Archbishop’s Palace, Southwell


Old Palace Ruins, Southwell
Publisher: A. Wood, Bookseller & Stationer, Southwell

The former Palace of the Archbishop of York stands next door to the Minster, adjoining the present official residence of the Bishop of Southwell. The Palace as we see it today dates from the 14th Century and was wrecked during the Civil War. The ruined part can be admired up-close from the Palace Gardens. The surviving built part of the Palace – the Great Hall – was restored in the Edwardian era. The Hall retains its original proportions and the beams of the magnificent vaulted ceiling of the State Chamber are mostly medieval originals.
Southwell Minster

Originally built in the 15-century as a palace for the Archbishop of York, this historic castle was damaged extensively by Parliamentarians after the English Civil War. In the Georgian period, the remaining habitable parts of the Palace was home to a “respectable seminary for young ladies” as well as being used as the local magistrate’s court. In the late 19th century parts of the Palace were restored as an episcopal residency when the nearby Minster obtained cathedral status. Today, the restored part of the building is often filled with the sound of singing from the Song School, an integral part of Southwell Minster since the 13th century.

This part of the building is not open to the public but visitors are free to go to the first-floor stateroom, said to be the place where Cardinal Wolseley made his last desperate efforts to obtain the annulment of the first marriage of Henry VIII. In the 17th century, the palace was the first place of captivity of Charles I, who was captured by the Scottish Allies of Oliver Cromwell towards the end of the English Civil War.
Atlas Obscura

If the matter were still undecided, a very recent discovery would enable us to pronounce that Southwell had, at least, been the residence of Romans, by whatever appellation it might be celebrated, or by whatever size and magnificence it might be distinguished, in their time; for, in breaking up a piece of ground under the eastern side of of the archbishop’s palace, in the year 1793, to make a garden for one of the gentlemen of this church, a tessalated Roman floor was discovered of considerable extent, accompanied by several fragments of urns.
“Antiquities historical, architectural, chorographical and itinerary, in Nottinghamshire and the adjacent counties”, William Dickinson, 1801

We cannot avoid briefly noticing here the ruins of the ancient Palace of the Archbishops of York, which stand on the south side of the Church, and which cannot fail to excite admiration by their picturesque appearance, as well as the numerous and interesting historical associations with which they are connected, as well as the variety of tenants who have occupied it. It was the favourite residence of the great Cardinal Wolsey, who frequently retired hither for a time to forget the cares of government amidst its secluded and religious retreats. He passed here the greater part of the last year of his life, (1530), when his proud grandeur was fast fading away; and at the close of which year he was hurled from his lofty pinnacle of glory, to lay down his weary head in obscurity on the cold pillow of death.

Archbishop Sandys spent nearly the whole of his time here, after his translation to the See of York ; he was the last Archbishop that resided here. During the civil wars, the Commissioners of Scotland resided here, and held their consultations ; after which, it afforded a brief asylum to the unfortunate monarch Charles I. and his queen. It was occupied by the Parliamentary generals, and afterwards by Cromwell himself ; and General Monk, when he was returning from Scotland to restore the exiled king, slept under its roof. It was during these wars that it fell to ruin, all the contending parties of that period contributed to complete its destruction.

The rooms of state were on the east, the lodging apartments to the south, the offices on the west, and the north was occupied by the great hall and chapel, the former of which is now alone remaining. The large Gothic window on the south-east corner is said to have lighted an immense library. On the wall at the east end is an angel bearing the arms of Cardinal Kempe, Archbishop of York, in the reign of Henry VI. These are said to have been three corn sheaves in allusion to his origin, which was that of a husbandman’s son, in Sussex.
“The history and antiquities of the collegiate church of Southwell : illustrated by views of the interior and exterior, plans, sections, etc. of the edifice, William Bennett Killpack, 1839

St Philip’s Cathedral, Birmingham


Cathedral, Birmingham.
c.1905
Publisher: John Evelyn Wrench

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Once amongst fields, Birmingham Cathedral was originally St Philip’s parish church. At the centre of the growing town of Birmingham, it was designed by Warwickshire
architect Thomas Archer in the new English Baroque style and consecrated in 1715. As Birmingham emerged as an influential industrial centre and city of a thousand trades, with waves of people coming to live and work here, the need for a new cathedral became apparent. In 1905 the Bishop of Birmingham, Charles Gore, chose St Philip’s to be the cathedral of the new diocese of Birmingham.

Birmingham Cathedral


Birmingham, St Phillip’s Cathedral.
On back:
St Phillip’s Church. The Cathedral of Birmingham was erected in 1710 and enlarged in 1874. It contains some beautiful stained glass windows designed by Sir E. Burne-Johns, who was a native of this city.
c.1910
Publisher: Raphael Tuck & Son

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Durham Cathedral, Durham


Durham Cathedral
c.1910
Publisher: J.W. Ruddock & Sons

Google Street View

The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly known as Durham Cathedral and home of the Shrine of St Cuthbert, is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England. It is the seat of the Bishop of Durham, the fourth-ranked bishop in the Church of England hierarchy. The present Norman era cathedral had started to be built in 1093, replacing the city’s previous ‘White Church’. In 1986 the cathedral and Durham Castle were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Durham Cathedral’s relics include: Saint Cuthbert’s, transported to Durham by Lindisfarne monks in the 800s; Saint Oswald’s head and the Venerable Bede’s remains.
Wikipedia

Bishop’s Palace, Wells


Wells, Bishop’s Palace, The Drawbridge.
c.1910
Publisher: T.W. Phillips, City Studio, Wells

Google Street VIew

The Bishop’s Palace and accompanying Bishops House at Wells in the English county of Somerset, is adjacent to Wells Cathedral and has been the home of the Bishops of the Diocese of Bath and Wells for 800 years. . . . Construction began around 1210 by Bishop Jocelin of Wells but principally dates from 1230. Bishop Jocelin continued the cathedral building campaign begun by Bishop Reginald Fitz Jocelin, and was responsible for building the Bishop’s Palace, as well as the choristers’ school, a grammar school, a hospital for travellers and a chapel within the liberty of the cathedral. He also built a manor house at Wookey, near Wells. The chapel and great hall were built between 1275 and 1292 for Bishop Robert Burnell. The windows had stone tracery. Stone bosses where the supporting ribs meet on the ceiling are covered with representations of oak leaves and the Green Man.
. . .
In the 14th century, Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury continued the building. He had an uneasy relationship with the citizens of Wells, partly because of his imposition of taxes, and surrounded his palace with 5 metres (16 ft) crenellated walls,[8] a moat and a drawbridge. The three-storey gatehouse, which dates from 1341, has a bridge over the moat. The entrance was protected by a heavy gate, portcullis and drawbridge, operated by machinery above the entrance, and spouts through which defenders could pour scalding liquids onto any attacker.
. . .
In the 1550s, Bishop Barlow sold the lead from the roofs of the great hall. It can be seen in an engraving of 1733 but was largely demolished around 1830 by Bishop Law. He created a “more picturesque ruin” by removing the south and east walls and laying out and planting the area previously occupied by the great hall. The palace was used as a garrison for troops in both the English Civil War and Monmouth Rebellion after which it was used as a prison for rebels after the Battle of Sedgemoor. Bishop Kidder was killed during the Great Storm of 1703, when two chimney stacks in the palace fell on him and his wife, while they were asleep in bed A central porch was added around 1824 and, in the 1840s and 1850s, Benjamin Ferrey restored the palace and added an upper storey. He also restored the chapel using stained glass from ruined French churches.
Wikipedia

Swans float peacefully in the moat of the Bishop’s Palace, while parents push prams along the moat walk and chat, while the high wall separating the Bishop’s Palace grounds from the busy market place cuts off the noise of hustle and bustle in the outside world. It is a scene of peace and tranquil beauty. But it was not also so peaceful; indeed, the presence of the moat tells its own story, for in the Middle Ages the powerful Bishops of Bath and Wells were locked in bitter conflict with the townsfolk of Wells. The Bishops, fearful for their safety, thought it prudent to protect their palace with a wide moat and allow access only by way of a drawbridge which could be lifted in case of threat. But back to the swans; in the 1870s the daughters of Bishop Hervey taught the resident swans to ring a bell for food, and the tradition continues today.
Britain Express

Bird’s eye view of the Bishop’s Palace, “Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society”,1849

The present dwelling-house or palace, which remains to a great extent perfect, though with many alterations of a minor kind, has the lower story vaulted with a good Early English groined vault, with ribs, carried upon slender pillars and corbels ; the parallelogram is divided lengthwise by a solid wall at about one-third of the width, the outer or narrow part of which on the ground floor now forms the entrance- hall and passage to the staircase at one end and the chapel at the other. In this vestibule is a fireplace of the time of Henry VIII., which has probably replaced an original one. The entrance doorway has been moved one bay southward, and a modern porch built over it . . . At the north- west corner of the building there is a square projection on the north side, the walls in the ground floor of which are of immense thickness, and it was probably intended for a tower, which the situation seems to indicate. The ground room is vaulted like the rest of the substructure. The room over this (now the Bishop’s study), has had an oriel window thrown out at the end, and a newel staircase made in the angle formed by the projection and the main building. . . . The upper story of this long range of building is divided in the same manner as the lower one by a solid wall running the whole length, and separating one third of the width as a long gallery, in which there are two modern fireplaces, the chimneys of which are probably original; this upper gallery has also been originally divided into two rooms. The larger division is subdivided into three apartments, the partitions are modernized, and as the roof and ceilings are also modern, there is no guide as to what the original arrangements were, but it seems probable that they were the same as at present. . . .

General Plan, “Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society”,1849

All the principal apartments of the palace are still, and were from the beginning, on the first floor, and the entrance to them was always by a staircase in the same situation as the present one, although that is Jacobean work. The omission of the end bay of the vaulting, and the existence of a square pier on one side and none on the other, where the end of the vault is carried on a corbel only, proves that the original state staircase was in this situation, and ascended by a sweep round this end of the entrance hall. The square tower by the side of this, and in the north-east angle of the court, contains the servants’ staircase. The present stair- case is modern, and the tower is an addition to the original work, but it does not seem to be much later; the doorway is of the fifteenth century and the porch modern, but the windows are very like Joceline’s work, and are clearly not modern. The kitchen and offices were partly rebuilt by Bishop Bagot, but on the old site, with some of the old walls and the old chimney-stack remaining. There have evidently always been some rooms between the kitchen and the staircase. The buttery and pantry are usually on a level with the hall, even when that is on the first floor and the kitchen on the ground floor, and there is then a straight staircase from the hall to the kitchen, passing between the buttery and the pantry, as at St. Mary’s Hall, Coventry, and many other ancient houses. But in this instance it appears that there was a screen only at the servants’ end of the hall, and that these offices were down- stairs.

The partitions in this part of the palace are entirely modern, and I have not been able to obtain any plan of the old arrangements, so that I can only guess what they were. . . . This corner of the palace seems to have been almost rebuilt by him, and the old wall of enclosure of Bishop Ralph was built upon, and had windows pierced through it. The internal arrangement of this part of the house was entirely altered in the time of Bishop Beadon, about 1810, when the floors were taken out, and what had been two stories made into three. The tower at the angle, with a stair-turret, is part of the work of Bishop Clerk, in the time of Henry VIII. This tower, or turret, is square on one side and a half octagon on the other, a very unusual plan.

An upper story was also added to the whole of the west front over the long gallery by Bishop Bagot, about 1840, to contain additional bedrooms, and the present dormer windows were then added by Mr. Ferrey with so much ingenuity and in such good taste that it is almost impossible to distinguish them from the old work, and the effect of the front is thought by many persons to have been improved by the alteration. The buttresses were then restored, but Mr. Ferrey states that the toothing of the old buttresses remained quite distinct in the walls when the rough-cast was taken off.
“The Architectural Antiquities of the City of Wells”, John Henry Parker, 166, pp. 6-9

Bishop’s Palace, Wells, North View“Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society”,1849
The Gate-house, built by Bishop Ralph of Shrewsbury, A.D> 1329-1363“Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society”,1849
East or Garden Front of Bishop Jocelyn’s Palace, A.D. 1205-1244 (The Oriel Window inserted) “Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society”,1849
The work of Bishop Jocelyn, A.D. 1205-1244, “Proceedings of the Somersetshire Archaeological and Natural History Society”,1849
N. Elevation, West End & General Plan“Examples of Gothic architecture”, Agustus Pugin, Augustus Welby Pugin & Edward James Willson, 1895
Chimneypiece in the entrance “Examples of Gothic architecture”, Agustus Pugin, Augustus Welby Pugin & Edward James Willson, 1895
Elevation & section of S. W. Turret “Examples of Gothic architecture”, Agustus Pugin, Augustus Welby Pugin & Edward James Willson, 1895
Plans and details of S.W. Turret“Examples of Gothic architecture”, Agustus Pugin, Augustus Welby Pugin & Edward James Willson, 1895

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall


Penzance, St Michael’s Mount.
c.1910

Google Street View.

St. Michael’s Mount is an odd mix of house, religious retreat, and fortified castle. It was a pilgrimage centre in the Middle Ages, converted first to a fortress, then to a house after the Civil War by the St. Aubin family.
Britain Express

In the years following the Norman Conquest, St Michael’s Mount was granted to the Benedictine monks of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy – a natural choice given the similarities between the two sites. They established a small religious community on the island and Abbot Bernard le Bec built the first stone church there in 1135. The community was briefly disrupted in 1193 when Henry de La Pomeray took control of the island as part of the attempted coup of Prince John (later King John) against his brother, Richard I. That rebellion was defeated but it was around this time the castle on the island was built; perhaps by Henry but more likely after his suicide when Richard returned. It was a significant structure with square towers, a large gatehouse and a substantial curtain wall. Having been restored the monks also fortified their Priory by adding the church tower and courtyard walls.
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After the events of the fifteenth century, St Michael’s Mount returned to being a quiet religious order until Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. Its remote location and lack of wealth made it a low priority for Royal officials with the site not being formally suppressed until 1548. But the English Reformation continued apace with a New Prayer Book that banned the Latin Mass. This was hotly contested by the Cornish populace whose Celtic background meant they had a better grasp of Latin than English and in 1549 the mount was temporarily seized by rebels during a general Cornish uprising. St Michael’s Mount remained in Crown ownership until 1599 when Queen Elizabeth sold it to Sir Robert Cecil. His descendants sold it onto Sir Francis Bassett in 1640 who garrisoned it for the King during the Civil War. Following the defeat of the Royalist field armies, Parliamentary forces advanced into the South West and besieged the Mount. After its capture Colonel John St Aubyn was appointed Captain of the Mount and in 1659 he purchased it outright. He was allowed to keep the property after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 with the site being modified into his private home. Upgrades were made during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (including romanticising the castle).
Castles Forts Battles

“The Cemetery Gate and Entrance Lodge, St. Michael’s Mount”, Other famous homes of Great Britain and their stories”, A. H. Malan, 1902

It’s thought that during classical times, the island formed a trading centre for the tin industry. More than 2,000 years ago, Phoenician ships may have sailed into the Mount’s harbour and exported Cornish tin to the rest of Europe. The island’s population ebbed and flowed, but by the early 1800s, the Mount was thriving commercially and the village was alive with activity, home to over 300 islanders with 53 houses and four streets. Pubs welcomed sailors and fishermen, a school taught the island’s children, a parish policeman kept the peace, the dairy churned butter and the green saw villagers gather to play bowls. It was said that at times you could walk from one side of the harbour to the other stepping over the boats that were moored there. There were net lofts, stables, a pilchard press and even a Victorian change house, where castle residents could wriggle into their swimsuits for a sea dip.
St Michael’s Mount

Little is known about the village before the beginning of the 18th century, save that there were a few fishermen’s cottages and monastic cottages. After improvements to the harbour in 1727, St Michael’s Mount became a flourishing seaport. In 1755 the Lisbon earthquake caused a tsunami to strike the Cornish coast over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away. The sea rose six feet (2 m) in 10 minutes at St Michael’s Mount, ebbed at the same rate, and continued to rise and fall for five hours. The 19th-century French writer Arnold Boscowitz claimed that “great loss of life and property occurred upon the coasts of Cornwall.” By 1811, there were 53 houses and four streets. The pier was extended in 1821[21] and the population peaked in the same year, when the island had 221 people. There were three schools, a Wesleyan chapel, and three public houses, mostly used by visiting sailors. Following major improvements to nearby Penzance harbour, and the extension of the railway to Penzance in 1852, the village went into decline, and many of the houses and other buildings were demolished.
Wikipedia.

This beautiful and romantic spot is situated on the southern coast of Cornwall, immediately opposite the little market town of Marazion, and about three miles and a half from Penzance. The Mount itself 13 about 231 feet above the level of the sea, exclusive of the buildings with which it is crowned. Its magnitude is seen in the most impressive point of view from its base, for when observed from a distance, its form appears trifling, amidst the vast expanse of waters with which it is surrounded. A narrow neck of land, little more than a quarter of a mile in length, connects it with the main land: this natural causeway is passable at low water to foot passengers and carriages, but at high tide is completely covered by the sea.
Abbeys, castles, and ancient halls of England and Wales”, John Timbes, 1872

“The Chapel, from the North Court”, Other famous homes of Great Britain and their stories”, A. H. Malan, 1902

The hill is crowned with an ancient building originally founded by Edward the Confessor as a priory for Benedictine monks, and which in after years was fortified. . . A steep and difficult path leads up to the summit, defended midway by a battery, with another battery at the top. The church crowns the crest of the hill, surrounded by the old monastic buildings. On the centre tower is a turret once used as a beacon for sailors, and on the S.W. angle of this, overhanging the sea, is the famous seat called St. Michael’s Chair. The whole structure has for long been the property of the St. Aubyn family (Lord St. Levan), and has been adapted to form a comfortable modern dwelling. It is a castellated house, retaining much of the monastic masonry, but great alterations were made in it during last century ; the dining-room was the refectory of the convent, and the chapel has been fitted up in the Gothic style.
The castles of England, their story and structure, Vol II”, James Mackenzie, 1896

For seven hundred years the Mount retained its purely ecclesiastical character, but, in 1194, it began a military career un- der the following circumstances :
While Richard 1. was crusading in Palestine, Henry de la Pomeroy, a man of large possessions in Devonshire and Corn- wall, had espoused the cause of the King’s disloyal brother, John, Earl of Cornwall. When Richard came home and heard of Pomeroy’s treason, he sent a serjeant-at-arms to arrest him at his castle of Berry Pomeroy, in Devonshire. Pomeroy, however, stabbed this officer, and then fled with some followers to St. Michael’s Mount, where he had a sister living as a nun. Under pretence of visiting this sister, Pomeroy got admitted with his retinue into the convent, which he promptly seized and fortified.
The King sent a force to reduce the Mount and take Pomeroy, under the command of the Archbishop of Canterbury. In these days we should hardly look upon this as a very fitting selection ; but his Grace justified the King’s confidence in his military talents, and Pomeroy, despairing of a successful resistance, bequeathed some of his lands to the monks to pray for his soul, and bled himself to death. By doing this he assured to his son the inheritance of his property, which would have been forfeited had he been convicted of high treason. The King put a force into ” Pomeroy’s fort,” as it was called, and it continued to be regarded as a fortress and to be occupied by a garrison for nearly five hundred years. It was still, how- ever, a monastery as well as a fort.
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About 1425, one of these chaplains, William Morton, began to build the first harbour of which there is any record, being assisted by Bishop Lacy of Exeter, who granted an indulgence of forty days to all who should contribute to its erection. How- ever, in 1427, the funds for the purpose being still found inade- quate, Morton appealed for help to the King, Henry VI., who granted him certain dues to be levied on ships anchoring near the Mount, and on “foreign boats fishing for hake during the season.”
Other famous homes of Great Britain and their stories”, A. H. Malan, 1902

The buyldinges that are on the topp of this Mount auntient all of freestone verie stronge and permanent wherof muche was erected by Willm Moriton, Nephew to Willm the Conquerour, who had muche lande in this Countrye. It was sometimes a Cell of munckes but since fortefyed for defence. It hath bene muche resorted unto by Pylgrims in deuotion to St Michaell whose chayre is fabled to be in the mount on the south syde of verie Daungerous access. The ascente unto the mounte is steepe curuing narrowe and rockye and that but one waye in the north syde. John Earle of Oxforde surprised this mount by pollicie and kepte it by force againste king Edwarde the 4. but with noe profitable or prayse worthy success for he was violently depryued of it. But some write that he surrendred it upon conditions. It is a place of noe greate importance hauinge small receyte of meanes to keepe and defende it longe At the foote of the mount is a peere of Stones wherin boates are harbored and from Marca-iew there is a causwaye or passage that leadeth to the Mount on foote at a lowe water.
“Speculi Britanniae Pars: A Topographical and Historical Description of Cornwall”, John Norden, 1728 [1626], p.39

St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Launceston Cornwall


Launceston, St Mary’s Church
c.1911
Publisher: Francis Frith & Co

Google Street View.

St Mary Magdalene in Launceston is the most impressive and beautiful late medieval church in Cornwall, featuring superb carved detail on the exterior and a wealth of historic memorials and woodwork inside. In 1353 Edward, the Black Prince, was named Duke of Cornwall. Around 1370 Edward built a chapel a short distance from Launceston Castle. All that remains of that 14th-century chapel is the imposing west tower of St Mary Magdalene church, built of Polyphant stone, 20 feet square at the base and rising 70 feet to an embattled top. The tower was originally used as a watchtower, with a single bell to warn of attack, not to call worshippers to service.
Britain Express

The intricately worked granite blocks, which give the church its unique carved exterior, were originally intended for a mansion at Trecarell, Trebullett for Sir Henry Trecarell. The reason for this is said to be due to his infant son drowning in his bath and the grief-stricken Sir Henry switched the stone to ecclesiastical use as he decided to build the church instead. How true this story is, is open to conjecture, but what is most certain is that the present church owes its existence to Sir Henry. (Although widely called Sir Henry, there is no record of him actually being knighted). This was in 1511 and was to be the third church dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene on this site which at that time contained the Parochial Chapel of the Blessed Mary Magdalene of the 14th century along with tenements which were attached to the said chapel. These were purchased and removed so that the site was free for the new construction. As previously mentioned the present tower survives from one of the earlier churches, being built by Edward the Black Prince, who became the first Duke of Cornwall in 1337 and whose capital was Launceston. This explains the fact that the body of the church is not directly connected with its tower, which indeed is on a different line. Between them lies what is now the choir vestry, but at one time, there were two cottages between the church and the tower.
Launceston Then

The church of St Mary Magdalene was built in the early 1500s, but inside the Victorians have left almost nothing from the original period. The pulpit is one of the few survivals. It was covered with pitch during the civil war and only restored as to its current condition in 1970. The chancel screen is designed by Edmund H Sedding and carved by Violet Pinwill. It dates from 1911 and depicts eleven saints with Mary Magdalene at the centre.
Reed Design.includes panorama)

Font, St Martin’s Church, Canterbury, Kent


Canterbury. Font St Martin’s Church.
c.1910
Publisher: E. Crow & Son, Canterbury

Google Street View.

This is an example of a Norman tub font, and quite a few have survived in churches to this day. St Mary’s Chadwell has a similar though less impressive example of arcade decoration. One theory (which was either told me by a church guide, or in a printed guide leaflet) is that it consists of stacked “baptismal tubs”; whereas the Kent Churches website claims it is carved from a single block. But most sources including the parish website agree that it consists of several stone blocks (22 is a figure often quoted). Whichever is correct, it is agreed that it is made of Caen stone, carved with intersecting and interlocking patterns.
Geograph

The Church of St Martin is an ancient Church of England parish church in Canterbury, England, situated slightly beyond the city centre. It is recognised as the oldest church building in Britain still in use as a church, and the oldest parish church in the English-speaking world, although Roman and Celtic churches had existed for centuries. The church is, along with Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey, part of a World Heritage Site. . . . St Martin’s was the private chapel of Queen Bertha of Kent (died in or after 601) before Saint Augustine of Canterbury arrived from Rome in 597. Queen Bertha was a Christian Frankish princess who arrived in England with her chaplain, Bishop Liudhard. Her pagan husband, King Æthelberht of Kent, facilitated her in continuing to practise her religion by renovating a Romano-British building (ca. AD 580). The Venerable Bede says the building had been in use in the late Roman period but had fallen into disuse. As Bede specifically names it, this church was dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours, a city located near where Bertha grew up. Although Bede implies that the building in Roman times had been a church, modern scholarship has questioned this and also whether it was a former Roman structure at all, suggesting that it could have been sixth century but built in the Roman way.
Wikipedia.

Historically, this is the most important church in Kent. St Martin’s is the building in which Queen Bertha and St Augustine worshipped together in the closing years of the sixth century, making it the oldest parish church in England that is still in use. Furthermore it is built of large quantities of Roman tile mixed with local flint and ragstone. The exterior shows typical Saxon buttresses and long and short work, but there are no Saxon window openings still in use. However, the west wall inside has been stripped of plaster which allows us to see very early blocked windows. Apart from the great age of the walls there is little of visual interest – with a fourteenth-century tower at the west end and a rather severe atmosphere resulting from the drastic nineteenth-century restoration that saw the insertion of dreadful ‘catalogue’ stained glass. Were it not for the early history of this church the font would be its outstanding feature. It is of Norman date and is carved from a large block of Caen stone. Tall, solid, and eminently decorative it has intersecting circlets in two lower levels, and arcading of Romanesque arches above, topped by a rim of rolling swags. 
Kent Churches

The gem of the Church and one of the gems of England is this world-famous Font, tub-shaped, consisting of a plain stone base, three tiers, and a rim. The base is a recent addition to the font, probably in the middle of the last century, when the font was moved to its present position from the centre of the Nave. The three tiers are made up of some 22 separate stones, and not out of a single block as was usual with early fonts. The two lower tiers are adorned with groups of intertwining circles. The third tier is completely different, namely intersecting arches. The rim is the same design as the two lower tiers with the exception of one stone which has a pattern not unlike dog-tooth work or stars cut in half. The two lower tiers and the rim are said to be Saxon, and the Normans requiring a higher font inserted the arches to raise same, and in so doing broke the rim, and added the one odd stone to make it complete. The lead lining is also of Norman date and still retains the marks of the hinge and staple from the days when the font had a locked cover.
Canterbury Buildings

Statue & Cathedral, Bristol


Bristol. Cathedral & Statue.
C.1910
Publisher: M.J. Ridley, Bournemouth

Google Street View.

The statue of Queen Victoria by Joseph Edgar Boehm stands on College Green, Bristol, England. It is Grade II listed. It was unveiled on 25 July 1888 by Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Victoria’s grandson. When the statue was put into place a glass time capsule was incorporated into the plinth. This was uncovered during redevelopment in 2004 and given to Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery. The round steps of limestone ashlar lead to a square, copper base with fish, putti and inscribed panels, which support the marble statue. The figure of Queen Victoria is holding a sceptre and orb which are now broken. The statue has been moved several times.
Wikipedia.

Virtual tour of cathedral

Bristol Cathedral, formally the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, is the Church of England cathedral in the city of Bristol, England. Founded in 1140 and consecrated in 1148, it was originally St Augustine’s Abbey but after the Dissolution of the Monasteries it became in 1542 the seat of the newly created Bishop of Bristol and the cathedral of the new Diocese of Bristol. It is a Grade I listed building. The eastern end of the church includes fabric from the 12th century, with the Elder Lady Chapel which was added in the early 13th century. Much of the church was rebuilt in the English Decorated Gothic style during the 14th century despite financial problems within the abbey. In the 15th century the transept and central tower were added. The nave was incomplete at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 and was demolished. In the 19th century Gothic Revival a new nave was built by George Edmund Street partially using the original plans. The western twin towers, designed by John Loughborough Pearson, were completed in 1888.
Wikipedia.

Bristol Cathedral is one of England’s great medieval churches. It originated as an Augustinian Abbey, founded c. 1140 by prominent local citizen, Robert Fitzharding, who became first Lord Berkeley. The transepts of the church date from this period, but its most vivid remains can be seen in the Chapter House and Abbey Gatehouse. The Chapter House is a stunning Romanesque gem dating from c. 1160, one of the most important buildings of its era in the country, with stone walls decorated with a series of intricate, patterned, carvings.
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In the 1530s the medieval nave was being rebuilt, but it was never finished because Henry VIII dissolved the abbey in 1539. The buildings might have been lost at this point but Henry began to create a series of ‘New Foundation’ Cathedrals, and Bristol was included in 1542 – possibly due to successful lobbying from the citizens of the most important trading city after London. The church, like other cathedrals created at this time, was then rededicated, in this case to the Holy and Undivided Trinity. Other surviving features include the baroque organ casing, which houses the organ built by Renatus Harris in 1685. For the next three hundred years the Cathedral functioned without a nave, but in 1868 noted architect, G.E. Street, created a fine replacement in a Gothic Revival design.
Bristol Cathedral

Whitby Abbey, Whitby, North Yorkshire


Abbey Ruins, Whitby
c. 1940

Google Street View.

Founded by Oswy, King of Northumbria, in about 656, the first abbess being St Hilda. Destroyed by the Danes in circa 870 and refounded for the Benedictines by Reinfrid, one of the soldiers of William the Conqueror. Extensive ruins of the church from early Cl2 to Cl4.
Historic England

In about 1078 a monk called Reinfrid founded a new monastic community at Whitby. At a very early stage in its history this community split and the two parts each developed into a fully fledged Benedictine monastery: one on the headland at Whitby and the other at St Mary’s Abbey, York. The Benedictine monastery initially probably had timber buildings or reused the Anglian ruins on the headland. About 1100 a stone church and conventual buildings were built in the Romanesque style, as well as a large parish church close by. In the 13th century the monastery church was rebuilt in the Gothic style. This was a massive undertaking, including major landscaping of the whole site, though there is no documentary evidence for it. The first building campaign is dated on stylistic grounds to about 1225–50. The eastern arm, the crossing and transepts, a central tower, and part of the nave were built before funds seem to have run out. Work appears to have been resumed on the nave in the 14th century, but it was not finished until the 15th century.
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The shell of the abbey church was substantially complete until the 18th century. It was weakened, however, by erosion from wind and rain. The south transept collapsed in 1736, much of the nave in 1763, the central tower in 1830 and the south side of the presbytery in 1839.
English Heritage


Plan of Whitby Abbey, Whitby Abbey, Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, Official Guide-book, 1952

The early years of the convent were stormy and its history is confused. The community soon incurred the enmity of the founder and was, besides, set upon and pillaged by sea pirates and local robbers. There was probably a split within the convent itself, one part under Stephen retiring to Lastingham and ultimately to St. Mary’s, York, and the other, under Reinfrid, remaining at Whitby or perhaps temporarily at Hackness. Better times came when Serlo de Percy, brother of the founder, joined the community and became Prior; he was followed by William de Percy, a son of the founder, who became Abbot. From the last decade of the eleventh century, the monastery flourished and became third in value of the Benedictine houses of Yorkshire, after those of St. Mary’s, York, and Selby. In the second half of the twelfth century there were between thirty and forty monks at Whitby. Under Abbot Richard of Peter¬ borough (1148-75) Eystein Haroldson, King of Norway, made a raid on Whitby in or about 1153, burnt the town and laid hands on all the spoil that he could carry off. The only episcopal visitation of the monastery on record is that made by Archbishop Multon in 1320, when the monastery was heavily in debt. Nothing was seriously amiss but the monks were forbidden to go out of the monastery with bows and arrows; furthermore the Abbot, Prior or monks were forbidden to keep their own or other people’s hunting dogs in the convent and if any dog got in, it was to be caught and soundly beaten. By the end of the fourteenth century, the numbers of the convent had fallen off but there were still some twenty monks. The later Abbots had the right to the use of the mitre, ring and staff, and the clear value of the house before the Dissolution was estimated at ^437 2s. 9d. a year. The abbey was surrendered to the King’s Commissioners by Henry Davell, the last Abbot, on 14th December 1539
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There is no direct documentary evidence for the dates of the re¬ building of the Abbey church, which must in consequence be assessed on architectural evidence only. It would seem that the general rebuilding was begun at the east end about 1220. The setting-out was faulty, which led to the marked deviation to the north of the axis of the presbytery from that of the nave. There is little or no difference in date apparent throughout the eastern arm of the church but the north transept, which followed in sequence, is perhaps twenty years later, and with this campaign of building went the south transept, the first three bays of the nave and the central tower. The rebuilding of the remainder of the nave was not undertaken till the fourteenth century and the great west window was a work of the fifteenth century. Samuel Buck’s view of the church (1711) shows that the clerestory of the nave was also much altered or rebuilt in the fifteenth century.
Whitby Abbey, Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, Official Guide-book, 1952


General view from west in 1789, before collapse of Central Tower, “Whitby Abbey, Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, Official Guide-book”, 1952

Abbey Gateway, Reading


The Abbey Gateway, Reading
1904-1908
Publisher: Knight Brothers (British Mirror Series)

Google Street View.

The Abbey Gateway was originally the inner gateway of Reading Abbey, which today is a large, mostly ruined abbey in the centre of the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. The gateway adjoins Reading Crown Court and Forbury Gardens and is one of only two abbey buildings that have survived intact, the other being the Hospitium of St John the Baptist. It is a grade I listed building, and includes a porters lodge on the ground floor and a large open room above the gate. The gateway marked the division between the area of the abbey open to the public and the section accessible only to monks, with the abbot’s lodging just inside the gateway. The gateway thus became the meeting place between the abbot, who commanded considerable powers within the town, and the people of the town.
Wikipedia.


“Reading Abbey gateway”, by Rev. Thomas James Judkin, 1788-1871 (Wikimedia Commons)

The Abbey Gateway divided the monks’ private living quarters from the more public areas of the abbey. In the 1560s, Queen Elizabeth I turned the abbot’s house, which stood just through the gateway, into a royal palace. After Elizabeth’s death, the palace fell out of use and eventually new houses were built alongside the gateway. In the 18th century one of them was home to the Reading Ladies’ Boarding School, which used the gateway as a classroom. From 1785-86 a particularly talented pupil studied here: the future novelist Jane Austen. In 1861 the Gateway collapsed in a storm, shortly after funds had been raised for vital conservation. Instead the Gate had to be substantially rebuilt. This work was completed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, a Victorian architect known for his Gothic Revival work.
Abbey Quarter