of which shows a curious indecision. When the lower portion of the pier was in course of building, it was not foreseen that the vaulting-rib which it would have to receive would be of an entirely subsidiary character, and would therefore need but a single shaft for its support. The plan at the groundstage is therefore identical with that of the smaller vaulting-piers on the east wall, but the attached marble shafts rise no further than the annulet at the sill-level of the lower windows. At the springing-level of the window heads the three empty hollows between the outer stone shaft-rolls of the pier are terminated by gablets, and the plan of the pier changes to a rectangle with a central attached filleted shaft, flanked by attached shafts at the angles. The twin reararches of each pair of coupled lancets spring in the upper stage from filleted shafts attached to the extreme jambs and in the lower from shafts of marble, and are received upon a central mullion consisting of a cluster of shaft-rolls connected to the front of the window by slender through-stones at two levels. In the lower windows the rear-arches of each pair are inclosed by a two-centred containing order and in the spandrel thus formed is a circular quatrefoil panel: owing to the unequal splay of the jambs, the rear-arches next to the vaulting-pier are wider than the others, with the result that the containing arches are very perceptibly out of centre with the rear-arches beneath. All the windows are filled with early 15th-century tracery, each window having two transomed lights with vertical tracery in the head. The whole group is described in Rites as a 'good glazed window called St. Cuthberts window, the Wch hath in it all the whole storye life and miracles of that holy man St. Cuthbert from his birth of his natiuitie and infancie unto the end and a discourse of his whole life, maruelously fine and curiously sett forth in pictures in fine coloured glass accordinge as he went in his habitte to his dying day.' (fn. 11) At the west end of the wall is a doorway like that on the north, the wall arcade being similarly spaced.

The west side of the chapel, like the east, is divided by the vaulting-piers into seven bays, but only the central bay (which is open to the quire for its whole height) corresponds in width with the bay opposite. The two bays next to the central bay are governed by the width of the quire aisles, which are also open to the chapel for their whole height, and exceed the width of the opposite bays by about one-half. Of the two remaining bays on either side, which project transeptally beyond the body of the church, those at the extreme north and south are spaced so as to correspond very nearly with those opposite, and consequently the bays next the quire aisles are very narrow. The only windows on this side are a skewed lancet, now blocked, in the lower stage of each of the two end bays, and a window in the clearstory of each of the bays formed by the ends of the quire aisles, which preserve the horizontal division of the quire into triforium and clearstory. As the stringcourse dividing the two stages of the rest of the chapel is a little above the general triforium level, the triforium of the quire is correspondingly raised to face the chapel, so that no interruption occurs in the main horizontal division, the clearstory merely forming an additional subdivision of the upper stage in these bays. In each of the bays at the extreme north and south, next to the vaulting-pier in the angle is a doorway to the vice-turret, with a well-moulded two-centred head springing from jamb shafts with foliage capitals. Each of these doorways is set in a length of plain ashlar, and between it and the first of the western vaulting-piers is a single bay of arcading. The skewed lancets in the lower stage of the end bays are of the same height as the lancets in the opposite wall and each has a two-centred rear-arch inclosed by a label, and shafted jambs of two orders. These windows were placed out of the centre of the bays in order to clear the vice-turrets, and the outer jamb in each case is pierced by a short extension of the lower wall-passage, which, however, is not continued beyond the window. These blocked openings are alike in every respect and have external jamb shafts and hood moulds. The upper stage of the end bays is occupied in each case by a tall recess, across the top of which is carried the wall-passage leading from the vice at the angle to the eastern compartment of the quire clearstory. Each of these recesses has a moulded head of two orders, the outer twocentred, and the inner of trefoil form; the outer order springs from attached jamb shafts with foliage capitals and moulded bases, and the inner order from capitals of the same type supported by grotesque heads. The vaultingpiers which divide these bays from the bays next the quire aisles are similar to their opposite eastern piers, but the capitals of these and the other western piers, in which human and animal forms appear among the foliage, show that this side of the chapel was the last to be completed. Each of the narrow bays next the quire aisles contains a recess in the upper stage like those in the end bays, with the clearstory passage carried across the top in a similar manner; in the lower stage, above the sill-string, is a tall shallow blank recess with a moulded trefoil head and label and shafted jambs of two orders, the outer shafts being of marble, below which are two narrow bays of arcading. The vaultingpiers next the quire aisles are smaller than their opposite piers, having only three marble shafts. Above the arches to the quire aisles, which occupy the whole of the lower stage of the bays formed by the ends of the aisles, are triplearched openings to the eastern compartment of the quire triforium. The arches of these triforium openings are moulded and enriched and are supported by shafts with foliage capitals and moulded bases. The clearstory window in the bay on the north is of three lights with intersecting tracery in a two-centred head, and has an inner system of tracery like that of the great north window with which it must be nearly contemporary. The clearstory window in the southern bay is of two lancet lights with twin rear-arches enriched with dog-tooth ornament, which spring from shafts with foliage capitals attached to the jambs and are received upon a central cluster of filleted shafts with plain bell-capitals connected to the front of the window by through-stones. The arches to the quire aisles, which are two-centred and very richly moulded, have their outer orders stilted and one of each pair of responds is formed by a portion of one of the great piers which terminate the side walls of the quire.

Besides the diagonals of the adjacent vaults the great piers carry the transverse arch dividing the quire vault from the central compartment of the chapel vault, and receive the transverse arches of the latter. In addition to these functions they also form the responds of the easternmost arches of the quire arcades, as well as the inner responds of the arches from the chapel to the quire just described. They are of a complicated polygonal plan with attached stone shafts at the angles and a marble detached shaft in the middle of each face having a slight hollow behind in which it is partly recessed. The piers are without annulets and the shafts have capitals richly carved with foliage and grotesques. The feretory platform, which projects into the chapel between the piers, is in reality an extension of the sanctuary floor of the quire, and the moulded bases of the three shafts on the inner face of each great pier carrying the transverse arch between quire and chapel stand upon it, but the shafts between this point and the eastern and western apices of the pier, the limit to which the platform extends on either side, rise from the floor without bases. The evidence of change in design during the early stages of the building of these piers, already referred to, was furnished in 1895, when excavations were made at the foot of the north pier in order to give access to the still existing walls of the old apse of the quire. The changes took place before the piers had been carried above the level of the present platform, and the bases of the pier then uncovered have been left exposed. A little above the chapel floor, which below the platform is raised a step, the plinth as a whole has a moulded base, on which stand water-holding bases for both attached stone shafts and detached marble shafts; the original intention appears to have been to make the feretory platform narrower in order to leave the foot of the piers clear. When, however, the piers had been carried up higher, it seems to have been determined to discard the detached marble shafts, but on its being finally decided to complete the platform in its present form, the detached shafts were introduced. The pavement of the platform appears to be that of the apse (which occupied its site) reset and made out from semicircular to rectangular form with new stone, the old curvedoutline stones of the original pavement being retained approximately in their original positions. The transverse arch between quire and chapel is of three elaborately moulded orders towards the east, the intermediate order being enriched with dog-tooth ornament.

The setting out of the east wall of the chapel was no doubt inspired by the design of the Nine Altars at Fountains, begun a few years before. There, however, the comparative narrowness of the quire aisles made it possible to arrange the western bays to match the eastern bays, but at Durham the irregular distribution of the points of support presented a problem in vaulting which has only been solved by the most ingenious compromise. The square central bay of course offered no particular difficulty, but had the three bays on either side been vaulted in as many narrow quadripartite compartments of differing sizes and irregular shapes, the effect would have been awkward in the extreme. The pairs of bays adjoining the central bay were therefore each grouped into one nearly rectangular sexpartite compartment, the transverse rib, owing to the vaulting-piers not being opposite to one another, passing very much to the side of the centre of the compartment. Of the two remaining bays, the northernmost was covered by a quadripartite vault, while the southernmost bay, having five points of support, was covered by a vault of quinquepartite form. The stability of the vaulting is amply provided for, the four angle turrets and the buttresses which counteract the thrusts on the eastern and southern vaulting-piers being proportioned to their varying loads. On the west, the walls of the quire provide sufficient abutment for the piers of the central bay, and short buttresses are erected on the walls of the quire aisles to abut the piers which carry the transverse ribs of the sexpartite compartments. The two remaining piers are left without further abutment than the great thickness of the walls provides, as being sufficiently close to the western angle turrets. The vault of the central bay is constructed on a modification of the quadripartite principle, having divergent twin diagonals forming a four-pointed star about a central circular opening or eye-hole. The transverse arches are of two orders, the outer order has dog-tooth enrichment, and the ribs have foliage set at intervals in the hollows flanking their central rolls. The eye-hole is surrounded by a heavy moulding sculptured with figures of the four Evangelists, and upon this moulding the ribs converge in pairs. The sexpartite vaults also have large eye-holes with richly sculptured mouldings. (fn. 12) The diagonal ribs are enriched like those of the vault of the central bay, and the skewed transverses, which pass to the side of the eye-holes, are of two orders, the outer enriched with the dog-tooth. The northernmost and southernmost compartments of vaulting have diagonal ribs of the same character, but the transverses are of slighter proportions than those separating the sexpartite compartments from the central compartment.

The nine altars placed along the east wall are enumerated in Rites. In the middle bay was the altar of St. Cuthbert and St. Bede, flanked by those of St. Martin on the north and St. Oswald and St. Lawrence on the south. In the three northern bays were the altars of St. Michael, St. Aidan and St. Helen, and St. Peter and St. Paul. The three southern bays contained the altars of St. Thomas of Canterbury and St. Katherine, St. John Baptist and St. Margaret, and St. Andrew and St. Mary Magdalene. 'Between every altar (was) a uerye faire and large partition of wainscott all uarnished ouer, wth fine branches & flowers and other imagerye most finely and artificially pictured and guilted, conteyninge the severall lockers or ambers for the safe keepinge of the uestments and ornaments belonginge to euerye altar,' while above the altars were 'couers of wainscote … in uerye decent and comely forme.' (fn. 13)

At the north end of the chapel is the white marble monument of Bishop William Van Mildert (d. 1836), which stands over his tomb. It represents him seated, holding a book, and is the work of John Gibson, R.A. The tomb of Bishop Anthony Bek (d. 1311) is close by, but is marked only by a blue slab, with a modern inscription. (fn. 14) No trace of the monument of Bishop Richard de Bury (d. 1345) remains, but a marble slab with canopied figure in relief was placed in 1903 at the south end of the chapel over the place of his burial. There are other more modern grave slabs and wall tablets.

The floor of the chapel was newly flagged in 1825. The altar pace along the east side is raised two steps, with a return at the north end.

The exterior of the chapel follows the general lines of its construction with gables north and south and a smaller one in the middle of the east elevation, behind the parapet, over the wheel window. The great north-east and south-east buttresses, square on plan, become octagonal at the line of the sills of the upper windows and terminate in lofty pinnacles. The two major buttresses on the east elevation have smaller pinnacles set back behind gabled heads, and the intermediate buttresses terminate in gablets at the line of the parapet. The character of the original design of the east front was a good deal changed at the time of the early 19th-century restoration, many features being then destroyed and others introduced. Wyatt removed the canopied niches of the major buttresses containing the statues of William of St. Calais and Ranulf Flambard mentioned in Rites, (fn. 15) and the wall surface suffered in the general paring down process. The north pinnacles (fn. 16) and the windows in the east gable lighting the roof space date from this period. All the lower windows have double chamfered jambs and moulded heads and the upper have single jamb shafts and labels. In the middle bay, between the major buttresses, the slender intermediate buttresses between the lancets are carried up to support an arcade of three plain arches, thus advancing the surface of the wall immediately below the wheel window and making the lancets appear to be deeply recessed. The wheel window is moulded all round and has Wyatt's Gothic ornament in the spandrels. Horizontally the east elevation is divided at mid-height by a string-course, and there is a string also at the level of the sills of the lower windows. On one of the corner stones of the major buttress south of the middle bay is cut in 13th-century characters 'Posuit hanc petram Thomas Moises,' a record of the name of one of the masons engaged in the work. (fn. 17) The north gable has an open arcade of five trefoiled moulded arches on grouped shafts with moulded capitals and bases, standing on a string above the great window. Over this in the apex of the gable are three smaller trefoiled arches with canopies. (fn. 18) The south gable is entirely filled by an ascending arcade of seven moulded arches, three alternate openings of which are pierced and glazed, lighting the roof space. In a recess on the face of the north-west turret is the famous carving representing the legend of the Dun Cow. The original sculpture had fallen into decay before 1795 and was in consequence replaced by the present cow and milkmaids of frankly modern character. (fn. 19)

The platform of ST. CUTHBERT'S FERETORY is 6 ft. above the floor of the chapel of the Nine Altars, into which it projects some 10 ft. It is separated from the quire by the screen of the high altar and is 37 ft. long from north to south by 23 ft. in width. It has a low parapet with modern moulded coping and its north and south sides are plain, but the longer east face has an arcade of eleven boldly moulded semicircular arches springing from shafts with moulded capitals and bases, all work of the latest date of the chapel. Originally the platform was enclosed by a grille upon which were 'very fine candlesticks of iron' which had lights set in them before day 'so that the monks could see to read on their books in the Nine Altars when they said mass.' (fn. 20) The shrine was destroyed shortly after the surrender of the convent, but the precise date is not known. The oak screen erected on three sides of the platform in the 17th century was removed in 1844: (fn. 21) it is shown in Billings' drawing engraved the year before, and a portion of it, four bays in length, is now in the University Library. (fn. 22) The tomb of St. Cuthbert was opened in 1827, and again in 1899: its contents have already been described. (fn. 23) The Purbeck marble ground course of the substructure of the shrine was recovered from the grave at the latter date and is now placed on the platform around the blue marble slab that marks the position of the saint's burial place. (fn. 24) The feretory is thus described in Rites:—'Next to theise 9 altars was the goodly monument of St. Cuthbert adioyninge to the quire and the high altar on the west end, reachinge toward the 9 altars on the east, and toward the north and south containinge the breadth of the quire in quadrant (fn. 25) form, in the midst whereof his sacred shrine was exalted with most curious workmanshipp of fine and costly marble all limned and guilted with gold, hauinge foure seates or places conuenient under the shrine for the pilgrims … sittinge on theire knees to leane and rest on, in time of their deuout offeringes and feruent prayers to God and holy St. Cuthbert.' The shrine had an elaborate cover ' of Wainescott' which besides other enrichments was 'all gilded over, and of eyther side was painted fower lively Images curious to ye beholders, and on the East End was painted the picture of or Savior sittinge on a Rainebowe to give Judgmt … and on the West end of itt was ye picture of or Lady & Savior on her knee …' Elaborate arrangements were made for lifting the cover, and the main suspension rope was hung with silver bells. The hole into which the pulley was fixed is still visible in the shell of the vault just to the east of the transverse arch between quire and chapel.

The magnificent stone reredos, known as the NEVILLE SCREEN, divides the sanctuary from the feretory. It is placed a little to the east of the centre of the easternmost bay of the quire and is described in Rites as being 'all of french peere uerye curiously wrought both of the inside and the outside (i.e. on the east and west faces) with faire images of Alabaster … the sd curious workmanshipp of french peere or Laordose reachinge in height almost to the middle vault (i.e. the aisle vaults) and containinge the breadth of the quire in lengthe.' The 'french peere' or free-stone of which it is constructed is a variety of clunch, but where quarried it is difficult to say. The 'faire images of Alabaster' have long disappeared, but otherwise the structure remains practically intact, with the four contemporary sedilia on either side, which are placed under the adjacent arches of the quire arcades, and separate the sanctuary from the aisles. The screen is divided into nine bays by slender uprights of rectangular plan with buttressed angles, and the lower part, which is solid, is pierced by two doorways opening into the feretory, while the whole of the upper portion, extending from a little above the heads of the doorways to the 'middle vault,' is occupied by open tabernacles for images placed between the uprights. The tabernacles in the central bay and the alternate bays on either side are arranged in two diminishing stages with octagonal canopies to each stage, those of the upper stage, which rise clear of the uprights between the bays, being surmounted in addition by open octagonal lanterns with crocketed spirelets. The tabernacles in the intermediate bays are of one stage only, and have hexagonal canopies crowned by hexagonal lanterns of the same character as those of the octagonal tabernacles. The western projecting angles of the canopies are unsupported, leaving the tabernacles entirely open towards the quire, but on the side towards the feretory they are supported by slender buttressed uprights or mullions, those of the octagonal tabernacles rising from the buttressed angles of three-sided pedestals projecting from the lower portion of the screen. The canopies and lanterns throughout have cinquefoiled arches, gabled and crocketed, in each face, and each tabernacle contains a richly panelled pedestal for an image, while all the minute buttress work is elaborately finished with gables, crockets and pinnacles. The dividing uprights, which, as will be clear from the foregoing description, do not rise higher than the lower tier of tabernacles, each contain four tiers of small niches with pedestals and cinquefoiled heads on both faces, and are crowned by crocketed and finialled pinnacles. On the quire side the three middle bays of the solid lower portion of the screen are without projections, to allow for the High Altar to be placed against it. Below the two octagonal tabernacles on either side of the three altar bays are richly panelled three-sided pedestals rising from the floor to the base of the tabernacles, while below the intermediate hexagonal tabernacles are the two doorways to the feretory, which have cinquefoiled and subfoliated two-centred heads with spandrels containing shields with the Neville saltire in quatrefoils. On the side towards the feretory the heads of the doorways are of the same form, but are uncusped. Beneath each of the other hexagonal tabernacles on this side are two small niches with pedestals and cinquefoiled heads, ranging with the lowermost of the niches in the uprights, and the pedestals beneath the octagonal tabernacles have similar niches in their east faces. The sedilia are treated in the same style. The four seats in each range are separated from each other by slender buttressed piers supporting octagonal canopies with gabledcinquefoiled arches in each face, and the canopies are surmounted by tall open tabernacles of the same plan, crowned by crocketed and finialled spirelets.

St. Calais' QUIRE consisted of the two aisled double bays which still exist, a single bay to the east of the double bays, and beyond this the apse. The aisles originally terminated on either side of the single bay in small apses, which appear by the foundations discovered to have been internal only, their external eastern terminations having been rectangular. In the 13th century the apse was demolished, and the adjacent single bay, with the apsidal easternmost bays of the aisles, was rebuilt to join up with the new work of the Nine Altars. Between the double bays are shafted responds of two orders rising from the floor, which were evidently designed to carry a semicircular transverse arch of two orders, like those in the transepts. The shafts of the responds, like all the other attached shafts, are St. Calais' work, of half-round section with cushion capitals and moulded bases consisting of flat, slightly channelled, splays. Each respond has a square plinth common to its three shafts, with a larger subplinth below, the off-set being finished with a plain chamfer, but the westernmost shafts on both sides have been cut away for the stalling. The quire is bounded on the west by the eastern arch of the crossing, which is of three orders towards the east, but of only two towards the west. The innermost order has hollow-chamfered edges and a large half-round on the soffit, the next order has a plain roll on each edge, while the third order on the east face is unmoulded. The responds form part of the eastern piers of the crossing, which may be described as consisting of shafted responds of two orders on each cardinal face, with single attached shafts between, the whole number of attached shafts amounting to sixteen. The responds of two orders on the inner north and south faces of the piers, together with the single shafts adjoining on the east, suffice to carry the orders of the arch, the answering single shafts on the west being carried up the internal angles of the tower. The shafts are of the same detail as those of the responds of the main transverse, and rest on a plinth of the same height, but of different detail, the chamfered off-set being replaced by a projecting band with a quirked chamfer on its upper and lower edges. In both cases it may be noted that the central shaft of each group of three is larger than the flanking shafts and has a capital of correspondingly greater size. There are clear indications that the division of sanctuary and quire was marked by an arch of the same type as the eastern arch of the crossing (probably of three orders on both faces) between the single bay next the apse and the adjoining double bay; the piers between these bays still remain, but the shafted responds, which must have corresponded with those of the eastern arch of the crossing, were cut away in the 13th century, when the junction between the new work and the old was effected. Each of the original double bays has on either side, opening to the aisles, a pair of semicircular arches supported by a central cylindrical pier of massive proportions, and shafted responds against the main piers. The arches are of two orders moulded with hollows and angle-rolls, the inner orders having in addition a large roll on the soffit. The west responds of the arcade are formed by the three attached shafts on the east face of each crossing-pier, which have cushion capitals and moulded bases like those of the shafts on the inner faces of the piers from which the eastern arch of the crossing springs. The responds against the other main piers are designed to correspond, but the plinths of the responds in the eastern bay follow the pattern of those of the responds of the central transverse already described. As the ground-stages of the piers between the double bays are made of the same length on plan from east to west as the crossing-piers, though the shafted responds of the central transverse attached to them have one order less than those of the eastern arch of the crossing, short spaces of blank wall interrupt the continuity of the suites of shafts. The intermediate piers are not complete cylinders, for shafted responds of two orders, from which spring the transverses of the aisle vaults, are attached to their aisle sides. The drum of the cylindrical portion of each pier is ornamented with left-handed spiral fluting, and the main capital, the plan of which is composed of five sides of an octagon (the remaining sides being merged in the capitals of the shafts of the responds of the aisle transverses), is of cushion type, approximating to the scalloped form. The abacus is continuous round the whole pier, which stands on a base and plinth corresponding to those of the responds against the main piers. The walls are set back 11 in. at the level of the triforium sill, which is marked by a plain chamfered string-course, and upon the set-off thus formed stand short vaulting-shafts; these consist of single attached shafts placed in the nooks formed by the setting back of the face of the wall next the shafts on the main piers, and of triple shafts in the centre of each bay over the minor or cylindrical piers. All have cushion capitals and moulded bases standing on square plinths, but the capitals of the eastern nook-shaft and the triple shafts in the east double bay are carved with foliage similar to that of the 13th-century capitals adjoining, while retaining generally their old form. As the nookshafts, which were designed to receive the diagonals of the vault, were necessarily placed next the responds of the main transverses without regard to their unequal length from east to west, the western nook-shafts of the western double bay are exactly above the shafts of the outer orders of the westernmost arches of the arcades, while the eastern nook-shafts are a little to the east of the corresponding responds beneath. The same relative positions of the nook-shafts are repeated in the eastern bay, the eastern nook-shafts answering exactly in position to the western nook-shafts of the western bay, a circumstance which can only be explained by the former existence to the eastward of shafted responds of the same number of orders as those of the eastern arch of the crossing. In each of the vertical subdivisions formed by the vaulting shafts is an opening to the triforium with a clearstory window above it. The triforium openings are double, each having a pair of semicircular arches, with hollow-chamfered edges and a half-round on the soffit, contained under an outer inclosing arch of the same form moulded with a quirked angle-roll below a hollow. Both orders spring from half-shafts attached to the jambs, and the inner pair of arches rest in the centre upon a circular shaft of the same detail as the jamb shafts. The triforium is lighted by pairs of small semicircular-headed lights in the outer walls of the aisles. There is no clearstory passage; the windows in this stage have plain internal openings with semicircular heads and stepped sills.

The double bays were evidently each designed to carry two compartments of quadripartite vaulting, the middle shafts of the groups of three vaulting-shafts placed over the cylindrical piers of the arcades supporting a transverse rib, while the flanking shafts and the nook-shafts received the diagonals. (fn. 26) The thrusts of the vault were counteracted at the points of support by semicircular arches which still span the triforium beneath the aisle roof, and by broad pilasters on the outer wall. In the western double bay, which is a little shorter than the eastern, the arches of the arcades next the crossing-piers are considerably narrower than the eastern arches, and consequently, as the triple vaulting-shafts are placed exactly over the cylindrical piers of the arcades, the western compartment of the double vault of this bay must have been, as it still is, much narrower than the eastern compartment. Even had both bays been subdivided equally with respect to the ground-stage, as is the case in the eastern bay, the compartments of the vaults next the central main transverse would still have been slightly wider than the other compartments, owing to the greater width from east to west of the eastern arch of the crossing and the former great sanctuary arch.

The remains of the apse, which were uncovered in 1895, show that an interlacing arcade like that which runs round the outer walls of the original portions of the church occupied the lower part of the ground-stage, and that there were two vaulting-responds similar to those of the central transverse of the surviving portion of the quire. The groundstage of the original single bay next the apse must have been blank, as it was flanked by the eastern apses of the aisles. The interlacing arcades were most likely continued from the apse along the foot of the walls, and the triforium and clearstory probably repeated the design of each subdivision of the upper stages of the double bays. The vault was almost certainly a single quadripartite compartment carried by triforium shafts, and it was probably separated by a transverse arch of two orders from that of the apse.

The 13th-century rebuilding entailed the demolition of all this bay except the substance of the piers which divided it from the original double bays. Single arches open to the easternmost bays of the aisles, which were also rebuilt to join up with the new eastern transept. These arches are of the same type as those which open from the east end of the aisles into the Nine Altars. They are each of three richly moulded orders, the outer order stilted, and the intermediate order ornamented with the dog-tooth. Their western responds are the counterpart of the eastern responds, which form part of the great piers terminating the side walls of the quire. The labels are enriched with knobs of foliage and touch the enriched string-courses which mark the sill of the triforium. The walls are not set back above the ground-stage as in the original western bays. The triforium openings are nearly alike on both sides; each consists of three two-centred drop arches with dog-tooth enrichment inclosed by a nearly semicircular arch with an enriched label and headstops. The subsidiary arches spring from circular shafts with foliage capitals and moulded bases, the shafts at the responds being flanked by smaller detached shafts with similar capitals and bases. Outside these again on both quire and triforium faces are slender marble shafts with capitals and bases of the same character, those towards the quire carrying the inclosing arch. In the tympanum above the subsidiary arches are two circular quatrefoiled panels, those of the northern triforium opening being filled with rich foliation, while those of the southern opening are plain; below these panels, immediately over the intersections of the arches, are richly carved bosses of foliage. The abaci of the jamb shafts of the northern opening are continued as string courses to the extremities of the bay, and in both cases the back of the wall is carried by a pair of two-centred arches springing from a central shaft, circular on the north and octagonal on the south. The clearstory string is like that of the triforium. The clearstory has on either side a pair of pointed windows, each of two uncusped lights, those on the north having a plain circle in the head; the twin reararches, which are enriched with the dog-tooth, spring from marble nook shafts with foliage capitals and moulded bases flanked by stone shaft-rolls round which the main capitals are continued, and are received upon short stone shaft-rolls with similar capitals attached to the central pier, the lower part of which is cut away for the wall-passage and rests upon an isolated cluster of marble shafts with elaborately carved capitals and moulded bases of the same type as those of the nook shafts. The wall-passage is entered from the western clearstory of the Nine Altars, and is not continued westward beyond this bay. The openings in the jambs have shouldered heads like those of the wall-passage openings in the Nine Altars, and the lintel supporting the upper part of the central pier has hollow-chamfered edges filled with carved ornament.

As has been pointed out above, the piers between this bay and the next belong mainly to St. Calais' work, but their faces have been made flush with the adjacent walling by the cutting away of the shafted responds of the former sanctuary arch. The junction of the old and new work is clearly shown by the changes in the masonry which occur at this point, the small and comparatively irregular coursing of the 13th-century builders giving place to the still more irregular 'making good' of the facing of the truncated piers, which is in turn succeeded by the regularly-coursed ashlar of the original bays. The flush surface of each pier is masked by a tall arcade of three trefoiled arches, the gabled canopies of which extend to the silllevel of the triforium, while the shafts upon which they are carried rest on carved corbels placed at a distance from the sanctuary floor equal to about one-third of the whole height from the floor to the triforium. The shafts, which are alternately of stone and marble, are banded, and have capitals richly carved with foliage, birds and grotesques; the arches are moulded with a deep hollow filled with rich sculpture, and the gabled canopies are crowned with rich finials and crocketed with foliage in which occur human figures in miniature niches and birds of a most naturalistic type. The corbels of the shafts are treated in the same style of elaboration, being carved with human and grotesque forms. Below this arcade is a band of arcaded panelling consisting of six trefoiled arches springing from shafts with plain capitals and inclosed within a square containing label, and between the panelling and the floor is an aumbry with double doors. The triforium string-course is stepped upwards as it crosses the pier, clearing the canopies, and is again dropped to join the plain string-course of the original bays. (fn. 27) Immediately above the raised portion of the string-course is the richly carved corbel upon which the short triple shafts of the present easternmost transverse are carried. These consist of a central stone shaft flanked by two slighter marble shafts, all having elaborately sculptured capitals.

The present high vault of the quire belongs to the period of the 13th-century reconstruction. The irregularity which St. Calais' method of spacing must have entailed in the sizes of the compartments of the original high vault has already been pointed out.

The entire rebuilding of the single bay next the apse, however, and the removal of the great sanctuary arch by which it was separated from the double bays, rendered it possible approximately to equalise all the compartments except the westernmost. The new transverse arches, which are of the two-centred form, were all made slighter and of equal size, the double compartment system being abandoned in favour of a series of single quadripartite compartments, and as it was necessary to keep the crown of the vault as nearly as possible at the old level, the centres of those transverses which are carried by the old points of support are dropped below their springing. In consequence of this rearrangement of the vault, only the middle shafts of the responds of the old transverses of two orders between the double bays are required to carry the new transverses at this point, and the shafts on either side, which carried the outer order of the old transverses, now receive the diagonals. The short flankingshafts rising from the triforium sill upon which the old diagonals were received, being thus rendered useless for their original purpose, were utilised to support slender marble shafts with foliated capitals from which the present stilted wall-ribs spring. The triple attached shafts standing upon the triforium sill in the middle of each bay received as before the transverses and diagonals of the vault, and the vaulting shafts next the responds of the eastern arch of the crossing, which were necessarily left untouched, still continued to discharge their original functions, the slender shafts of the wall-ribs being supported by carved corbels. In the case of the transverse between the new and the old work, however, which is placed at about the centre line of the former sanctuary arch, the cutting away of the original shafted responds left the shafts of the old diagonals isolated some distance westwards from the triple corbelled shafts provided for the new transverse and diagonals, and consequently useless for the direct support of the wall-ribs of this compartment. Marble shafts extending to the shell of the vault, like those of the wall-ribs of the other compartments, are, however, placed upon their capitals, and the space intervening between them and the eastern spring of the vault is occupied on both north and south sides by trefoiled gables forming canopies to small figures on sculptured brackets. These canopies die into the vault on the east and thus mask the springing of the wall-ribs, while on the west they rest on small marble shafts supported by carved corbels placed immediately to the east of the capitals of the shafts of the old diagonals. The transverse arches of the vault are like those of the vault of the Nine Altars, being each of two orders, the inner order moulded with filleted rolls, and the outer order enriched with dogtooth ornament. The diagonals are moulded with a central filleted roll with hollows on either side filled with dog-tooth ornament set at intervals. The easternmost compartment has in addition a transverse ridge-rib terminated on the north by a seated figure flanked by lizard-like monsters, and on the south by an angel; the wall-ribs of this compartment spring from richly carved corbels. The central bosses of the whole vault are very elaborately sculptured; that of the middle compartment has a figure of the Agnus Dei, while the boss of the westernmost compartment appears to represent Abraham receiving the souls of the saved into Heaven.

The treatment of the remodelled easternmost bays is nearly alike in both QUIRE AISLES. Each has seven bays of wall-arcading of the same type as that of the Nine Altars, and is lighted by an original late 13th-century window with restored four-light tracery and a twocentred rear-arch of two orders with dog-tooth enrichment, springing from twin jamb shafts with foliated capitals, the inner shafts being of marble and the outer shafts of stone. These windows are placed close against the responds bounding the bays on the west, and the outer of the western jamb shafts is utilised in each case to carry one of the diagonals of the vault, into which the outer order of the rear-arch dies. The wall-arcade of the bay on the north has no bounding string-course above it, and the quatrefoils over the intersections of the archmouldings are omitted in the four bays beneath the window, the sill of which is splayed downwards nearly to the tops of the labels of the arcade, and finished with a projecting moulding on the edge. The sill of the corresponding window of the south aisle is not splayed so far downwards, and the string-course above the arcade is confined to the four western bays, stopping at this point upon a foliated boss. The shafts of the second bay from the west are cut short and rest upon the ogee-shaped label of an inserted 14th-century doorway, now blocked. The quadripartite vaults have richly sculptured central bosses, and the ribs are of the same character as those of the high vault.

The transverse arches dividing these bays from the western bays are of the original work of St. Calais. They are each of two semicircular moulded orders, and, as has been explained above, marked the commencement of the original apses. The orders are moulded with rolls and hollows and the responds have attached half-shafts with cushion capitals and moulded bases to each order. The plinths and sub-plinths are like those of the eastern quire piers, and are of the same height. Immediately to the west of the responds of the transverses are single attached half-shafts for the diagonals of the vaults, those on the quire sides of the aisles connecting the responds of the transverses and those of the adjoining arches of the quire arcades into continuous suites of shafts. The four remaining bays of each aisle, which, being spaced by the centre-lines of the quire, are of unequal length, are divided from each other by transverses of a single order, springing from the middle shafts of triple shafted responds like those of the easternmost transverses, the flanking shafts receiving the diagonals. The plinths and sub-plinths follow the design of those of the quire piers to which they are severally adjacent. The westernmost bays open north and south to the transept aisles; the lower portions of the outer walls of the other bays are occupied by interlacing arcades, the longer bays having six bays of arcading, and the shorter bays five. These arcades, which, as stated above, are continued round the outer walls of the whole of the original church, though interrupted in many places by later insertions, stand upon a sub-plinth formed by a continuation of that of the responds of the transverses; they consist of interlacing semicircular arches moulded with edge-rolls and shallow hollows and springing from coupled shafts with cushion and scalloped capitals having an abacus common to each pair and moulded bases standing on square plinths above the sub-plinth. The present windows of the north aisle were originally inserted in the last half of the 14th century, but they were all renewed in 1848, their tracery being for the most part copied from windows to be found in the churches of Sleaford and Holbeach in Lincolnshire and Boughton Aluph in Kent. Their internal sills are lower than those of St. Calais' windows, the string-course marking the sill-level of which has been lowered about 9 in. in the second and third bays, and has been replaced by a 14th-century string-course in the fourth bay. In each bay is a stone bench; that in the third bay opposite the site of Bishop Skirlaw's altar is of the late 14th or early 15th century, and the front has multifoiled circular panels containing Skirlaw's shield of arms alternating with smaller cinquefoil-headed panels. The bench in the second bay is quite plain, while that in the fourth bay has a projecting moulding with nail-head enrichment and is stopped by a doorway formerly leading to the Sacrist's Exchequer, or later Song School. (fn. 28)

The windows of the south aisle are also 14th-century insertions. They are each of four lights with flowing tracery in a two-centred head, and are said to have been 'restored as they were found' in 1842. The original sill-string has been replaced by a 14th-century sill-string. In the third bay is a plain stone bench. The wallarcade in the fourth bay has been partly cut away for the insertion of two doorways; the eastern, which is of the 13th century and has a trefoiled head and shafted jambs, is the 'reuestrye' doorway of Rites, while the western doorway, a 14th-century insertion, may perhaps have opened to stairs to the 'Chamber' over the west end of the vestry. The ribs of the quadripartite vaults which cover each bay of the original portions of the aisles are moulded with hollow-chamfered edges and have half-rounds on their soffits.

Traces of the fittings of the aisles described in Rites can still be seen in the stonework. In the easternmost bay of the north aisle was the loft or 'porch' called the 'Anchoridge.' In it was 'an altar for a monke to say dayly masse beinge in antient time inhabited with an Anchorite, wherunto the Pretors (priors) were wont much to frequent both for the excellency of the place as also to heare the masse standinge so conveniently unto the high altar … the entrance to this porch or Anchoridge was upp a paire of faire staires adioyninge to the north dore of St. Cuthbert's feretorie, under the wch staires the pascall did lye… .' The fifth and westernmost bay of the aisle, which opens into the eastern aisle of the north transept, was occupied by a 'porch … hauinge in it an altar and the rood or picture of our sauiour, wch altar and roode was much frequented in deuotion of Dtr Swallwell sometime monke of Durham… .' In the easternmost bay of the south aisle 'adioyninge to the pillar next St. Cuthberts Feretorie, next the Quire door on the south side there was a most fair Roode or picture of our Saviour, called the black rood of Scotland with the picture of Mary and John being brought out of holy rood house in Scotland by King David Bruce, and was wonne at the battle of Durham with the picture of our Lady on the one side of our Saviour and the picture of St. John on the other side, the which Rood and pictures were all three very richly wrought in silver, the which were all smoked black over, and on every one of their heads, a Crowne of pure bett gold of goldsmithes work… .' The rood was attached to 'fine Wainscot work … redd Varnished over very finely, and all sett full of starres of Lead, every starre finely guilted over with gold… .'

On the south side of the quire, between the piers of the western arch of the east double bay, is the MONUMENT OF BISHOP HATFIELD (d. 1381), with the great throne of stone above it erected by the bishop during his lifetime. The alabaster effigy of the bishop lies on a high table tomb with moulded plinth and arcaded sides, the canopy of which forms the ground story of the throne. This is an elaborate piece of work, open to the north and south by foliated segmental arches, on each side of which are trefoiled niches containing brackets for statues, flanked by narrow buttresses of two stages terminating in pinnacles. The arches are richly moulded and have large shields with the bishop's arms in the spandrels; the arms also occur on smaller shields all over the monument, the ground work of which is of rich diaper. The canopy has a lierne vaulted roof with moulded ribs, the intersections of which have bosses of sculptured foliage, and on the walls at the east and west ends are the remains of paintings representing in each case two angels. (fn. 29) A flight of steps on the east side leads from the quire to the throne, which is a kind of pulpitum or gallery containing five seats, for the bishop and his chaplains. The fronts of the seats have quatrefoil panelling and that of the bishop projects in hexagonal form. This middle seat has above it a hexagonal niche with canopy of rich design, and above this again is another canopied niche rising to a considerable height. The backs of the other seats are panelled in the lower part, and above is open tracery work with canopied niches for statues flanking the central opening at a lower level. The back of the throne thus forms an elaborate piece of stone tabernacle work in five bays divided by slender pinnacled buttresses. The sloping wall of the staircase is arcaded with trefoiled arches in which are brackets for statues, but the iron handrail is modern. The throne was restored about 1700 (fn. 30) by Bishop Crewe, but the present painted wooden front, which takes the place of the original one of stone, is nearly a century later. The whole monument was originally richly gilded and coloured and still retains much of its colouring. (fn. 31)

In the middle of the quire in front of the altar steps is the great blue marble slab which covered the GRAVE OF BISHOP LEWIS BEAUMONT (d. 1333). It was discovered beneath the pavement in 1848 when the east portion of the floor of the quire was lowered to the level of the west section and the steps moved nearer the altar. The slab, now in two pieces, measures 15 ft. 10 in. by 9 ft. 7 in., and formerly bore a large brass, the matrix for which alone remains. It is described in Rites as 'a most curious and sumptuous marble stone … adorned with most excellent workmanshipp of brasse, wherein [the bishop] was most excellently and lively pictured, as he was accustomed to singe or say mass, with his mitre on his head and his crosier's staff in his hand … being most artificially wrought and sett forth.' (fn. 32)

In the bay opposite the Bishop's throne, on the north side of the quire and occupying the site of 'Skirlaw's altar,' (fn. 33) is the monument, with recumbent EFFIGY OF BISHOP LIGHTFOOT (d. 1891) in white marble, designed by Sir Edgar Boehm, R.A., and completed after his death by Alfred Gilbert, R.A. There is also on the south side of the quire a modern tablet to Joseph Butler, Bishop of Durham (d. 1752), with an inscription by W. E. Gladstone.


THE STALLS, with the tabernacle work over them, were erected during Cosin's episcopate, c. 1665, and are interesting examples of the characteristic work associated with his name, in which the general form and spirit of the 15th century are preserved side by side with Renaissance or classic detail. There are eighteen stalls on each side, and originally there were four returns on each side of the quire entrance, but when Cosin's screen was taken down in 1846 the return stalls were removed; the rest were altered and the tabernacle work 'cut to pieces and placed between the piers instead of in front of them.' (fn. 34) The side stalls were restored to their original positions thirty years later by Sir Gilbert Scott, the tabernacle work replaced in front of the piers and new parts carved to take the place of those destroyed; new front seats were also added. The stalls have tall and rich canopies supported by circular shafts, traceried back panelling, and a series of carved misericordes. (fn. 35) The desks and carved bench-ends (fn. 36) are of the same date, as is also the litany desk, which bears the arms of Cosin and those of the see. The oak faldstools in the sanctuary are also Cosin's.

Of other mediaeval QUIRE FITTINGS no proper record of the quire-screen has been preserved, but it appears to have been of stone and adorned with statues of kings and queens of England and Scotland and of bishops, founders and benefactors of the church. (fn. 37) The destruction of Cosin's screen is much to be deplored. It is described as a magnificent work of elaborately and richly carved oak vigorously treated. Upon it was placed in 1684 the organ built by Bernard Schmidt (Father Smith) in a very handsome oak case on which were the arms of Bishop Crewe. The case was removed from the church in 1876 and is now in the Cathedral Library. (fn. 38)

The present open quire-screen, by Sir Gilbert Scott, is of three bays, of marble and alabaster, with clustered piers and spandrels of mosaic work.

The altar put up by Dean Hunt (1620–38), consisting of a red marble slab on six supporting pillars, is still in position, though covered by the later altar designed by Scott. The 'cherubim faces' complained of by Peter Smart have disappeared, but holes on the faces of the pillars mark their position.

Two brass chandeliers, dating from 1751, hang in the quire; another and larger one has been lost.


THE CROSSING was designed to receive a vault, but it is impossible now to say whether the vault was built. In each of the four internal angles is a single attached shaft; these shafts are original up to rather more than half the height from the springing of the crossing arches to the gallery above, but the walling shows that there has never been a vault below the gallery level. (fn. 39) It is possible that no central tower was built, the crossing being perhaps covered with a low pyramidal roof; but, supposing a tower of some sort to have been erected, it seems to have been rebuilt or heightened in the latter half of the 13th century by Prior Hugh de Derlington, and it was this upper structure or bell-tower which was set on fire by lightning and destroyed in May 1429. It seems to have been constructed largely of timber, and was surmounted by a small cupola covered with copper or brass. The new tower which took its place was 'so enfeebled and shaken' by 1458 that doubts were entertained as to its standing for any length of time, and its rebuilding, as already stated, was carried out in 1470–76, the lantern or bell-chamber not being completed till about fifteen years later. Above the arches of the crossing the great tower rises some 150 ft., its total height above the ground being 218 ft. The internal gallery is reached by doorways with crocketed ogee hood-moulds, one in the middle of each of the four walls, and is carried on corbels. It has a parapet pierced with quatrefoils in circles and a moulded coping; the alternate corbels are carved with grotesques, and two on the west side bear respectively the arms of Bishops Booth and Langley. (fn. 40) Between the gallery and the great windows the wall surface on either side the doorways is covered with an arcade of tall cinquefoiled arches set in pairs, each pair below a crocketed canopy and separated from the next by slender buttresses of two stages. The arcading stands on a projecting string-course in which are set four-leaf flowers and small corbels supporting the buttresses. Two of these corbels are carved with the rebus of Prior Richard Bell (1464–78) and a third with a mermaid. Above the arcade are a string-course and band of quatrefoils at the level of the sills of the great windows, in front of which the quatrefoil panels are pierced and the band forms the parapet of a wall passage which at this level goes round the whole tower. Immediately above the windows the tower is vaulted with a quadripartite vault subdivided by intermediate and lierne ribs with carved bosses at the intersections and having a large well-hole. The diagonal ribs spring at the angles from round vaulting-shafts and the transverse ribs from a shaft in the middle of each wall carried on a corbel. Above the vault is the bell-ringers' floor, and over this again the bell chamber. Externally the tower is of two unequal stages above the roofs. The loftier lower stage has on each side two tall pointed windows, lighting the crossing below the vault, each of two lights divided by a transom and covered by ogee crocketed labels with tall finials. The windows are flanked and separated by narrow panelled pilasters, each with figures in the lower panels. This stage is divided from that above by a narrow external gallery, reached by a doorway in the north wall, called the Bell-ringers' Gallery, which has a pierced embattled parapet. The upper, or bell chamber, stage has also two pointed windows on each side, each of two lights, with ogee crocketed labels, and slender buttress between, and finishes with a pierced embattled parapet. The roof is leaded. There are double buttresses at each angle of the tower, carried up its full height, in the front of which are canopied niches containing statues. The higher stages above the main roofs are reached by a staircase in the south-west angle, entered from the roof space of the south transept.

In 1810 the exterior of the upper stage was cased in cement, and the whole tower 'made to suffer serious indignities,' but at the restoration of 1859 the cement was removed and the whole of the upper stage refaced in stone. The statues, which had been taken down in 1810, (fn. 41) were reinstated and thirteen new ones added. The exterior of the tower was much altered in detail at this time. (fn. 42) Massive squinches in the angles of the upper stage may point to an intention to build a spire, or octagon, (fn. 43) an intention never carried out.


THE TRANSEPTS with their eastern aisles nearly resemble each other in their details. Each transept consists, or rather was originally intended to consist, of two double bays of unequal size. The double bay next the crossing on each side is considerably longer than the other, and the bays are separated by a semicircular transverse of two orders, with shafted responds of the same type as those of the former transverse between the double bays of the quire. The widths of the arches next the crossing are governed by the width of the quire aisles, and consequently they occupy in each case more than half the width of the first double bay, so that the span of the adjoining arch is less by nearly 3 ft. The same relative diminution is preserved in the pair of arches in the narrower end bay, but the crowns of all are kept approximately at the same level by the expedient of stilting their springing. The southern cylindrical pier of the south transept has an incised cheveron pattern upon it in place of the spiral fluting of the others, and the bases and plinths of the piers and responds all follow the design of those of the crossing piers, but with these exceptions the detail of the arcades is the same as that of the quire arcades. It should be noted, however, that the main piers between the double bays are made shorter on plan than the crossing piers, so that the shafts carrying the transverses form continuous suites with the shafts of the responds of the adjoining arches.

The east walls of both transepts up to the top of the triforium stage belong to St. Calais' work, and nearly resemble in their general design the original portion of the quire, both showing preparation for a high vault. The ground-stage of each double bay is occupied by a pair of arches to the aisle springing from heavy cylindrical minor piers and from shafts attached to the main piers. The face of the triforium wall is set back to receive the vaulting shafts, as in the quire, with the difference that the shafts over the minor piers are double instead of triple. The triforium openings are of the same character as those in the quire, with their proportions modified to suit the narrower middle bays; in the still narrower end bays the opening is single. The semicircular abutting arches beneath the triforium roof are repeated.

Above the triforium stage the details of the east walls of the transepts vary. As already mentioned, when the building of the walls had advanced thus far the intention to vault the transepts was for the time abandoned, but in the case of the north transept it was resumed without modification of the original conception. The triple shafts on the face of the major pier and the vaulting shafts in the double bay next the crossing, which start from the triforium string, are finished with capitals at the same height as those of the crossing pier, and the clearstory arcade was designed for and built with the vault. (fn. 44) The shafts in the triforium stage were planned for vaulting each double bay in two compartments, but the narrowness of the northern bay, together with the projecting staircase in the angle, made this difficult and the whole space was covered with a single bay of vaulting; the double shafts over the minor pier thus became useless and were carried up to the curve of the vault. Each of the four clearstory openings has a plain semicircular highly stilted arch in front of the window, flanked in the double bay next the crossing by a narrow and lower arch on each side, the arches springing from plain outer jambs and from monolithic shafts with cushion capitals. In the northern bay, owing to its single vault, the position of the clearstory windows left room only for a narrow opening on each side of the double wall-shaft, the space for corresponding openings on the other side of each window being insufficient. These openings were therefore omitted and square jambs built to receive the window arches, over which the lateral cell of the vault passes, forming an elliptical lunette. The vaulting of the double bay next the crossing introduces the type of vault which was afterwards followed in the south transept and nave (which probably existed originally over the quire), consisting of two quadripartite compartments without any intermediate transverse, and a strongly emphasised transverse between it and the adjoining vault on the north. The curve of the transverse, like that of the crossing arch, is a semicircle slightly stilted and the diagonal ribs are segments of circles struck from centres below the springing line. The transverse is of two orders, the outer square and the wider inner order moulded with a roll between two hollows, similar to the inner order of the crossing arches. The ribs also are moulded with a roll between two hollows (as in the quire aisles) and are constructed of thin stones with lozenge-shaped keys.

In the south transept the east clearstory was built to receive a flat wooden ceiling, and differs considerably from that just described. Internally the openings in front of the windows have plain semicircular arches which were flanked, except in the narrow end bay, by tall narrow openings with semicircular heads springing from the same level as those of the windows. When the idea of vaulting was abandoned the wall shafts were carried up to the wall head and thus governed the setting-out of the clearstory arcade, but later, when the vault was added, it was found necessary to insert capitals to the shafts so as to receive the vault members. The capital of the shaft next the crossing was inserted at a slightly higher level than that of the crossing pier and the others were placed at the same height. All the capitals are single cushions, except that of the south shaft of the group of three on the major pier, which has its cushion divided into two. The double shafts over the southern cylindrical pier still remain their full height, as they were not interfered with by the vault, and a single shaft in the south-east angle, originally planned as a vaulting shaft and afterwards carried up the wall, also remains unaltered, the diagonal rib of the added vault springing from an adjoining shaft which rises from the floor. The narrow openings flanking the clearstory windows are now partly masked by the vault, and when this was added all but one (fn. 45) were walled up. The vaulting followed the plan and system of that of the north transept, the only difference being the addition of the cheveron ornament. This occurs on each side of the outer order of the transverse, and flanking the rollmoulding of the diagonal ribs, as well as on the outer order on the south side of the crossing arch. (fn. 46) The keys of the vault in the two bays next the crossing are jointed at right angles to the direction of the rib, but in other respects the system and construction of the vaulting are the same as that in the north transept.

The west walls of the transepts probably belong to the period of the vacancy of the see after St. Calais' death, their simple character being in marked contrast to the work opposite. The only vertical division in each case is formed by the great triple shafts carrying the main transverse, and as there is no set-off at the triforium sill no supports were provided to receive the diagonal ribs of the vaults, their place being taken by corbels. Next the western crossing piers each transept opens to the nave aisle by a semicircular arch of two orders, with shafted responds, the inner ones forming part of the great piers, and in each end bay is a semicircular headed window; in the north transept this window retains the mullions and tracery inserted in the 14th century, and is of three lights.

In the north transept the capitals of the great triple shafts on the west were probably built with the walls, but in the south transept, when the idea of vaulting was abandoned, the shafts were carried up to the wall-head, capitals being afterwards added to receive the transverse (as on the east wall), and corbels to take the diagonal ribs. The corbels in both transepts are carved with grotesques, but those in the south are of a more advanced type, the sculptured heads being similar to the corresponding corbels of the nave. The treatment of the west triforium stage is alike in both transepts, but there is variety in the design of the openings; that next the crossing in each case consists of a pair of moulded semicircular arches like those in the quire, but with single half-shafts attached to the jambs, and the whole slightly recessed within a plain semicircular outer order. The opening next to this is of a different type, consisting of two very narrow semicircular arches without moulding of any sort supported by a central circular shaft of heavy proportions; the shaft is not a monolith, as in the other openings, its drum being built up in narrow courses. In the further end bay there is in each case a triple opening, with wide middle and narrower flanking arches carried on shafts with cushion capitals and plain outer jambs.

The west clearstory of the north transept corresponds with that opposite, except that in the contracted northern bay there is a single window with a triple arcade. In the south transept the clearstory follows generally the design of that opposite, but as there are no vaulting shafts at the triforium stage the arrangement of the narrow flanking openings is somewhat different; in the double bay, next the crossing, there were two such openings between the two windows and a single one beyond each, while in the south bay the single window was flanked by two narrow openings on each side. Three of these eight flanking openings (in the outer bay) remain as first constructed, but the others were walled up, or removed when the vault was built. (fn. 47) Both transepts have clearstory wall-passages on each side covered with small barrel vaults, but the vault in the south transept is some 3 ft. 6 in. higher than the other, having been constructed at a time when the walls were not expected to sustain the weight of a vault.

The wall-arcade of the quire aisles is continued round the outer walls of both transepts, broken only by the projecting angle turrets, and on the west side of the south transept by a doorway, now blocked, opening to the east alley of the cloister. This doorway has a plain semicircular rear-arch and jambs and externally the head is of two roll-moulded semicircular orders springing from nook shafts with cushion capitals. In the same wall further south is a fireplace, (fn. 48) opened out and restored in 1901. The angle turrets contain vices to the triforium and clearstory passages, access to which is gained in each case from the transept by a plain doorway with flat lintel and semicircular relieving arch.

In the north transept the end wall is almost entirely occupied above the level of the arcading by a large six-light window inserted by Prior Fossor about 1355. The triforium and clearstory passages are of course interrupted by it, but a passage a little below the level of the former is carried across the window by an arcade of six bays coinciding with the mullions. The lights are cinquefoiled and the tracery in the head is composed of forms resembling five-leaved flowers, the petals of which consist of elongated quatrefoils. The six cinquefoiled arches which carry the passage across the lower part of the window appear to have been added late in the 15th century or early in the 16th century by Prior Castell; this gallery gives the window from the inside the appearance of being transomed, though it is not visible from outside. The window is thus described in Rites: 'In the north end of ye allei of the Lantrene ther is a goodlie faire larg & lightsum glass wyndowe havinge in it xij faire long pleasant & most bewtifull lights being maid & buylte wth fyne stone & glas wch in the ould tyme was gone to decaie, and ye prior at that tyme called prior Castell, dide Renewe it, & did buylt yt all up enowgh againe called the Wyndowe of the iiij Doctors of ye churche wch hath vj long fair lightes of glas in ye upper parte of ye said wyndowe.' The gallery is described as 'the breadth of the thickness of the wall at the division of the superiour Lights from the inferiour … and is supported by the Partitions of the Lighte made strong, and equally broad with the Gallrey.' The original sill-string, which, with the clearstory and triforium string-courses, is continued round the vice-turret, is cut away from the sill of the window. In the south transept the end wall remains in its original state up to the sill of the triforium except that a modern opening has been made in the groundstage to communicate with the slype. In this portion of the wall is a large blocked window with an internal semicircular head and shafted jambs of two orders. The original sill-string, which forms the bounding member of the arcade beneath, remains. A large early 15th-century window fills the two upper stages; it is of six lights with vertical tracery in the head, and the jambs are pierced by the triforium passage. This window is described in Rites in the following terms:—'Also in ye southe end of the allei of ye Lantren aboue ye clocke there is a faire large glasse wyndowe Caulede the Te deum wyndowe veri fair glased accordinge as eu'y verse of Te de[um] is song or saide, so it is pictured in ye wyndowe… .' The clock which formerly stood beneath the window was removed in 1845. The case was of carved oak, made originally by Prior Castell, and at one time it stood, according to Rites, at the south end of the rood-loft. Dean Hunt in 1632 made several additions to it, but much of Castell's work remained. The dials are now set within the blocking of the lower window.

The vaulting of the transept aisles corresponds in every respect with that of the quire aisles, the transverses having shafted responds attached to the outer walls and to the main and cylindrical piers of the transept arcades. In the north wall of the north transept aisle is a 14th-century window with modern three-light tracery. Two coupled shafts and the west respond of the original wall-arcade beneath remain, but the arches have been removed, the internal sill of the window being now at the level of the abaci of the capitals of the shafts. The two east bays of the arcading have been filled up, and in the blocking are two rectangular aumbries; the eastern aumbry is probably of the 13th century, while the western one appears to be contemporary with the insertion of the window above. The three semicircular-headed windows in the east wall were all at one time filled with 14th-century tracery of three lights, but the two northern ones were restored in the 'Norman' taste in the 19th century, the tracery being removed. The two bays of wall arcading beneath the northernmost window have been thrown into one semicircular-headed bay in which traces of painted decoration remain. The other bays of the transept each contain three bays of arcading; that in the southernmost bay has been renewed. The floor of the aisle is raised three steps above that of the quire aisle and transept, and an altar-pace is provided along the east wall. Here were the altars of St. Nicholas and St. Giles, St. Gregory, and St. Benedict. In the south transept aisle the three windows in the east wall are all modern 'Norman' restorations. The openings of the two northern windows were enlarged internally, probably in the 14th century, their sills being splayed down to the abaci of the shafts of the wall-arcades, and the lower portion of the wallarcade in the middle bay blocked. The wallarcades have recently been restored and the sills of the windows raised, the two northern bays of the aisle now forming a memorial chapel to the officers and men of the Durham Light Infantry who fell in the Great War. The chapel is enclosed at its north and south ends by oak screens, that on the north being based upon the design of the screen which enclosed the chapel before 1840. (fn. 49)

The window in the south wall of the aisle is a 14th-century insertion, and as in the case of the other 14th-century windows, the sill is splayed down to the abaci of the arcade shafts. The floor is raised like that of the north transept aisle. In the northernmost bay was the altar of Our Lady 'alias Howghel's altar,' and in the other two bays were the altars of Our Lady of Bolton (fn. 50) and of St. Faith and St. Thomas the Apostle.


THE NAVE consists of three double bays from the crossing westward, followed by two single bays. The double bays are divided from each other by the great triple shafts which rise from the floor on the face of the major piers and receive the great transverses, and each is covered by a double quadripartite vault without any intermediate transverse. The two western bays are covered each by a single quadripartite vault and are separated by a similar transverse springing on each side from the three middle shafts on the inner faces of great piers similar to those of the crossing; these were required for the support of the angles of the western towers, the inner walls of which form the sides of, and are open to, the westernmost bay of the nave, while their ground stages constitute the corresponding bays of the aisles. The vault of the westernmost nave bay has a large circular eye-hole. The arcades of the three double bays follow the general design of those of the quire and transepts, with semicircular arches on alternate major and minor piers. The single western bays, which are each about half the length of the double bays, have single arches springing from shafted responds against the main piers. The general design of the triforium stage follows that of the quire, (fn. 51) and the clearstory that of the north transept, with certain modifications named below.

As already pointed out, the first double bay of the arcade, the first two bays of each aisle, and the first bay of the triforium stage date from the end of the first stage of the work, which coincided approximately with the early years of the 12th century. In this earlier east portion of the nave the general scheme of the first work, with but slight modifications of detail, was followed. The first two major piers belong to it and are similar to those of the transepts, and the arches are simply moulded. The supports on the back of these piers and on the aisle walls opposite are triple shafts, as in the quire and transepts; but in the case of the minor cylindrical piers the attached shafts at the back are omitted and the corresponding piers, or responds, on the aisle walls are half cylinders. In omitting the shafts, however, the builders increased the diameter of the cylinder, thus giving it a projection into the aisle sufficient to receive the springing of the vaulting ribs on that side. This change was followed in the later work westward. The first triforium opening resembles in general design that in the quire next the east crossing piers, where there are three jamb shafts on each side, the inner receiving the sub-arch, the middle one the moulded containing arch, and the outer being continued up as a vaulting shaft. In the nave, however, where there are no vaulting shafts, the outer shaft is finished with a capital at the same level as the others, and receives an unmoulded outer order to the containing arch. The wall thickness, which in the quire is reduced by recessing, is here retained, the wall surface being the same as that of the arcade wall below; this treatment of the wall is continued westward throughout the nave triforium. The triple jamb shafts are repeated on each side of the pier over the minor pier of the great arcade, with a narrow strip of wall surface between the outer shafts, at which point, on this story, the work of the first building period ends. Thus far, the work, like that of the triforium stage on the west side of the transepts, shows no preparation for a high vault, and as the triforium design of the first bay was continued in an enriched form westward in the second building period, it has sometimes been assumed that when the great arcade and the triforium of the rest of the nave were built, the idea of a vault had been abandoned. The later builders, however, could scarcely have done otherwise than follow in the triforium what had been done in the easternmost bay, and they may have intended from the first to construct a high vault with corbel supports, as had been done on the west side of the north transept. (fn. 52) However that may be, there is evidence to show that before the clearstory was reached the construction of a high vault had been thought out, and there can be no doubt that the existing vault was built as the original covering of the nave.

That a vault was intended before the clearstory was completed is indicated by the clearstory arcade itself (which is designed to fit the lunettes of the vault), and by the construction of the abutting arches over the triforium. Both the major and minor piers of the triforium are reinforced at the back by broad pilasters of single projection, (fn. 53) and the vault is abutted by half-arches, or rudimentary flying buttresses, (fn. 54) of the same width as the pilasters across the triforium stage beneath the roof, which on the outer wall spring from shorter pilasters with chamfered plinths. The fact that these plinths were built with the wall shows that preparation was already being made for the abutment of a high vault, and the arches themselves could only have been built when the outer and inner walls had been carried up to a sufficient height to receive them. The clearstory arcade is of the same type as that of the north transept, but of different proportions and more advanced in character. The semicircular arches spring, as in the transept, from monolithic shafts, but the outer jambs have attached shafts with cushion capitals. The wide stilted arch in front of the windows is decorated with cheverons, but the smaller arches remain unmoulded. It should be noted that the barrel vault over the wall passage is reduced in height through the pier between the openings, a measure for which there would have been no need unless a vault over the nave had been intended, its purpose being to avoid undue weakening of the abutment. The whole of the clearstory is a homogeneous work built at one time; the cheverons on the middle arches are of the same type as those of the triforium arches below, and the cheveron string-course belongs to the second building period in its whole length, up to the west side of the crossing. The set-back of the face of the clearstory wall is very slight, varying on the north side from 1½ in. to 6 in., and on the south never exceeding 2½ in. The height of the clearstory stage is about 12 in. more than in the north transept, and seems to have been controlled by the vault.

The height of the nave vault was governed to some extent by the semicircular west arch of the crossing, which is slightly stilted. In addition to the three shafts which receive the principal orders of this arch the west piers of the crossing have, as elsewhere, an additional shaft designed to receive the outer order of the arch on that side. This shaft, however, is here utilised for the springing of the diagonal ribs of the east bay of the nave, and the outer order of the crossing arch, which is decorated with cheverons, dies into the cell of the vault. (fn. 55) When the walls of the nave were carried up it was intended that the great transverses should be semicircular, repeating the west crossing arch, and springer stones were set on the capitals of the great triple shafts for arches of that shape. (fn. 56) The semicircular curve was, however, actually employed for the diagonal ribs, and this in a large measure controlled the design of the nave vaulting, the transverse arches becoming pointed almost as a matter of course in order to keep the ridge level. (fn. 57) But as the height did not allow of pointed arches of a normal form, they were made segmental, the centres being dropped so considerably that the curves spring from the capitals with great abruptness. The pointed arch, too, avoided the weakness of a flat crown, and the whole vault of the nave shows a remarkable advance on those of the transepts. The transverses have two orders, the wide inner ones moulded with a roll between two hollows, and the outer ornamented with cheverons. In the easternmost sub-bay the curves of the diagonal ribs are very slightly stilted, but in the second and third bays the height from the springing to the key of the ribs increases; from this point, the width of the bays being greater and the height of the ribs the same, their curve is a little less than a semicircle. In consequence of this the keys of the diagonal ribs are higher than the crowns of the transverse arches, and the crowns of the cells rise from the latter to the former.

The ribs are moulded with a roll between two rows of cheverons, and, like the transverses, are constructed of thin stones. With one exception all the keys are lozenge-shaped. The cells are built of coursed rubble, plastered on the underside; where tested their thickness varies from 12 in. to 20 in. throughout the vault; except in the two western compartments, the diagonal ribs spring from corbels, set in pairs in the middle of each double bay and singly next the capitals of the great triple shafts. The corbels are carved with grotesque masks and each pair has a common abacus. The piers of the transverse arch between the western towers have an extra shaft on either side which receive the ribs.

Westward of the first double bay the arches of the main arcade differ in detail from the earlier work. In the inner order the soffit roll is flanked on each side by a single hollow instead of a roll and hollow, while the second orders are decorated with cheverons worked round a convex profile. On the side facing the nave there is an outer order of slight projection decorated with a series of sunk squares above a small angle roll. The arches spring from triple-shafted responds with cushion capitals set against the great piers and from minor cylindrical columns, the cushion capitals of which have each an eight-sided abacus. The westernmost pier on each side is oblong in general plan, being thus strengthened to carry the towers. The respond shafts have plain moulded bases standing on the pedestals of the great piers, which carry also the bases of the vaulting shafts, and are cruciform in plan, consisting of a course of plain stones capped by a double quirkchamfered moulding, or projecting band, like that of the piers on the east side of the crossing and in the transepts. The pedestals of the cylindrical columns are similar, but square on plan.

All the cylinders have incised decoration, but of a more advanced character than that of the columns in the quire. The two which belong to the first work have a lozengy pattern with two narrow V-shaped grooves, leaving blank squares at the intersections; the next pair are covered with cheverons worked with a sunk bead between two fillets and hollows, and have a narrow band of star ornament immediately below the necks of the capitals; while the pair in the third double bay have vertical flutes and large beads separated by fillets. (fn. 58) The wall face above the arches is quite plain throughout.

The triforium is of eight bays. The easternmost opening has already been described; the next and all the remaining openings westward are similar in design, but the containing arch is decorated with the cheveron, on the south side on both orders, but on the north on the inner order only, (fn. 59) the outer having an angle roll with plain cheverons sunk in the flat face above. The tympanum is solid in every case, and the triforium string has a plain chamfered face throughout. The triforium gallery is lighted from the outside by round-headed windows with external shafted jambs; on the south side small pointed windows were inserted, one on each side of the original opening, at a later date, but have since been blocked up. (fn. 60)

The clearstory arcade has been described. The wall-passage runs from end to end and the windows are semicircular arched, with external shafted jambs and arches of two orders, the inner ornamented with cheverons.

The aisles are covered throughout with quadripartite vaults divided by semicircular transverses, and are lighted by large roundheaded windows, one to each bay, all of which, like most of those of the triforium and clearstory, have been 'restored.' (fn. 61) Below the windows the wall arcade is continued along the whole length of the aisles and across the west end of the nave, interrupted only by the several doorways. The vaulting of the two eastern bays of each aisle is in every way similar to that in the quire aisles, the ribs being plainly moulded with a roll between two hollows. In the later bays westward the ribs have cheverons on each side of the roll, similar in type to those in the arcade arches. (fn. 62) The half-round piers, or responds, on the outer walls, have cushion capitals and pedestalled bases similar to those of the nave columns and piers. The westernmost bay on each side (beneath the towers) is of greater width than the others, as the towers project considerably beyond the walls of the aisles. The ribs of the vault are therefore of greater span and the vault itself is higher than in the other bays. In order to give the ribs greater height their springing was lowered by placing the capitals of the shafts which receive them below the level of those of the arches opening into the nave and aisles. The staircase turrets of the towers project into these bays in their north-west and south-west angles respectively, each staircase having a doorway similar to those in the transept turrets. The vault of the north-west tower has a round eye-hole in the cell next the nave. There is a window at the west end of each aisle above the roof of the Galilee. (fn. 63) The window on the south side of the south-west tower is blocked by the west range of the monastic buildings.

The west wall of the nave has three doorways in the ground stage, the middle one being the original great doorway, which has a semicircular arch of two orders supported on each side by a single shaft with cushion capitals. The inner order is decorated with cheveron and the outer with enriched circular medallions, the centre one having on it a human face, the others grotesque animals and figures. The exterior recessed face of the doorway, now in the Galilee, has four (fn. 64) orders of cheveron and a hood mould of lozenges each divided into triangular spaces, alternately sunk and in relief. The lower part of the opening has long been blocked by the altar platform of the Galilee chapel erected by Bishop Langley, but the upper part remained open until 1846, when the present great wooden doors were erected. The doorways on either side, at the ends of the aisles, have four-centred heads within a square label and were inserted by Bishop Langley when he filled in the west doorway; his arms are in the spandrels. Over the middle doorway, filling the wall of the nave proper, is the great pointed west window of seven lights, with very beautiful leaf tracery, inserted by Prior John Fossor about 1346. It is known as the Jesse window and originally contained glass representing the stem of Jesse. It is described in Rites as 'a most fyne large wyndowe of glass, being the holl storie of the Rute of Jesse in most fyne coloured glas, verie fynely and artificially pictured and wrought in coulers, veri goodly and pleasantlie to behoulde, with Mary and Christ in her arms in the top.' (fn. 65) The present glass dates from 1867.

The great north doorway of the nave is in the sixth bay of the aisle and has a semicircular arch of three orders (fn. 66) on the inner face, supported by two shafts on each side. The two inner orders are decorated each with the cheveron, and the outer with a foliage pattern having eighteen lozenge-shaped compartments on it carved with grotesque animals, birds and figure subjects. (fn. 67) The outer shaft on each side is plain, but the whole surface of the inner ones is covered with interlacing foliage work forming circles and lozenges, which contain grotesque beasts and human figures, one a man riding a lion. The capitals of all the shafts are carved with foliage and animals and the abaci with a leaf pattern. (fn. 68) The exterior face of the doorway has five recessed orders supported on shafts, but only the innermost order, which has the cheveron moulding, is in its original state. The middle and outer orders have also the cheveron, and the intermediate ones a hollow between two rolls, but the whole of the surface suffered considerably in Wyatt's restoration and is also much weathered. The ogee label and panelled gable above, together with the flanking pinnacled buttresses, are late 18th-century work of poor type, (fn. 69) but the side walls behind form part of the original shallow porch which rose the full height of the triforium stage. Over the porch were two chambers, the steps down to which still remain in the triforium passage, for the use of those who admitted men to sanctuary, lighted by two round-headed windows facing north above the doorway. (fn. 70) The porch appears to have been heightened and otherwise altered in the 13th century, old engravings showing a high gable between great turret buttresses, below which was a wide pointed arch springing at the level of the triforium roof, and enclosing an arcade of three arches. (fn. 71) On the door are indications of former elaborate ironwork, but the 12th-century bronze ring, or 'knocker,' is still in position. The ring hangs from the jaws of a grotesque head, the eyes of which, now hollow, were originally filled in some way, perhaps with enamel. (fn. 72)

On the south side of the nave are two doorways opening to the cloister and forming the eastern and western processional doors. The first is in the easternmost bay of the aisle and has a semicircular stilted arch of two orders on the inside, of the end of the first building period; both orders are moulded with a roll between two hollows, the inner continuous and the outer on single jamb shafts with volute capitals. The external face is of later date, probably of the time of Pudsey, and has an unstilted semicircular arch of four orders, the innermost continuous, the others supported on shafts with carved capitals and moulded bases on high plinths. All four orders are richly moulded, the innermost with lozenges, the second with enriched billets, the third with a deeply hollowed spiral pattern, while the outer order, now much broken, appears to have consisted of a species of cheveron.

Durham Cathedral: 12th-century Ring or Knocker on North Door

The other doorway is in the sixth bay opposite the great north doorway, and has a semicircular arch of three orders, the inner supported on single shafts, the two outer on coupled shafts, all with cushion capitals. The two inner orders are decorated with cheveron and the outer with a floriated ornament set with medallions, the lower four on each side containing alternately conventional leaves and grotesque animals, and the three middle ones each a leaf. The shafts are all elaborately ornamented, the two outer ones on each side with a lozenge pattern of parallel ridges and grooves, and the inner one with a pattern of the same type but different in character, the space in the centre of each lozenge being occupied by four leaves. The capitals are covered with a pattern of grotesque animals and foliage. (fn. 73) On the external face the arch is of three cheveroned orders supported on shafts with lozenge ornament; the ornament on this side of the doorway is much decayed. The door itself retains its scroll hinges and is covered with elaborate contemporary ironwork of beautiful design.

This doorway and the great north doorway opposite appear to be as late as the time of Bishop Geoffrey Rufus (1133–40), or even later, the resemblance between certain features in the sculpture and that on the doorway of the Chapter House and on the corbels which once supported its eastern vaulting ribs being very marked. (fn. 74)

In the fifth bay of the south aisle a doorway, now blocked, was at a later time cut through the wall to the enclosed north alley of the cloister.

In the floor of the nave between the great piers immediately west of the north and south doorways is the 'row of blue marble' described in Rites, (fn. 75) forming a cross of two short arms at the centre, eastward of which no woman was allowed to pass.

Of the various FITTINGS AND FURNISHINGS OF THE NAVE few traces remain. The rood screen, described in Rites as 'a high stone wall,' stood before the western piers of the crossing, with the Jesus altar in front and a doorway at either end. (fn. 76) On the face of the screen, from pillar to pillar, was 'the whole story and passion of our Lord wrought in stone' and over this the 'story and pictures of the twelve apostles,' while upon the wall 'above the height of all' stood the 'most goodly and famous rood that was in all the land, with the picture of Mary on the one side and the picture of John on the other, with two splendid and glistering archangels.' (fn. 77) Each end of the Jesus altar was 'closed up with fine wainscot,' in which were four aumbries on the south side and a door in the north.

The second and third bays of the south aisle formed the Neville chantry, in which was an altar 'with a faire allabaster table (fn. 78) over it.' This chantry chapel was enclosed at each end by 'a little stone wall,' that at the east being 'somewhat higher than the altar' and wainscoted above; the other had an 'iron grait' on top, and towards the nave the chapel was 'invyroned with iron.' In 1416 the bodies of Ralph, Lord Neville (d. 1367), and Alice de Audley, his wife (d. 1374), were moved to the chapel from before the Jesus altar where they had been originally buried, (fn. 79) and their monument, much defaced, (fn. 80) still stands 'betwixt two pillars' of the nave arcade in the second subbay. The alabaster effigy of Ralph Neville is reduced to a headless and mutilated trunk, but that of the lady is tolerably perfect, though the face is destroyed. The table tomb on which they rest has been stripped of nearly all its ornamentation, a portion of panelling above the plinth, with shields set in quatrefoils, alone remaining. In the next bay westward is the monument of their son John, Lord Neville (d. 1386), and his wife Maud Percy; the tomb has canopied niches, (fn. 81) with weepers, all round, separated by trefoiled panels containing shields which bear alternately the Neville saltire and the Percy lion rampant. Of the effigies little remains but the shattered and broken trunks, 'reduced to something like great boulders.' (fn. 82) In the floor close by is a blue slab with the matrix of the brass of Robert Neville, Bishop of Durham (d. 1457). (fn. 83)

The altar of Our Lady of Pity (fn. 84) stood between the pillars of the north arcade in the bay immediately west of the north doorway, and that of the Bound Rood (fn. 85) in the corresponding situation on the south; both were 'enclosed on each side with wainscote.' Another altar, known as St. Saviour's, stood on the north side of the north-west tower. (fn. 86) Attached to the piers immediately west of the north and south doors were holy water stoups of marble, that on the north serving 'all those that came that waie to here divyne service,' the other 'the prior and all the convent with the whole house.' (fn. 87) These stoups were taken away by Dean Whittingham (1563–79) and put to 'profane uses' in his kitchen and buttery. (fn. 88) There was another near the south-east doorway. (fn. 89)

Of modern monuments west of the quire the chief is that of Bishop Shute Barrington (d. 1826), a marble statue by Chantrey, in which the bishop is represented kneeling. In the nave is a recumbent marble statue of Dr. James Britton, sometime master of Durham Grammar School (d. 1836), and a tablet to Sir George Wheler, antiquary and traveller, the holder of a stall in the Cathedral (d. 1723). (fn. 90) There are other memorial tablets but none of interest.

The present font dates from 1846 and has a rectangular bowl of Caen stone supported on pillars, in the style of the 12th century. It took the place of a white marble font of chalice type erected by Cosin in 1663, which was given in 1846 to Pittington Church, where it now is. Cosin's lofty canopy of tabernacle work, however, survived all the 19th-century restorations. It is a splendid piece of work, standing on eight fluted pillars with composite capitals, the lower stage being of classic, and the upper stages of pronounced Gothic design. (fn. 91)

The present pulpit dates from the restoration of 1876 and is of Devonshire alabaster and marble inlay, standing on columns of Siena marble inlaid with mosaic. (fn. 92)

The pelican lectern was designed by Sir Gilbert Scott from the description of the ancient lectern at the north end of the high altar in Rites. It is of brass, (fn. 93) enriched with filigree work and adorned with crystals and amethysts.


THE GALILEE CHAPEL, built by Bishop Pudsey, consists of five aisles, (fn. 94) separated by four arcades, each of four depressed semicircular arches resting on pairs of separate Purbeck marble shafts with joined moulded bases and square waterleaf capitals having high moulded abaci. These columns are now converted into clustered shafts, quatrefoil on plan, by the addition of stone shafts on the east and west sides of each pair, with capitals and bases in close imitation of the old work. This addition was made by Bishop Langley, who put a new roof on the chapel, and raised the wall above the two middle arcades. These extra shafts may have been added out of timidity, or for æsthetic reasons. The arches of the arcades are very richly decorated with three rows of double cheveron moulding separated by rolls. The responds on the east and west walls have not the additional shafts. Those abutting upon the jambs of the west door of the nave are somewhat clumsily adjusted in relation to the older work. The east side of the chapel has in the centre the great black marble platform of the Lady Altar (fn. 95) erected by Bishop Langley, of which his tomb forms part, steps rising on either side of it to the altar platform itself. The opening of the west doorway was at one time filled by a painted wooden reredos of 15th-century date, unfortunately destroyed in 1845. It is described in Rites as having been 'devised and furnished with most heavenly pictures … lively in colours and gilting,' and is shown in drawings made by Carter in 1795. (fn. 96) The altar stood within the doorway opening, in the south jamb of which is a large recess which originally formed part of one of the 'two fine and close aumeryes' of wainscot at either side behind the portal. (fn. 97) The mensa is now placed in the floor of the platform where the altar formerly stood. Langley's tomb is of blue marble and its top is quite plain, but round its moulded edge is a chase for an inscription in brass, now lost. The tomb projects some 6 ft. westward into the chapel, and at its west end are three panels each containing a large shield with the bishop's arms. The chantry chapel, or Canterie, in which the tomb and altar stood, occupied two bays of the middle aisle, a space of about 24 ft. by 13 ft., its floor raised a step above that of the Galilee, and enclosed each side by an open screen. (fn. 98)

On either side of the west doorway of the nave is a wide round-headed altar recess, quite plain in section but having a double cheveron ornament on the face of the arch; that on the north contained the altar of Our Lady of Pity and that on the south Bede's altar. These recesses are formed in the original west wall of the church, and cut away the foot of the buttresses flanking the west window of the nave. The east end of the northernmost aisle, now pierced by one of Langley's doorways, has a 13th-century inner pointed arch of two moulded orders and dogtooth label, supported on short shafts with moulded capitals, and bases raised 5 ft. above the chapel floor. The recess thus formed may have originally contained an altar, and it has been suggested that the altar of Our Lady of Pity first stood there and was removed by Langley to its present position, (fn. 99) a position probably occupied originally by the principal altar to the Blessed Virgin which Langley placed in front of the great doorway. In the soffit, jambs and back of each of the recesses on either side of the doorway are considerable remains of painting, those in the northern recess being in a fine state of preservation. This painting, which is for the most part contemporary with the building, consists of a band of conventional leaf ornament running round the recess at the level of the springing, a larger pattern of similar nature on the soffit, and a panel on the inside face of each jamb; on the panels on the north and south sides respectively are figures of a king and bishop, probably St. Oswald and St. Cuthbert, in architectural canopies. The colours—green, blue, red and yellow, with dark brown outlines— are still very fresh, and the figures are boldly and effectively drawn in the finest style of 12th-century painting, in round arched niches with masonry towers in spandrels and apex. The back of the recess, below the ornamental band, is occupied by a painted representation of hangings, or looped drapery, with borders at top and bottom, but the middle part on which no doubt was the picture of Our Lady 'carryinge our Saviour on her knee, as he was taken from the cross,' (fn. 100) is now completely defaced. This drapery, which is of a pale yellow colour, is probably of later date than the rest of the painting, but is certainly not post-Reformation. (fn. 101)

The grave of the Venerable Bede, (fn. 102) in front of where his altar stood, is marked by a plain table tomb of blue marble made in 1542, after the shrine had been defaced. (fn. 103) The grave was opened in 1831, (fn. 104) when the coffin and bones were found 3 ft. below the floor. The present inscription— 'Hac sunt in fossa Bædæ venerabilis ossa'— was afterwards cut upon the slab. (fn. 105) The words form the last line of the epitaph written by Cosin and placed over the tomb about 1633, and are derived from the first line of the older inscription recorded in Rites. (fn. 106) There is a rectangular aumbry at the south end of the Bede altar recess and a smaller one at the north end of the altar of Our Lady of Pity. A pulley still in the roof over where Bede's shrine stood was probably used for suspending a lamp before his altar. There is another in the same position in front of Our Lady of Pity's altar.

The side-walls of the chapel are almost wholly restored or modern. The round-headed doorway on the north side, after being long blocked, was opened out in 1841, but the whole wall was rebuilt in 1866, the original design of the doorway being, however, reproduced. The opening is below a gable and deeply recessed—the wall being increased in thickness on both sides—and is of three richly moulded orders, the two outer decorated with cheverons, springing from shafts with volute capitals. The doorway is in the third bay from the east, the others being occupied by windows of two, three, and two lights respectively. Originally, the chapel was lighted by round-headed windows placed high in the walls above the arches of the outer arcades, four on each side, the outlines of which are visible. There were probably windows in the west wall also. The present arrangement dates from the end of the 13th century, when the outside walls were increased in height and windows placed on all three sides of the chapel. There are still two openings of this date in the west wall, one at each end, the others having been replaced by windows of Langley's time. The two 13th-century windows are of threepointed lights in a two-centred head with pierced spandrels, and those in the south wall are of the same design. The three 15th-century windows, which are larger, are each of three lights with a transom and have perpendicular tracery in high-shouldered drop-centred heads, the middle window being taller than the others. A few fragments of ancient coloured glass remain in the tracery, including part of a Flight into Egypt and a Virgin and Child. (fn. 107)

Below the second window from the north is a small doorway leading to a chamber built out on the outer face of the west wall, on an arch between two of the buttresses added in the 15th century by Langley to counteract the visible tendency of the arcades to lean westward. This chamber contains a well, (fn. 108) and south of it, between the central pair of buttresses on a similar arch, is a wide and low recess opening to the chapel under the window at the end of the middle aisle. Small rectangular loops in the outer walls of the chamber and recess command a magnificent view across the Wear. On the outer face of the west wall of the chapel, within the chamber, are the remains of a bold pattern of intersecting straight lines of roll-moulding which, as part of the original design, is carried across the west wall below the windows, with two stages of arcading below it, the upper interlaced and the lower single, with solid spandrels.

In the floor of the Galilee are several grave slabs, three of which have indents for brasses. The grave of John Brimley (d. 1576), master of choristers and organist, is in the middle aisle; there is a good armorial slab to Mrs. Dorothy Grey (d. 1662). The two outermost aisles have lean-to roofs, and the three inner ones flat open timber roofs of seven bays, with moulded principals on stone corbels, all of Langley's time. Externally, the roofs are leaded, behind embattled parapets. (fn. 109)

Until 1822 the north aisle was walled off and used as a repository for wills, and the south aisle was stalled and benched and used as a Consistory Court until 1796, when the court was transferred to the north transept. (fn. 110)

There is a ring of eight BELLS in the central tower, five of which are by Christopher Hodson, 1693; the treble is by Pack and Chapman, 1780, the third by the same firm (then Chapman), 1781, and the fourth a recasting by Mears and Stainbank in 1896 of one of Hodson's bells. With the exception of the treble these bells are in direct descent from the 'seven great bells in the steeples' mentioned in 1553, four of which were in the north-west tower, or Galilee steeple, and three in the central tower. (fn. 111) During the time of Dean Whittingham (1563–79) three of the bells in the Galilee steeple were removed to the central tower, (fn. 112) and the remaining one at a later date. Of these four, the great, or Galilee, bell is recorded to have been given by Prior Fossor, two others were known respectively as St. Bede's bell and St. Oswald's bell, while the smallest is described as having been long and narrow skirted. (fn. 113) The whole of the bells seem to have been recast in 1632, and three of them again in 1639 (and 1682), 1664, and 1665 respectively. The number was increased to eight by the addition of a new treble when Christopher Hodson recast the whole ring in 1693. (fn. 114)

Bishop Cosin presented a fine set of silver-gilt PLATE to the cathedral, but of this only one piece, described by him as 'a fair, large, scallopt paten, with a foot and cover of fair embossed work,' (fn. 115) now remains. The rest was recast in 1767, and in its present form consists of two cups, two patens, two flagons, two large patens, two loving cups, and one alms dish. All these pieces are engraved with Cosin's arms, and bear the mark of François Butty and Nicholas Dumee, with the London date-letter 1766–7; they are of silver gilt enriched with flower sprays and gadroons. There are also two spoons, undated, but with the mark of Paul Callard, of London; (fn. 116) a silver-gilt 17th-century chalice, bearing German or Dutch assay marks, given by Archdeacon Watkins in 1905; (fn. 117) and a silver-gilt paten made in 1912–13, presented in memory of Canon Body (d. 1911). For use in the Durham Light Infantry Memorial Chapel there are a chalice and paten of 1903–4, and a flagon of 1904–5, London make. The silver-gilt candlesticks on the high altar are recastings in 1767 of those given by Cosin.


THE EXTERNAL ELEVATIONS of the main fabric have been altered chiefly by the insertion of tracery windows in the quire aisles and transepts and by the paring of the wall surfaces already mentioned, (fn. 118) but the general outlines of the first design have been preserved. Between the aisle windows and those of the nave clearstory are flat pilaster buttresses, but in the clearstory of the quire and transepts they occur only in front of the major piers. There are strings at the level of the sills of the aisle and triforium windows, dividing the walls horizontally into three stages, and an intermediate one at the springing of the arches of the aisle windows continuing the labels. All the strings are taken round the buttresses. The ground stage throughout, beginning with the earliest work from the east, is occupied by a wall-arcade, which stands upon a plinth of the same character as that already noted inside the building, with projecting double chamfered band. The arcade consists of simple semicircular arches, two to each bay, and of two moulded orders, (fn. 119) on shafts with cushion capitals and moulded bases.

The small two-light triforium windows of the quire, enclosed within a segmental containing arch, are repeated on the east side of the transepts, but on the west the windows are large single openings like those of the nave. On both sides of the transepts the windows of the clearstory follow the treatment of those in the quire, but with an arch of two orders; the nave clearstory windows are similar with cheverons on the inner order. Above the triforium the walls now finish with a straight parapet, but formerly each bay of the nave aisles had a transverse roof ending in a gable, traces of which may be seen on the north side. (fn. 120) The parapet above the clearstory is also plain, but rests on a corbel table. At the north-east and south-east angles of the transepts respectively are flat clasping buttresses with angle-rolls carried up above the roofs as square turrets; the wide staircase turrets at the opposite angles have also angle-rolls, but change to octagonal form at the clearstory level. The gable and turrets of the south transept and the western return wall were rebuilt and refaced in 1826–9; the north end of the north transept was altered a good deal in detail about the same time, the turrets being modernised and made to finish with open parapets, the gable 'barbarously treated,' (fn. 121) and new figures placed in the roundels above Fossor's great window. (fn. 122)

The western towers were in all probability originally covered with pyramidal roofs above the level of the corbel table, which is a continuation of those of the nave. The 12th-century work terminates at this height and is of the same plain and solid character as that of the body of the church, with flat clasping buttresses at the angles and blank round-headed windows in the upper stages. The external wall-arcade and string-courses are carried round the towers. The 13th-century upper portions consist of four unequal stages, the first and third with open arcades of tall pointed arches, (fn. 123) and the less lofty second and fourth stages with wall-arcades of semicircular arches, the arcading in each case being carried round the buttresses. All the arches are moulded and supported on shafts. The open parapets and pinnacles date only from about 1801, (fn. 124) before which the towers seem to have terminated with solid moulded battlements. (fn. 125) Until the time of the Commonwealth they were surmounted by 'great broaches,' or timber spires covered with lead. (fn. 126) From the turret staircases there is access to the triforium passages and from this level the towers are open to the roof. There is access also to the platform at the base of the great west window, and at the level of the nave clearstory is a passage, now blocked, which ran round all four sides. The north-west tower was known as the Galilee steeple, and four bells hung in it.

The lower part of the west front of the church is hid by the Galilee, above the roof of which, between the towers, is Fossor's great window, set within a wide semicircular stilted arch. Over this again and immediately below the gable is a wall-arcade of seven tall roundheaded arches, richly ornamented with cheveron. The west front, seen from the high ground at the opposite side of the river, forms a very majestic and well-balanced composition, buttressed as it were by the projecting mass of the Galilee and towering high above the tree-clad cliff.

In the cathedral church there were several CHANTRIES. Of these one of the earliest was founded about the year 1355 by Ralph Lord Neville, (fn. 127) who assigned an annual rent-charge of £10, which was later compounded for by the release of a debt of £400 by his son John. The mass of this foundation was sung at the altar of the Great Rood (Magnae Crucis). Another Neville chantry, that of Thomas Neville, is mentioned in the 16th century. (fn. 128) A third chantry, probably situated at the altar of St. Bede in the Galilee, was that of Bishop Neville (d. 1457) and Richard of Barnard Castle. (fn. 129) The chantry of Walter Skirlaw (d. 1405) was attached to the altar known previously as that of St. Blaise. (fn. 130) The chantry of the Holy Trinity of Prior Fossor (d. 1374) (fn. 131) was founded for a monk to say mass for his soul daily at the altar of St. Nicholas and St. Giles in the north transept. The chantry of the Name of Jesus (fn. 132) was either founded or augmented by Prior Thomas Castell (d. 1519), who also built the chapel of St. Helen. The chantry of John Rude may have been identical with that of Robert Rodes of Newcastle and his wife Agnes. (fn. 133) Of the important foundation of Bishop Langley (d. 1437), the chantry of Our Lady and St. Cuthbert in the Galilee, an account has been given in an earlier volume. (fn. 134) Other chantries in the cathedral church which may be mentioned were those of Isabel Lawson (fn. 135) and of Our Lady of Pity. (fn. 136)

The most important gild associated with the cathedral church was that of St. Cuthbert, often known as the Frary. Its foundation was early. (fn. 137) At the Dissolution the gross yearly value of the revenues of this gild was estimated (fn. 138) at £7 14s. 8d., or, less reprises, £6 16s. 3d. The Anchorage in the cathedral has already been mentioned. (fn. 139)

In the chapel of the castle of Durham was a chantry which in 1535 was of the annual value of 40s. (fn. 140)


  • 1. The slated roof of the nave and quire appears to have taken the place of the older higher-pitched covering of lead subsequent to 1775. A portion of the old lead covering remained in 1812 over the nave adjoining the central tower, but it was renewed in the following year: Raine, Durh. Cath. (1833), 122. The roof of the chapel of the Nine Altars is shown leaded in Billings' drawing, 1842.
  • 2. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc. no. 107), 2. Dr. J. T. Fowler's edition has been used throughout this description.
  • 3. This probably referred to the outer lights, the same number as at present.
  • 4. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), 2.
  • 5. Durh. Acct. Rolls (Surtees Soc.). The present glazing and that of the three lancets below date from 1873.
  • 6. On the inner side of the two windows adjoining the central bay both the shafts are of marble.
  • 7. The soffits of both orders are enriched.
  • 8. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), 3. The present glass dates from 1877.
  • 9. The jamb shafts are of marble.
  • 10. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), 2.
  • 11. Ibid. 3. The windows are now filled with plain glass.
  • 12. Vine leaves and grapes in the north compartment, figure subjects in the south.
  • 13. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), 1–3.
  • 14. The inscription, on a brass plate, was taken from Browne Willis (Cathedrals, i, 239) and is a copy of the original. It was placed on the slab in 1834. Bek was the first bishop 'that ever attempted to lye so neere the sacred shrine of St. Cuthbert' (Rites). He was buried in a 'faire marble tomb underneath a fair marble stone.'
  • 15. 'Upon the east front of the Nine Altars in two large buttresses on each side of the round window are erected statues of William of Karileph … on the south side, and on the north Ranulph Flambard … the first in his mitre and episcopal habit, and the other having his head uncovered' (Rites, p. 93).
  • 16. An undated drawing of the east front (Grimm's Topog. Drawings, Brit. Mus. ii, no. 132, reproduced in Trans. Durh. and Northd. Arch. Soc. v, 36) made in the latter part of the 18th century, before the removal of the 15th-century tracery from the windows, shows only the two south turrets with pinnacles, or spirelets. The north turrets and the major buttresses were without them. The canopied niches and statues are shown. The south-west turret was rebuilt in 1826–9 and the return of the west wall restored; the north pinnacles would be added about this time.
  • 17. Possibly the master-mason. In the Treasury at Durham is a grant of a burgage in Elvet by 'Thomas Moyses filius Dalber,' c. 1240, with a seal inscribed 'S' Thome Moises' (Greenwell, Durh. Cath. 8th ed. 65). The inscription on the plinth is on the east and north sides just above the ground.
  • 18. As shown in Carter's drawings, 1810, but much restored.
  • 19. There is an engraving of the original carving in Hutchinson, Hist. Durh. ii, 226. The present cow is of the shorthorn breed, attended by two dames in the costume of the reign of George IV: Raine, St. Cuthbert, 55.
  • 20. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), 198.
  • 21. The moulded coping was placed on the parapet at this time.
  • 22. It is in a perfect state of preservation, except that the cresting is missing.
  • 23. V.C.H. Dur. i, 241.
  • 24. The slab is of blue marble 6½ in. thick. It measures 9 ft. by 4 ft. 4 in. It has been lettered CUTHBERTVS since the last opening of the grave. The marble groundcourse formed part of the new work of John Lord Neville in 1372. It was used in the new grave in 1542.
  • 25. I.e. quadrate, or quadrilateral.
  • 26. a The lines of the lunettes of the original vault still exist in part here.
  • 27. On the north side it clears the two eastern canopies only, its junction with the original stringcourse being masked by the finial of the western canopy.
  • 28. The Exchequer was built by Wessington (1416–1446) and pulled down about 1633–34. The doorway is now blocked; externally all traces of it have been effaced.
  • 29. Those at the east end hold blank shields; the painting at the west end is badly damaged and the objects held by the angels cannot be identified—they were probably shields.
  • 30. The carved balustrade to the stairs shown in Billings' drawings was of this period.
  • 31. The throne was 'new painted and gilt' in 1772 by Bishop Egerton. Dr. Greenwell points out that the upper portion, or reredos, is not well fitted into the space it occupies between the pillars, and that some of its parts do not quite correspond with each other. He conjectures that Hatfield used some pieces of stonework already carved before he planned the throne, and that it possibly was not from the first intended to occupy the position in which it was ultimately placed (op. cit. 80).
  • 32. The monument was prepared by Beaumont before he died; the epitaph and the 'sayings of Scripture,' which he had selected, are recorded in Rites of Durh. 15. The monument is described and figured in Proc. Soc. Antiq. 16 June 1890.
  • 33. i.e., the altar of St. Blaise and St. John which he founded, and where he had constructed his own monument. He was buried in the aisle opposite.
  • 34. Boyle, Guide to Durh. 212, quoting King.
  • 35. The misericorde carvings are without supporters; most of the subjects are the usual mediaeval ones, but there are many repetitions, especially on the south side. The 17th-century feeling is in some cases pronounced. The stalls are believed to be the work of James Clement, architect, of Durham, who died in 1690. Boyle, op. cit. 207.
  • 36. There are two gangways and twelve bench-ends on each side.
  • 37. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), 20; Boyle, op. cit. 235.
  • 38. The present organ dates from 1876, and was restored and enlarged in 1905. It is divided and placed in the second arch from the west on each side of the quire, above the canopies of the stalls. The cases were designed by Mr. C. Hodgson Fowler.
  • 39. Bilson, Arch. Jour. lxxix, 133: 'if, however, the usual type of Norman lantern tower was used any vault would be above this level.' Mr. Bilson's paper is, by permission, made use of, and his conclusions followed in the present description.
  • 40. A third has a lion passant. Langley's arms are difficult to account for, the work being undoubtedly of Booth's time.
  • 41. The statues, twenty-seven in number, were removed and placed in the Chapel of the Nine Altars round the sides of St. Cuthbert's platform; several were put back before the restoration. Boyle, Guide to Durh. 329.
  • 42. Greenwell, op. cit. 93. The cresting of the parapet of the lower stage is entirely of the 1810 cement. The outer surface of the tower, which was in an advanced stage of decay (especially the 1859 work), was repaired, and cracks in the walls mended with tile-stitching between 1921 and 1923. What little mediaeval masonry remained on the outer faces was in very bad condition.
  • 43. Sir Gilbert Scott was of opinion that the intention was to erect a 'crown' like that at St. Nicholas, Newcastle-on-Tyne, but the squinches seem to suggest either a spire or octagon. Wyatt's drawings, now in the Dean and Chapter Library, only show that he intended to give the tower a top of this type; there is no reason for supposing that this was the original design.
  • 44. Bilson, Arch. Jour. lxxix, 136.
  • 45. That on the south side of the window in the second bay from the end.
  • 46. The cheverons on the transverse are similar to those of the outer order of the nave arcade arches; those of the ribs are of the same type as on the ribs of the nave vault, but simpler. 'This vault was certainly built while the nave was in course of construction …, it is probably of slightly earlier date than the vault of the nave.' Bilson, Arch. four. lxxix, 140.
  • 47. Bilson, op. cit. 131.
  • 48. Here, perhaps, charcoal was kept alight for use in the thuribles, and here may have been heated the 'obley-irons' for making altar breads. Greenwell, Durh. Cath. 49.
  • 49. Some fragments of Cosin's work, which had been preserved in the Cathedral Library, have been incorporated in this work. The regimental badge appears in both screens.
  • 50. The altar of the Memorial Chapel occupies the position of the Altar of Our Lady of Bolton, two pillars of which remain restored to their original use. The designation of this and the adjoining altar arose from their being endowed respectively with lands at Bolton in the parish of Edlingham (Northumberland), and at Houghall, near Durham. Greenwell, Durh. Cath. 62.
  • 51. More strictly it continues the motive of the triforium openings in the bays of the transepts next the crossing, where the earlier design is followed, except that the outer order of the arch is not moulded and has no shaft to receive it.
  • 52. Bilson, in Arch. four. lxxix, 143.
  • 53. On the easternmost pier on the north side, which is part of the first work, there is perhaps an indication that the first intention was to build a semicircular abutting arch as in the quire and transepts, but there is no such indication on the corresponding pier on the south side. Bilson, op. cit. 143.
  • 54. a Two orders were added under the flying arches in 1914, which brought some strong criticism. Cf. Proc. Soc. Antiq. (Ser. 2), xxviii, 52.
  • 55. The vault springs from the same level as the crossing arches.
  • 56. Mr. Bilson points out that in five cases of the eight the lowest stone of the inner order was thus built for a semicircular arch, but that in the three others the segmental curve of the inner order starts directly from the top of the capital. The lowest voussoirs, or springers, of the outer order are some 5 in. to 7 in. wider than those above them. They were built on the capitals as the work went up, but when the walls had been carried up to a sufficient height to enable the arches and vault to be built the soffit width of the outer order was reduced in order that the diagonal ribs might clear themselves better at the springing. Op. cit. 147.
  • 57. The apex of the extrados of the pointed transverse arch is only a few inches higher than the crown of the extrados of the semicircular crossing arch. Bilson, op. cit. 152.
  • 58. The decoration in all cases was worked on the stones before they were set. Bilson, op. cit. 112.
  • 59. The cheverons of the inner orders start with a roll on each side, but those on the outer order of the south side have a single roll between the fillets. All are modelled on a convex profile.
  • 60. In 1849; they can still be seen from the interior.
  • 61. The mullions and tracery inserted in these windows in the 15th century were removed in 1848 in order to restore them to their 'Norman simplicity.' Externally the heads and jambs are entirely new. The clearstory windows on the south were restored in 1849, and those on the north in 1850, the inserted tracery being then removed.
  • 62. Except in the westernmost bays below the towers, where they are simply moulded.
  • 63. The glass in these windows dates from 1848.
  • 64. Originally there were five orders, the inner one, with the shafts belonging to it, having been removed probably when the Galilee was built. Greenwell, Durh. Cath. 52.
  • 65. Rites of Durh. 42.
  • 66. The outer order, like that of the west doorway, might be termed a label.
  • 67. Two are centaurs, another has two figures embracing, a fourth a boy being whipped, a fifth a man strangling another with a rope; two others have each a man performing some gymnastic feat, and another what appears to be a representation of Samson and the lion. Greenwell, op. cit. 52.
  • 68. Ibid. 51.
  • 69. 'The present doorway exhibits externally a wretched mass of incongruity. The greater part of the arch itself is original … but above, all is in the most miserable taste.' Raine, Durh. Cath. (1833), 20.
  • 70. There were also two windows to the aisle, now blocked, but visible over the north doorway.
  • 71. The porch is shown in Carter's drawing of the north front (1810), reconstructed from the evidence of older drawings. It is also seen in a water-colour drawing of the north side of the cathedral of the end of the 18th century, reproduced in Trans. Durh. and Northumb. Arch. Soc. 1896–99, p. 29 and pl. i.
  • 72. 'The flanges by which something representing eyes were fixed still remain.' Boyle, op. cit. 261. The diameter of the head, from tip to tip of the ray-like mane, is 22 in.
  • 73. Greenwell, op. cit. 51.
  • 74. Ibid. The Chapter House was finished by Geoffrey Rufus. Prof. Hamilton Thompson would give the date of the north doorway, that opposite to it and the west doorway as about 1160, and the doorway to the eastern alley of the cloister he considers contemporary with the completion of the Galilee (c. 1175).
  • 75. 'There is betwixt the piller of the north syde … and the piller that standith over against yt of the south syde, from the one of them to the other, a rowe of blewe marble, and in the mydest of the said rowe ther is a cross of blewe marble, in token that all women that came to here divine service should not be suffered to come above the said cross.' Rites, 35.
  • 76. 'Two rood doors for the procession to go forth and come in at.' Rites, 32.
  • 77. 'What for the fairness of the wall, the stateliness of the pictures and the livelyhood of the painting, it was thought to be one of the goodliest monuments in (the) church.' Ibid. 34.
  • 78. Reredos.
  • 79. Ralph, Lord Neville, was the first layman to be buried in the church.
  • 80. The mutilation of this and the adjoining tomb is said to be due to the Scottish prisoners taken at the battle of Dunbar, who were confined in the church in 1650.
  • 81. There are six niches on each side and three on each end; the weepers remain in all but two, but are without heads.
  • 82. Rites of Durh. (Dr. Fowler's notes), 245.
  • 83. According to Rites, p. 40, he was buried in the chantry, but Leland says he lay in 'a high plain marble tombe in the Galile.' Greenwell, op. cit. 95.
  • 84. So called from 'a picture of our Lady carrying our Saviour on her knee, as He was taken from the crosse, very lamentable to behold.' Rites of Durh. 38.
  • 85. 'An alter with a roode representing the passion of our Saviour, having his handes bounde, with a crowne of thorne on his head, being commonly called the Bound Roode.' Ibid. 41.
  • 86. The north end of the altar slab was built into the wall. Its site is now occupied by the monument to Capt. R. M. Hunter, killed at Ferozeshah, 1845.
  • 87. Rites of Durh. 38.
  • 88. Ibid. 61.
  • 89. Ibid. 40. 'A piece of Frosterley marble let into the corner where the south transept and south aisle of the nave join may mark its site.' Greenwell, op. cit. 97.
  • 90. He is buried in the Galilee.
  • 91. Of the pre-Reformation font no proper record seems to have been preserved. Peter Smart described the font in use in Elizabethan times as 'comely, like to that of St. Paul's at London and in other cathedrals.' This was replaced by one of marble about 1621, which was described thirteen years later as 'not to be paralleled in the land.' It was 'eight square, with an iron grate raised two yards every square,' and all about it was ' artificially wrought and carved with such variety of joiners work as makes all the beholders thereof to admire.' Raine, Durh. Cath. 15. Smart called it 'a mausoleum, towering up to the roof of the church, a most sumptuous fabric and costly, partly of wood and partly of stone.' This font and cover were destroyed by the Scotch prisoners in 1650.
  • 92. In 1845 a new pulpit, designed by Salvin, was erected in the quire opposite the Bishop's throne. It took the place of one of wood, which was presented to the University. Raine in 1833 described the pulpit then in use as of 'comparatively modern date.' It stood originally in the middle of the quire, with a sounding board over it. It was probably the pulpit erected in 1726, recorded in the chapter minutes. Salvin's pulpit was removed in 1876.
  • 93. The brass is described as 'a new composition, the result of an analysis of the ancient gray brass.' The ancient lectern is described in Rites, 13.
  • 94. The aisles vary slightly in width between the arcades, the northernmost measuring 12 ft. 11 in., and the others from north to south 13 ft. 11 in., 13 ft. 9 in., 13 ft. 7 in., and 13 ft. 8 in. respectively. The thickness of the arcade wall is in each case 2 ft. 2 in., making up the total width of 76 ft. 6 in. from north to south. The floor of the chapel is 20 in. below that of the nave.
  • 95. The chantry of the Blessed Virgin and St. Cuthbert was founded by Langley in 1414; the deed of dedication is dated 18 June. Greenwell, op. cit. 89.
  • 96. Three drawings of the east side of the Galilee, reproduced in Trans. Archit. and Arch. Soc. Durh. & Northumb. v, 29 (1907). The back of the reredos was divided into five panels, each of which contained a large standing figure with a smaller figure above. There were also side wings and a ceiling of wood divided into oblong panels.
  • 97. Rites of Durh. 44. Fowler's Notes, 232.
  • 98. It appears to have been made between 1433 and 1435. Greenwell, op. cit. 89.
  • 99. Greenwell, op. cit. 61. An altar was re-erected here in 1927 in memory of Canon Cruickshank.
  • 100. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), 44.
  • 101. It may date from Langley's time, when our Lady of Pity's altar was transferred here. Prof. Hamilton Thompson, however, considers that this picture was later and that it is unlikely there was a dedication to our Lady of Pity before Langley's time, as it represents a late mediaeval devotion popular in the 15th century. He does not suppose the dedication of the altar to Bede is earlier than 1370.
  • 102. Bede's remains were removed from near St. Cuthbert's shrine to the Galilee in 1370.
  • 103. Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), Fowler's notes, 235.
  • 104. Examined to the level of the pavement in 1830.
  • 105. Slab 8 ft. 5 in. by 3 ft. 10 in. with moulded edge.
  • 106. ' Continet haec theca Baede venerabilis ossa.'
  • 107. This is the only ancient glass remaining in the church; some other fragments are now in the Chapter House (q.v.).
  • 108. The well was opened up in 1896. It could be used as a draw-well from the Galilee and as a drip-well by the townspeople at the bottom of the rock; it is 46 ft. below the floor of the chapel. Trans. Archit. and Arch. Soc. Durh. and Northd. v, 27.
  • 109. Except on the south outer wall, where the parapet is straight.
  • 110. Boyle, Guide to Durh. 274. The Latin motto in the Galilee over the great doorway has reference to the Consistory Court.
  • 111. 'In the lanthorn, called the new work, was hanging there three fine bells.' Rites of Durh. (Surtees Soc.), 22.
  • 112. By the intervention of Dr. Spark.
  • 113. It appears to have been of 13th-century date.
  • 114. The ancient dedications were recorded in the inscriptions. Those remaining are (2) St. Margaret, (5) St. Michael, (6) Bede, (7) St. Oswald, (8) St. Cuthbert. The new fourth preserves the dedication to St. Benedict. Chapman's bells have only the names of the founder and the dean. The tenor weighs approximately 30 cwt.
  • 115. It is a handsome piece with gadrooned edge, diameter 10½ in., height to top of cover 12 in. It was given in 1667, but bears no marks or inscription: Cosin's Corr. (Surtees Soc.), ii, xxv.
  • 116. Entered as goldsmith in 1751.
  • 117. The chalice is 97/8 in. high, and has a six-lobed foot. The bowl rests on a calix of repoussé work, with cherubs' heads, swags, and flowers. On the foot are representations of the Crucifixion, with the Virgin and St. John, cherubim, and two unidentified coats-of-arms, one surmounted by a mitre. The chalice was shown at the Exhibition of 1862 at South Kensington, and was presented to Archdeacon Watkins by the owner. It bears no date-letter or maker's mark.
  • 118. The repairs of the north front seem to have been begun in 1775. Raine, Durh. Cath. 118.
  • 119. The inner order has a quirked angle-roll below a hollow; the outer is the same with an additional roll on the soffit. Wyatt's treatment played havoc with the mouldings, but some of the arches on the south side of the quire, then covered by the revestry, were left untouched. The revestry was taken down in 1802. Raine says the walls were chiselled and pared down to the depth of 2 in. or 3 in., in consequence of which the shafts and capitals, moulding and strings ' lost their due proportion to the fabric': op. cit. 118.
  • 120. Similar indications on the south side are shown in Billings' drawing (1843), as well as the small pointed openings flanking the triforium windows. The refacing of the south side of the nave in 1849 obliterated all these marks. At what time the gables gave place to parapets is not recorded.
  • 121. 'The space was once filled with boldly projecting Norman strings crossing each other lozengwise.'Raine, op. cit. 119. It has now an arcade of seven arches.
  • 122. The original figures are said to have represented Priors Fossor and Castell; 'in their stead was placed a full length figure of Pudsey, and an effigy of a man said to be a prior in his chair.' Raine, op. cit. 119.
  • 123. The first arcade has three arches on each side between the angle pilasters, of which the two outer ones are open and the middle one blank. The third arcade has six narrow arches on each side, all of which are open.
  • 124. A drawing published in that year shows the parapet on the north-west tower finished, but on the other as in course of erection. Greenwell, op. cit. 38.
  • 125. Carter's drawings on the authority of old views. The merlons were moulded all round.
  • 126. Cosin at his first visitation in 1662, and again in 1665, enquired what had become of the wood and lead. No satisfactory answer was returned. The spires are shown in 17th-century engravings.
  • 127. Scriptores Tres (Surt. Soc.), 134; Durh. Acct. R. (Surt. Soc.), iii, Intro. p. lvii.
  • 128. Durh. Household Bk. (Surt. Soc.), 91.
  • 129. Durh. Acct. R. (Surt. Soc.), iii, Intro. p. lviii.
  • 130. Script. Tres (Surt. Soc.), 145; Durh. Acct. R. iii, Intro. p. lix.
  • 131. Script. Tres (Surt. Soc.), 131; Durh. Acct. R. iii, Intro. p. lxi.
  • 132. Durh. Acct. R., loc. cit. Cf. Script. Tres (Surt. Soc.), 153.
  • 133. Durh. Acct. R. iii, Intro. p. lxii; Durh. Household Bk. 99.
  • 134. V.C.H. Dur. i, 371.
  • 135. Durh. Acct. R. (Surt. Soc.), ii, p. 418.
  • 136. Rites of Durh. (Surt. Soc. 107), p. 44.
  • 137. The foundation of 1437 was obviously merely a reorganisation. Hutchinson, Durh. iii, 260 n.
  • 138. Injunctions and Eccl. Proc. Bp. Barnes (Surt. Soc.), Ap. vi, p. lxii.
  • 139. V.C.H. Dur. ii, 130.
  • 140. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), v, 324.