Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Carlisle - A Description of Its Fabric and A Brief History of the Episcopal See
by C. King Eley
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Transcriber's notes:

1. Words and phrases which were italicized in the original have been surrounded by underscores ('_') in this version. Words or phrases which were bolded have been surrounded by pound signs ('#').

2. Obvious printer's errors have been corrected without note.

3. Inconsistencies in hyphenation and the spelling of proper names, dialect and obsolete word spellings, have been maintained as in the original.

4. Scribal abbreviations in the original text which used a tilde above a letter have been transcribed as x, where x is the letter over which the tilde appears.

5. A single letter super- or subscript is transcribed as '^' (super) or '' (sub) followed by the letter. If multiple letters are super- or subscripted, these are enclosed in braces {} after the '^' or ''.


A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See



With Twenty-Nine Illustrations

London George Bell & Sons 1900 W.H. White And Co. Limited Riverside Press, Edinburgh


This series of monographs has been planned to supply visitors to the great English Cathedrals with accurate and well illustrated guide-books at a popular price. The aim of each writer has been to produce a work compiled with sufficient knowledge and scholarship to be of value to the student of Archaeology and History, and yet not too technical in language for the use of an ordinary visitor or tourist.

To specify all the authorities which have been made use of in each case would be difficult and tedious in this place. But amongst the general sources of information which have been almost invariably found useful are:—(1) the great county histories, the value of which, especially in questions of genealogy and local records, is generally recognised; (2) the numerous papers by experts which appear from time to time in the Transactions of the Antiquarian and Archaeological Societies; (3) the important documents made accessible in the series issued by the Master of the Rolls; (4) the well-known works of Britton and Willis on the English Cathedrals; and (5) the excellent series of Handbooks to the Cathedrals originated by the late Mr. John Murray; to which the reader may in most cases be referred for further detail, especially in reference to the histories of the respective sees.



Amongst the works consulted in compiling this handbook may be specially mentioned Nicolson and Burn's "History and Antiquities of Westmoreland and Cumberland," Hutchinson's "History and Antiquities of the City of Carlisle," Jefferson's "History and Antiquities of Carlisle," Billings' "Architectural Illustrations, History and Description of Carlisle Cathedral," "Guide to the Cathedral, Carlisle," by R.H. and K.H.

Much help has also been obtained from the late J.R. Green's historical works, as well as the various biographies in the "National Dictionary of Biography."

I also wish to record my thanks to my friend, Mr. A. Tapley, who kindly read through part of the manuscript; and to Mr. A. Pumphrey for permission to reproduce the photographs used.



PAGE CHAPTER I.—History of the Cathedral Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity 3

CHAPTER II.—The Cathedral, Exterior 12 The Nave 12 The North Transept 15 The Tower 15 The North Aisle of the Choir 16 The East End 19 The Choir 21

CHAPTER III.—The Cathedral, Interior 25 The Nave 25 The Font and Organ 26, 28 The North Transept 28 The Tower 30 The South Transept 30 St. Catherine's Chapel 32 Monuments in the Transepts 34 The Choir 39 The Triforium 42 The Clerestory 44 The Roof 44 The Hammer-beams 45 The East Window 46 The Salkeld Screen 52 The Bishop's Throne and Pulpit 53 The North Choir Aisle 54 Monuments in the North Choir Aisle 56 Legendary Paintings 58 The Retro-choir 66 Monuments in the South Choir Aisle 68 The Bells 70 The Monastic Buildings 73 The Fratry 73 The Deanery 74

CHAPTER IV.—History of the See 75

CHAPTER V.—The Castle 89


PAGE The Cathedral from the South-West Frontispiece Arms of the Diocese Title Page The Cathedral from the North-East 2 The Cathedral and Precincts (from an Old Plan) 7 The Exterior from the North 13 The North Door of Nave 15 The South Door 17 Elevation of East End 18 The East End 20 The Nave, South Side 24 Longitudinal Section 27 View across the Transepts in 1840 29 South Transept and St Catherine's Chapel 31 One Bay of the Nave 33 Screen, St Catherine's Chapel 35 The Choir, looking West 37 One Bay of the Choir 41 The Choir, looking East, in 1840 43 The Choir and East Window 49 Miserere in the Stalls 50 North Aisle of the Choir 55 East End of the Fratry and South Transept 63 The Crypt under the Fratry 65 The Fratry 71 The Abbey Gateway 77 Redness Hall 83 Old Plan of the Castle 90 The Castle 91





The details of the founding of the cathedral of Carlisle are very precise and clear.

When William Rufus returned southwards after re-establishing the city of Carlisle, he left as governor a rich Norman priest named Walter. He began at once to build a church to be dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which was to have in connection with it a college of secular canons. Walter did not, however, live to see the building finished, and Henry I. took it upon himself to complete the good work. It is said that his wife on one hand, and his chaplain on the other, urged him to do this. By the beginning of the twelfth century (1123) he founded and endowed a priory of regular Augustinian canons, making his chaplain the first prior.

Ten years afterwards—1133—Henry founded the see of Carlisle, and the priory church became the cathedral. At its endowment Henry laid on the altar the famous "cornu eburneum," now lost. This horn was given, instead of a written document, as proof of the grants of tithes. Its virtue was tried in 1290 when the prior claimed some tithes on land in the forest of Inglewood, but it was decided that the grant did not originally cover the tithes in dispute. "The ceremony of investiture with a horn is very ancient, and was in use before there were any written charters. We read of Ulf, a Danish prince, who gave all his lands to the church of York; and the form of endowment was this: he brought the horn out of which he usually drank, and before the high altar kneeling devoutly drank the wine, and by that ceremony enfeoffed the church with all his lands and revenues." (Jefferson, "History of Carlisle," 171n.)

Aldulf (or AEthelwulf) was made the first bishop, and he placed Augustinians in the monastery attached to the cathedral. These were called "black" canons, their cassocks, cloaks, and hoods being of that colour. A further difference between them and other monks was that they let their beards grow and covered their heads with caps. As a consequence of this order being introduced into the monastery the Episcopal chapter was Augustinian, other English cathedral chapters being generally Benedictine.

On some high ground between the west wall of the city, and the road to the castle the cathedral was built. The site was nearly square in shape, about five acres in extent, and was the highest part in Carlisle after that on which the castle stood. This situation was very advantageous owing to the presence of water near the surface, its frontage to the city wall, and proximity to the river. A narrow piece of ground of about half-an-acre, extending along the walls, and upon which the monastic grounds abutted, was in after years given to the priory by its owner, Robert de Eglesfield, who was chaplain to Philippa, wife of Henry III.

The church was set out, almost due east and west, diagonally across the north-west part of the site, the west end being about 100 feet from the boundary; and was finished about 1130. Its nave consisted of eight bays, and was about 140 feet long.

There was a very fine west front with a handsome central doorway of four orders. The western wall was more than 7 feet in thickness, and had four flat pilaster buttresses nearly 7 feet broad, and 15 inches deep.

The nave was provided with north and south aisles covered with high-pitched wooden roofs, while the north and south transepts were also roofed in a similar manner, and a small apsidal chapel projected from the eastern face of each. The archway of the south transept apse is now the entrance to St. Catherine's Chapel. With the exception of the present elaborate entrance to the south transept and the window above it, the transept is identical with that of the Norman minster.

The choir was only 80 feet long, reaching to the end of the present stalls. Eastward it terminated in an apse. Its width can be judged from traces of the original roof, still perceptible in the west wall of the present choir. In accordance with a frequent arrangement, the ritual choir extended westward of the crossing, and included the two eastern bays of the nave.

In the centre was a low square typical Norman tower, 35 feet square, of which the lower parts of the piers remain. To allow for the extension of the ritual choir the eastern and western arches of the crossing were carried on corbels.

White or grey sandstone from quarries in the district was used in the construction of the minster, perhaps supplemented by stones from the Roman wall. Stucco was applied to the exterior, red lines marking the joints. There is no doubt that this stucco has materially helped to keep the Norman stone-work in a good state of preservation.

It will be seen then that the original church was a Norman minster, of moderate size, consisting of a nave, with north and south aisles, a small choir, a low square tower, and north and south transepts.

Thus it remained till about 1250, when, as usually happened, the clergy became dissatisfied with the smallness of their choir, and a new one was projected on a much larger scale. Its length was to be equal to the nave, while in height and breadth it was to be greater. The increased length allowed room for the ritual choir on the east side of the crossing.

Any extension of the cathedral on the south was prevented by the presence of the conventual buildings: therefore the north choir-aisle was thrown into the choir, and a new one added northward of the former. One consequence of this alteration is seen by comparing the entrance to each aisle. That of the south choir aisle is the original Norman arch, while the entrance to the north aisle is a beautiful late thirteenth-century arch (Decorated). The corresponding Norman arch of the north aisle has been blocked up, but is still easily traced.

Another consequence is, that the extension having taken place on one side only, the eastern arch of the tower fills but a part of the west end of the choir. The choir arch consequently is symmetrically placed with regard to the roof of the nave, but not with the choir roof; and the central line of the choir does not coincide with that of the nave; for, though the south wall of the choir is in a line with the south wall of the nave, the choir being 12 feet broader than the nave, the axis of the former is to the north of the axis of the nave. The view from the east end looking towards the nave is quite spoiled by this want of symmetry.

Not very much remains to-day of this thirteenth-century Early English choir. In 1292, just as it had been roofed in, a terrible fire, the most disastrous the cathedral has ever experienced, destroyed everything except the outer walls of the aisles, the graceful lancet windows, and the beautiful cinque-foiled arcading beneath them. Belfry and bells, too, shared in the destruction.

One hundred years passed away while a new choir was being built. Bishop Halton (1292-1325), a very energetic prelate, and a great favourite of Edward I., began the work, and laboured at it for quite thirty years, and was followed by Bishops Kirkby, Welton, and Appleby. It was arranged to rebuild the choir on a still larger scale, a bay being added, and the east end rebuilt from the foundation. The general plan of the earlier work of the aisles was followed in the new bay. The glory of the cathedral—the great east window, which marks a distinct transition in art—was also projected, but at this time only carried up as high as the top of the choir arches.

The wall arcade and the lancet windows above were repaired, and later work of a more elaborate character added. The great arches, and the groin ribs of the aisle ceilings were underset with new pillars; so that we get Early English arches of the thirteenth century on Decorated pillars of the fourteenth century.

After some years interval, building was resumed about 1350. The Decorated portions of the choir were now put in hand: the triforium, clerestory, and upper part of the east end, as well as the tracery and much of the mouldings of the east window and the roof. The carving, hitherto unfinished, was now completed; but, as the style had developed in the mean-time, we once more find examples of decidedly early work with much later work both above and below. The roof inside was finished with a very fine panelled ceiling. The building was finished 1375-1400, and in the roof were placed the arms of those who had helped in the rebuilding—the Lacys, the Nevilles, and the Percys.

The material used for the new choir was red sandstone, both for the interior and the exterior, giving in some cases a curious patched appearance to the walls.

About 1380-1384 the east window was filled with glass.

In 1392 the cathedral once again suffered from fire, and the damage was repaired by Bishop Strickland (1400-19). No efforts appear to have been made to bring the nave into correspondence with the extended choir, and the end of the thirteenth century marks the close of the cathedral's history in the direction of its enlargement and beautifying.

On a review of the cathedral we find in the aisles thirteenth-century work, on a small scale, in its perfection.

The south aisle shows development of window tracery, and the gradual steps taken towards uniting single lights under one arch.

Tracery carried to its perfection can be seen in the east window.

Early English carving is shown in St. Catherine's Chapel, especially in the corbels; and the more naturalistic carving which was developed at a later period, is exhibited in the corbels of the roof of the choir and the capitals of the piers. The latter afford the most complete representation of the seasons known to exist. On the south side (from east to west) are the first six months, and on the north side (west to east) the remainder.

About 1401, William Strickland being Bishop of Carlisle, the tower was rebuilt on its original scale, probably because the foundations would not permit one to be erected proportioned to the size of the choir. It was capped by a short wooden spire covered with lead; this, however, was removed in the seventeenth century.

The forty-six stalls in the choir, erected on a plinth of red sandstone, belong to this period (1401-19). The elaborate tabernacle work by Prior Haithwaite (1433) was originally gilded and coloured, and the niches were filled with images.

Prior Gondibour (1484-1507) painted the backs of the stalls. The remains of some screens he added to the choir may still be seen in St. Catherine's Chapel.

He had the roof painted in red, green, and gold, on a white ground; painted the choir pillars white, diapered with red roses nearly 12 inches in diameter, and with the letters I.H.C. and J.M. in gold; and no doubt finished whatever decorative work of the choir still had to be done.

Laurence Salkeld, last prior, and first dean, erected the very fine Renaissance screen on the north side of the choir, near the pulpit. It bears his initials, followed by the letters D.K. (Decanus Karliolensis), of his new title.

The priory was surrendered to the Crown in January 1540, and the last prior—Salkeld—was made dean of the chapter founded by Henry VIII. The revenue was at that time estimated at L 481 per annum. Five years later, June 1545, the present foundation was settled, and the dedication changed to that of the Holy and Undivided Trinity.

We get a glimpse of the cathedral in the first half of the seventeenth century, in the record left by some officers who visited the English cathedrals in 1634. Carlisle they curtly speak of as "more like a great wilde country church" than a fair and stately cathedral.

After the capture of the city in 1645 the parliamentary troops pulled down part of the nave in order to repair the fortifications. It is very probable that the Norman church was partly built of stones taken from the Roman wall; and it is strange to find the western part of the same church being destroyed nearly six hundred years after in order to repair the city walls.

George Fox, the intrepid founder of the Society of Friends, came to Carlisle in 1653 and preached in the cathedral. Some of the congregation being opposed to him, he was guarded while preaching, by certain soldiers and friends who had "heard him gladly." At length the "rude people of the city" rushed into the building, and made a tumult, so that the governor was forced to send musketeers to quell it.

Fox thus describes the scene, in his "Journal":

"From thence we came to Carlisle.

"On the First-day following I went into the steeple-house: and after the priest had done, I preached the truth to the people, and declared the word of life amongst them. The priest got away, and the magistrates desired me to go out of the steeple-house. But I still declared the way of the Lord unto them, and told them, 'I came to speak the word of life and salvation from the Lord amongst them.' The power of the Lord was dreadful amongst them in the steeple-house, so that the people trembled and shook, and they thought the steeple-house shook: and some of them feared it would fall down on their heads. The magistrates' wives were in a rage and strove mightily to be at me: but the soldiers and friendly people stood thick about me. At length the rude people of the city rose, and came with staves and stones into the steeple-house crying, 'Down with these round-headed rogues'; and they threw stones. Whereupon the governor sent a file or two of musketeers into the steeple-house, to appease the tumult, and commanded all the other soldiers out. So those soldiers took me by the hand in a friendly manner, and said they would have me along with them. When we came forth into the street, the city was in an uproar, and the governor came down; and some of those soldiers were put in prison for standing by me, and for me, against the town's-people.

"The next day the justices and magistrates of the town granted a warrant against me and sent for me to come before them. After a large examination they committed me to prison as a blasphemer, a heretic, and a seducer: though they could not justly charge any such thing against me."

Fuller, about 1660, describes the building as "black but comely, still bearing the remaining signes of its former burning."

Further mischief was also done to the building by the Jacobite prisoners who were lodged in it after the defeat of the Young Pretender.

In the latter half of the eighteenth century some attempts were made at restoring the cathedral, but they for the most part consisted of hiding the beautiful choir roof with a stucco groined ceiling, and plentifully whitewashing the building.

"The roof was 'elegantly' vaulted with wood. But this failing by length of time, together with the lead roof, the dean and chapter some few years ago new laid the roof, and the ceiling being totally ruined and destroyed they in the year 1764 contracted for a stucco groined ceiling, and for cleaning and whitening the whole church. And finding the new lead much torn and broken by wind for want of a ceiling underneath, the upper tire of that was done again, and a coping added to the rigging. And thus proceeding from one repair to another the whole expence hath amounted to upwards of L 1300."[1]

[1] Nicholson and Burn, page 249.

Eastward of the stalls the choir was formerly separated from the aisles by screens of elaborate tracery work. When the cathedral was "repaired and beautified" as just described, they were removed to outbuildings, and by far the greater part lost or destroyed.

The cathedral was restored 1853-7, in good taste, at a cost of about L 15,000. Mr. Ewan Christian, the architect of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, undertook the work, and happily succeeded in counteracting the "repairing and beautifying" of 1764.

Carlisle is not a large or notable cathedral, but its delightful Early English choir with its magnificent east window will ever redeem it from being insignificant or uninteresting.



On examining the north side of the cathedral, it is apparent that more than one plan has been followed in the construction of the building as it stands.

There are the remains of a Norman nave whose roof is lower than the choir roof. The choir is Early English with clerestory windows, and the easternmost bay (the retro-choir) Late Decorated; while the tower is Perpendicular. In the north window of the north transept we have a specimen of work of the nineteenth century. Thus the cathedral supplies examples of architecture from the Norman period down to the present time.

The moderate height of the Nave (65 ft.), and the treatment of its details, are quite characteristic of the best work of the period when it was erected.

The bays of the aisle are separated by flat buttresses about five and a half feet wide projecting nearly one foot beyond the wall, and the parapet wall in which they terminate is supported above the windows by a corbel table of shields and trefoil heads.[2]

[2] These date from about 1400.

Upon the string-course which runs along the wall unbroken by the buttresses there is in each bay a window with a circular head, flanked by single columns. A ring-like ornament is used as a decoration for one of the mouldings of the arch.

These windows, except the one above the doorway, are restorations. The doorway itself, which leads into the nave, is modern, imitated from the Norman window.

The Clerestory in each compartment has a window which differs from the aisle windows in having the billet as decoration of its outer moulding. The string-course at the spring of the round head runs without a break from one to the other.

There is also an unbroken corbel table above the windows, of very expressive, life-like heads, no two of which are alike.

North Transept.—The north window is Debased Gothic, the tracery of the previous window having been similar to that of the great east window, while the west window is early English.

The Tower, the latest part of the cathedral, was the work of Bishop Strickland early in the fifteenth century. He erected it upon the piers of the ancient Norman tower. Its height is not much over 100 feet, and is very disappointing, because in England "cathedral towers are apt to be good, and really make their mark" (Pater). In fact, it does not at all give the impression of being part of such an important building as a cathedral. This is caused by its having been rebuilt on the scale of the Norman nave, and not on that of the enlarged choir. It takes up only about two-thirds of the width of the choir, and to mask this defect a turret rising to the top of the third stage of the tower is introduced on the north side, and another turret is added at the north-east angle.

The tower rises in four stages above the transepts. The second storey is pierced with loopholes. The third has two pointed windows lighting a room immediately below the belfry. Between these, in a niche with a canopy, is the figure of an angel holding a drawn sword. On his head is fixed a tablet to support another figure. There is only one window in the fourth storey, which gives light to the belfry, and is very large. Its labels are ornamented with very vigorously carved heads, and the cornice above is decorated very much like that of the clerestory. The tower terminates in an embattled parapet.

All the windows have been thrown out of centre by the addition of the lower turret.

Originally the tower was crowned by a leaden spire about fifteen feet in height, but this was removed at the end of the seventeenth century on account of its decayed condition.

On the east side of the tower there is a single window in the third storey. In place of a second window there is an opening into the roof of the choir. This leads into a passage running from the tower to the east end.

The bold attempts to veil the inadequate size of the tower by the addition of two turrets can be best studied from this side.

The North Aisle of the Choir consists of eight bays, all Early English, except the easternmost one (the retro-choir), which is Late Decorated; while the western bay has a Perpendicular window.

Sometime in the fifteenth century the third bay from the east, in each aisle, was altered and a large Perpendicular window inserted in order to admit more light to the sanctuary. During the restoration of the cathedral these later windows were removed, and replaced by careful copies of the other Early English windows.

The basement is composed of bold mouldings with a plain wall equivalent in height to the internal wall arcade. Over this, a string-course runs uninterruptedly round the choir just below the windows.

Each compartment has an arcade of four lancet-shaped divisions, the external ones blank; while the internal divisions (which are wider than the others) form the window. The slender, banded, shafts are detached, which is rather unusual, and have moulded bases and capitals. The bands divide the shafts into unequal lengths, the lower portion being the shorter. The arch mouldings are good. Owing to the fact that the blank arches are more acutely pointed, their outer mouldings terminate higher than the mouldings of the internal arches.

Towards the east end small heads, and bosses of foliage, ornament the junction of these mouldings. Above these the cornice and parapet rest upon blocks bearing the nail-head ornament.

The second bay from the east is divided into three equal spaces, with a very narrow acute angle on the right.

A series of fine gabled buttresses gives relief to the exterior of the choir on each side.

The windows of the Clerestory have very rich mouldings, and also afford fine examples of flowing tracery. Each bay has an arch with three divisions, the central one higher and wider than the others. On this side only—the north—the base is ornamented with trefoils.

There is a cornice above the windows extending from the tower to the east end. It is richly decorated with heads and the ball-flower ornament which is characteristic of fourteenth-century work. It is broken here and there by gargoyles projecting almost three feet from the wall. The parapet makes but a poor show in comparison with the rich windows and cornice.

As the choir never had a groined ceiling there was no necessity for flying buttresses, and their absence gives the clerestory a very monotonous flat effect. This is further intensified by the window tracery being level with the wall, the architraves having no depth of moulding round them.

Some years ago the aisles and clerestory were skilfully refaced, and consequently the exteriors have a very modern appearance.

East of the retro-choir is the exterior of a staircase leading from the north choir aisle to the clerestory parapet. It terminates in a highly-finished octagonal turret whose parapet is enriched with a running trefoil ornament resembling that on the base of the clerestory windows. The north-eastern and the small east buttresses terminate just beneath, in gables richly ornamented with minute crockets. The panelling of the former is rather like the decoration of the central portion of the east end.

East End.—An irregularity in designing the east end has been covered by placing the great buttresses so as to make the pediment appear irregular, and the cross at the apex seems, consequently, not to be in the centre of the choir; while, in fact, it is the great east window (with the gable window over it) that is out of position.

The sill of the east window is unusually near the ground, and it is flanked by substantial buttresses finely pinnacled. Each buttress contains two niches with beautifully carved canopies: the base of the lower ones being a trifle higher than the springing of the arch. They display full-length statues of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. James, and St. John.

A staircase crossing over the east window in the thickness of the wall receives light from the triangular window enclosing three trefoils which appears in the gable. Immediately beneath this Trinity window—as it is called—is a richly-canopied niche adorned with a statue of the Virgin Mary bearing in her arms the Holy Child.

The summit of the gable is crowned by a large richly-floriated cross; and on each side are four smaller ones, with crockets of foliage between them.

In spite of the fact that the east end has been almost entirely rebuilt, it is a remarkably good example of Late Decorated work, and it would be difficult to find its equal in England.

The wall of the north aisle is higher than the south aisle, because of a passage between the staircases. The buttresses do not rise above the parapet, and are finished off with richly-panelled gables, ornamented with crockets and finials.

The end of the south aisle is decorated with corbels and parapet, like the choir, and with pinnacled buttresses.

On the south side of the Choir the first three bays from the east end are practically the same as those on the north side.

The remaining windows, including those of St. Catherine's Chapel on the east of the south transept, are Early English, but of later date and not so pleasing as the others. Instead of two lights they are furnished with three; some of these have small circular openings in the spandrels over the mullions filled with stained glass.

The fifth compartment (against which a vestry was formerly built) shows traces of a door, and over that a passage, probably connected originally with some of the conventual buildings.

The grotesque gargoyles, "these wild faces, these images of beasts and men carved upon spouts and gutters," are very vigorously executed.

The windows on the south side of the clerestory are without the trefoil which ornaments the base of those on the north side.

The blank window next to the tower is also wanting; in other respects the clerestory presents the same features as on the north.

South Transept.—The chapter-house and cloisters formerly adjoined the south transept, and there was probably an entrance from the chapter-house leading down a flight of stairs into the transept. Billings says: "The modern casing at the base of the end of the transept (about 12 ft. high) shews the height of the Cloisters: and the doorway above, the level of the chapter-house floor. From this it would seem that the cathedral was entered at the south transept from the chapter-house by a flight of steps."

The foundation of the south wall having been shaken by the removal of the remains of the conventual buildings, massive buttresses were added, and a very richly sculptured doorway inserted between them (1856). It was designed by Mr. Christian and is the principal entrance to the Cathedral. Its character is that of the late work of the choir, and is somewhat out of keeping with this distinctively Norman portion of the building.

The window over the entrance is of the same date.

The west side of the transept is lighted by two plain round-headed windows, not quite central.

The outer moulding of the window arch of the south transept clerestory has billet ornament. Above this is a corbel table of heads and mouldings which interferes with the upper window mouldings. The transept compartments differ from those of the nave by the addition of a flat buttress between each, which consequently breaks the continuity of the corbel table.

As the side of the nave was covered by the conventual buildings it was of plainer character than the north, and had no buttresses between the windows.

The clerestory is exactly the same as on the north.

The foundations of the old west wall are behind one of the prebendary's houses to the west of the nave.

The west end, as it stands at present, was restored by Mr. Christian.

A local sandstone was used in the construction of the building: grey, or white in the Norman portion, and red in the other parts. This red sandstone is not so good for exterior as for interior work, because it is liable to perish by the action of the weather.



The cathedral now consists of part of the original nave (the two eastern bays only) with aisles; and north and south transepts without aisles, but with a chapel on the east side of the south transept; the central tower; and the choir with north and south aisles and ambulatory or retro-choir.

The Nave.—Entering by the modern doorway on the north, we are at once in the fragmentary nave, of Early Norman work. Its present length is about 38 feet and width about 60 feet. In 1645 the Scots destroyed about 100 feet of the nave, and it has never been rebuilt. This mutilation has had a serious effect upon the proportions of the building, and induces a feeling of want of balance. The open timber roof, raised to the original height, was substituted at the restoration for a flat ceiling which had been put up at a previous "embellishment" of the cathedral. Bishop Walkelin made use of similar roofs in Winchester Cathedral (1070-1097).

The triforium (1140-50) has in each compartment a semi-circular arch entirely without ornament.

The clerestory consists of three arches supported by columns with carved capitals; the centre arch, which is larger than the other, is lighted at the back by a round-headed window.

We may say that the nave is

"propped With pillars of prodigious girth."

They are massive circular columns nearly six feet in diameter, and support semi-circular arches. The capitals of those on the south side are carved with leaf ornament; the rest are plain. Against the wall between each arch is a semi-circular engaged shaft reaching to the base of the triforium. The arches near the tower have been partly crushed owing to the shifting of the tower piers caused by faulty foundations. About 1870 the west end of the nave was restored by Mr. Christian. The window is filled with glass, in memory of the Rev. C. Vernon Harcourt, canon and prebendary of Carlisle (d. 1870).

One of the south aisle windows—the "Soldiers'" window—is in memory of men and officers of the 34th (or Cumberland) Regiment, who fell in the Crimea, and in India during the mutiny. Three Old Testament warriors appear in stained glass—Joshua, Jerubbaal ("who is Gideon"), and Judas Maccabeus. The battle-torn fragmentary regimental colours hang from the arch opposite. Just beneath this window a doorway (now blocked up) formerly led from the cloisters into the nave.

Up to the year 1870 the nave was used as a parish church. The cathedral from its beginning as the priory church, in accordance with a very common practice of the Augustinian body, contained two churches belonging to two separate bodies quite independent of each other.

The choir and transepts formed the priory church, in the possession of the prior and canons until the dissolution of the monastery, when it passed to the dean and chapter. The nave formed the parish church of St. Mary, and belonged to the parishioners. After the civil wars it was cut off from the transepts by a stone wall, and furnished with galleries and a pulpit. A new church to accommodate the parishioners having been built in the abbey grounds in 1870, all these additions were removed, and the nave was restored to the cathedral, adding greatly to the general effect. An interesting event in the history of the parish church was the marriage of Sir Walter Scott to Miss Carpenter on the 24th December 1797.

He had made the acquaintance of Miss Carpenter at Gilsland in July while touring in the Lake district. She had "a form that was fashioned as light as a fay's, a complexion of the clearest and lightest olive; eyes large, deep-set, and dazzling, of the finest Italian brown; and a profusion of silken tresses black as the raven's wing." Scott was strongly attracted to her, and within six months she became his wife.

A tombstone under the west window shows the matrix of what was once a magnificent brass.

The Font, standing on a fine marble flooring close to the west window, has bronze figures of St. John Baptist, the Virgin and Child, and St. Philip. It was designed by Sir A. Blomfield, and presented by Archdeacon Prescott 1891.

The Organ.—The former organ built by Avery, London, has been given to Hexham Abbey Church. The present one extends from one side of the eastern tower arch to the other. It was built by Willis (1856), and the diaper work was executed by Hardman. About the year 1877 it was enlarged at a cost of nearly L 1000.

North Transept.—The transept is very lofty and very dark. It is about 22 feet wide, and its length from north to south is nearly 114 feet.

Standing near the entrance to the north choir aisle, looking southwards and across the nave, a capital general view of the remains of the Norman portion of the cathedral can be obtained.

This end of the transept was rebuilt after the fire of 1292. Having been greatly injured by another fire that broke out about a hundred years later, Bishop Strickland rebuilt it (1400-19.) During the restoration of the cathedral it was once again rebuilt.

On the west side is a Norman arch, the entrance to the north aisle of the nave. The sinking of the tower piers has partly crushed it out of shape. The portion of an arch visible above, acts as a buttress to the tower arches. To the right is a late thirteenth-century window filled with glass in memory of the Rev. Walter Fletcher, Chancellor of Carlisle (died 1846). This window exhibits plate tracery—tracery cut, as it were, out of a flat plate of stone, without mouldings, not built up in sections. It is the transitional link between the lancet and tracery systems.

The doorway in the corner communicates with the transept roof.

The north window is very large, and is filled with stained glass in memory of five children of A.C. Tait, Dean of Carlisle, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. They all died of scarlet fever in the short space of five weeks, 6th March to 9th April 1858.

This end of the transept was till quite recently railed off, and used as the consistory court of the Chancellor of Carlisle.

Originally the transept had a chapel on the eastern side opening with a single arch, similar to St. Catherine's Chapel in the south transept.

The opening to the north choir aisle is Decorated in style; above this is a portion of an arch for buttressing the tower-arches.

To the right is the blocked-up entrance of the old Norman choir aisle, an exact counterpart of the present south choir aisle entrance.

The roof is now an open timber one of the original pitch.

Near the north-east pier of the tower is a well, completely covered over. This, it is said, was done by a former dean, on the supposition that the well, or the water, in some occult fashion, affected the music in the cathedral.

The Tower was rebuilt by Bishop Strickland (1400-19), who used the Norman piers, and placed upon them other columns of about the same length. The Early Norman piers have square-fluted capitals and are a little higher than the arches of the nave. The added columns have capitals carved with birds and foliage, and are carried up to the arches of the tower. This rebuilding was rendered necessary by the shifting of its foundations. The piers sank nearly one foot, and the arches near them have been to some extent distorted. Springs of water are said to run across the transept from north to south, and this may explain the sinking, which probably happened before the erection of the present choir.

Clustered columns uphold the transept arches, but the western and eastern arches are supported on each side by a single column terminating in a bracket at about the level of the base of the triforium. This was arranged so as to increase the width of the passage between the piers from the choir to the nave.

The decoration of the eastern arch capitals consists of the badges of the Percy family—the crescent and fetterlock. Hotspur was Governor of the town and Warden of the Marches under Henry IV., and it is probable that he aided in the work of the bishop. The western arch capitals have, as decoration, the rose and escallop shell alternately—badges of the Dacres and Nevilles, who also may have been benefactors to the cathedral.

Across the north transept from the upper capitals is a depressed arch of stone with Perpendicular tracery.

South Transept.—With the exception of the wall itself, the south arm of the transept is modern. The ancient wall, eight feet thick, is quite suitable for a fortress. A richly-decorated modern doorway has been made, and above it is a window by Powell, representing the "Days of Creation."

The west wall is out of the perpendicular through the shifting of the tower piers, and the Norman arch, opening to the south aisle of the nave has also been distorted. To the left is a round-headed window, filled with glass in memory of the Rev. W. Vansittart, canon and prebendary of Carlisle 1824.

The triforium has a plain rounded opening.

The clerestory is very much like that of the nave, but is not so regular in construction, the architecture being merely massive and destitute of ornament, except in the case of the capitals, which are very sparingly decorated.

On the east side of the transept, the second arch from the doorway, is the entrance to the south choir aisle. It is Norman, ornamented with a simply executed but very pleasing zigzag: the capitals of the piers are cushioned. On the whole, it is much the same as the arch immediately opposite, opening on the south aisle of the nave.

All this side of the transept, with the exception of the small doorway (which was built a few years later), dates from about 1101.

St Catharine's Chapel.—Between the choir aisle entrance and the modern doorway is another Norman arch, which is the entrance to St. Catherine's Chapel—a chantry of Early Decorated style erected on the walls of a former Norman building.

Jefferson says: "In most large churches, altars, distinct from that in the chancel, were founded by wealthy and influential individuals, at which masses might be sung for the repose of the dead; the portion thus set apart, which was generally the east end of one of the aisles, was then denominated a chantry: in it the tomb of the founder was generally placed, and it was separated from the rest of the church by a screen. In the fourteenth century this custom greatly increased, and small additional side aisles and transepts were often annexed to churches and called mortuary chapels; these were used indeed as chantries, but they were more independent in their constitution, and in general more ample in their endowments. The dissolution of all these foundations followed soon after that of the monasteries.

"In the year 1422 Bishop Whelpdale at his death left the sum of L 200, for the purpose of founding and endowing a chantry for the performance of religious offices for the souls of Sir Thomas Skelton, knight, and Mr. John Glaston, two gentlemen with whom he had been on terms of intimate friendship, and who were buried in the cathedral. Nicholson thinks it probable this was the chantry of St. Roch; its revenues were valued at L 2, 14s. per annum.

"There was another chantry dedicated to St. Cross; but the period at which, and the person by whom it was founded are not known. It was granted by Edward VI. 'with all messuages, lands, tenements, profits, and hereditaments belonging thereto,' valued at L 3, 19s. per annum, to Henry Tanner and Thomas Bucher.

"The chapel of St. Catherine in the Cathedral of Carlisle was founded at an early period by John de Capella, a wealthy citizen, and endowed by him with certain rents, lands, and burgage houses. In the year 1366 a portion of its revenues being fraudulently detained, Bishop Appleby commanded the chaplains of St. Mary's and St. Cuthbert's to give public notice that the offenders were required to make restitution within ten days on pain of excommunication with bell, book, and candle. Its revenues, according to the rotuli, called the king's books, which were made up in the reign of Henry VIII., were valued at L 3, 2s. 8d. per annum."[3]

[3] "History of Carlisle," page 158.

Some very fine foliated brackets can be seen in the arch between this chapel and the choir aisle.

Dividing the chapel from the transept and aisle is some exquisite carved screen-work (Late Decorated) dating from the latter part of the fifteenth century, and attributed to Prior Gondibour. Its great beauty, and the skilful variations of the designs, will repay careful inspection. The chapel now serves as a vestry for the clergy: but it is to be regretted that it cannot add to the beauty of the cathedral by being utilised for its proper purpose.

The pointed doorway on the left, originally opened on to a well which was closed in the course of the restoration of the building. The position of Carlisle on the border making it liable to sudden attacks in early times, it is probable that the inhabitants may have taken sanctuary in the cathedral many a time, when a well of water would be of great advantage to the refugees.

Monuments in the Transepts.—North Transept. Near the entrance to the north choir aisle stands the altar-tomb of Prior Senhouse. It is covered with a slab of dark blue marble. An inscription runs thus: "The tomb of Simon Senhouse, Prior of Carlisle in the reign of Henry VII. The original inscription being lost, the present plate was substituted by the senior male branch of the Senhouse family, A.D. 1850. Motto, 'Lothe to offend.'"

It was on this tomb that the tenants of the priory were accustomed to pay their rents.

South Transept.—On a stone in the west wall (now covered with a pane of glass) is an inscription which was discovered in 1853. It is written in Norse runes, and is as follows:—

"Tolfihn yraita thasi rynr a thisi stain." "Tolfihn wrote these runes on this stone."

The runes are Norse, not Anglo-Saxon. The latter are not often found, but the former are scarcer still. The runes, perhaps, date from the eleventh century.

There is also a marble tablet containing a medallion likeness of George Moore.

"A man of rare strength and simplicity of character, of active benevolence and wide influence. A yeoman's son he was not born to wealth but by ability and industry he gained it, and he ever used it as a steward of God and a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ for the furtherance of all good works."

George Moore was born at Mealsgate, Cumberland, the 9th April 1806. He went to London in 1825. Two years later he was working for Fisher, Stroud & Robinson, lace merchants, as town traveller, and, soon after, as traveller in the north of England. He was so successful that he was nicknamed "The Napoleon of Watling Street." When he was twenty-three he accepted an offer from a firm of lace merchants, Groucock & Copestake, to become a partner. He gave up travelling for orders in 1841, but soon suffered in health. As a remedy he took to following the hounds, and later (in 1844) went on a three months' trip to America. On his return he started on his career of philanthropy which has made him famous. A few of the institutions for which he worked, and to which he contributed largely, may be mentioned; the Cumberland Benevolent Society, the Commercial Travellers' Schools, the British Home for Incurables, the Warehousemen and Clerks' Schools, the Royal Free Hospital, and the London City Mission. Various Cumberland charities found in him a generous supporter. He met with his death in Carlisle. Knocked down by a runaway horse, 20th November 1876, while on his way to attend a meeting of the Nurses' Institution, he died the next day from his injuries. The following was a favourite motto with him:—

"What I spent, I had, What I saved, I lost, What I gave, I have."

There is a memorial tablet to Robert Anderson, "the Cumberland Bard," 1770-1833. Born in Carlisle, he had but little schooling, and at ten years of age he was earning wages as assistant to a calico printer; later, he was bound apprentice to a pattern-drawer in his native city. He went to London to pursue his calling, and he seems to have been led to attempt to write poetry through hearing some imitation Scottish songs sung at Vauxhall. He published his first volume in 1798, and his Cumberland Ballads in 1805. His verses, not altogether destitute of real poetry, are valuable for the pictures they give of obsolete manners and customs of the district.

The Choir.—A low doorway in the eastern arch of the tower gives entrance to the choir. Some of the woodwork of the stalls fills the lower part of this arch, and the entrance has been placed towards the north, so as to open exactly on the centre of the choir. In point of beauty the choir compares favourably with any we possess in England, and the eye can rest upon it again and again with renewed satisfaction and delight. Its superb main arcade, with the boldly-designed and finely-carved capitals representing the twelve months of the year—unrivalled in this country; its handsome clerestory windows; its great east window (the pride of the cathedral); and, overhead, its richly-coloured roof, unique in shape, afford a combination not easily to be surpassed.

The choir is about 134 feet long, 34 feet 6 inches wide between the columns, and 72 feet 6 inches between the aisle walls.

The nave is not so wide by about 12 feet, and as the columns of both nave and choir on the south side are on the same line, the extra width is all on the north.

Looking westward, the view is marred by the tower arch not being in the centre of the west wall, in consequence of which there is an ugly space of blank wall between the arch and the north choir aisle.

There are eight bays, averaging about 18 feet in width. Those at the end, however, east and west, are not so wide. At the east they probably suffer from the intrusion of the east wall, which is about six feet thick. The western bays may have lost the space taken for the choir entrance. They have very acute arches, and at the west end rest on responds or half-piers against the tower walls. Those at the east end rest on brackets, and their mouldings lose themselves in the wall on each side of the great window.

The presbytery is reached by two steps from the choir, and the last bay but one (in which the altar stands) is raised three steps above the presbytery.

The main arcade practically dates from after the terrible fire in 1292. The arches escaped, and are splendid specimens of Early English, "of the Pointed style in all the purity of its first period." They were underbuilt with Early Decorated piers, while the capitals were finished at the same time as the triforium and clerestory (Late Decorated) 1350-1400.

The piers are not equal in diameter to those of the nave; they measure but five feet and a quarter. Each consists of eight clustered pillars of red sandstone. The four facing the cardinal points of the compass are larger than the intermediate ones, which are filleted. The base moulding is very deep and hollow. These piers support the Early English arches, with dog-tooth ornament large in the interior, small in the exterior. Altogether, these fine arches give a very pleasing impression of lightness and grace, and make us feel "the fascination of the Pointed style."

At the junctions of the arches are small grotesque heads very well executed. On the north side, where the presbytery begins, is a queen's head, and on the opposite side a figure with a dog's head.

There are altogether fourteen complete, and two half piers, the capitals of which are carved with foliage alone, or with the addition of winged monsters, birds, beasts, and human figures. Twelve of them represent the domestic and agricultural occupations of the months. The first capital on the south side (east end) shows a creature with a man's head, wings, and a tail terminating in the head of a serpent, which bites the monster on the temple. January is symbolised on the next one, and the series continues westward, then crosses over, and proceeds from west to east on the north side, finishing at the last pier but one.

January.—A figure in a loose-fitting tunic, sitting down. He has three faces—two in profile—and is drinking with the right and left mouths. At his feet is a third vessel.

February.—A man in a loose tunic, and head closely wrapped up. He appears to suffer from cold, for his face is woe-begone, and he is sitting over a fire, holding out one boot upside down as if to drain water from it, while he lifts up one foot to catch the heat. The fireplace is very skilfully carved.

March.—A man, hood on head, digging with a spade at the foot of a leafless tree. Other decorations are, a squirrel, a bear with hands, birds, and a beast's body with a mitred head.

April.—A bare-legged man with his head tied up, pruning a tree. On this capital are also two figures half-human, half-bestial, clasping each other round the neck.

May.—A woman in a long gown holding in each hand a bunch of foliage, which she offers to a young man clad in a tunic, with his hood thrown back. In addition there are three winged beasts with human heads, one mitred.

June.—A horseman, bareheaded, holding on his right hand a hawk, and bearing a branch of roses in his left hand. There are also some half-human figures, and men playing musical instruments. This capital is more elaborately carved than any of the others.

July.—A man mowing. In addition there are owls carrying mice in their mouths.

August.—A man working in a wheat-field. He wears a conical hat, and grasps a crutch with one hand while he holds a pruning hook in the other.

September.—A man reaping with a sickle.

October.—A man whose head is tied with a handkerchief; he is engaged in cutting grapes. A fox carrying off a goose is also vigorously carved on this capital.

November.—A man sowing grain from a basket. There is a stag on his right and a horse on his left hand.

December.—A man wearing a loose tunic, who is about to fell an ox which another man holds by the horns. In addition there is a man tending swine.

The last capital shows several heads, and a man sitting on a tree stump.

In each bay of the Triforium there are three arches with curvilinear tracery. The principal mullions have octagonal bases. On account of their reduced width, the extreme eastern and western bays have only two arches.

The courses of stone above the base of the triforium are not by any means so smooth and well-proportioned as those beneath. The workmen do not seem to have been actuated by the spirit of those builders "in the elder days of Art" who

"... wrought with greatest care Each minute and unseen part, For the gods see everywhere."

The Clerestory consists of two planes. Each compartment on the face of the choir wall has three high-pitched arches, the middle one being higher than those at the side, and more than twice as wide in the opening. The eastern bay has only the central arch, while the western bay is blank.

The base is decorated with a low parapet pierced with quatrefoils, four in the centre, and two in each side opening. On the south, however, the quatrefoil decoration is slightly different. There are only three quatrefoils in the centre and two smaller ones on each side. This parapet is in great part a restoration, the original having been almost entirely removed, in the vain hope of admitting more light to the lower part of the choir.

In the other plane the windows are in triplets, three lights in the central and single lights on either side, decorated with flamboyant tracery.

The eastern bay has no side lights.

Although the windows seem to be all different, there are but six varieties, distributed as follows:

On the north side beginning at the east the design of the first window is not repeated. That of the next window occurs in the second window on the south side. The third and fifth are alike. The sixth and the last are like the fourth. The design of the seventh window does not occur again.

On the south side one new pattern appears in three windows—the first, fourth, and sixth from the east. The second is like the window opposite, and the third, fifth, and seventh are like the third on the north side.

Of all the windows the second from the east is the most beautiful.

Before 1764 they were filled with stained glass of which some remains are still to be seen. The trefoil heads above the mullions have a brown border with the insertion in some cases of a yellow diamond ornament, and in others of a crown.

The Roof—This unique specimen of a waggon-headed ceiling, semi-circular in all its parts, is of oak. Bishop Welton began its construction about 1350. A plaster ceiling, put up in the year 1764, hid this fine timber roof until its removal in 1856. It was then found that enough remained of the original to allow a faithful restoration to be made. But the scheme of colouring—red and green upon white—was not copied. In its stead Owen Jones suggested another—a background of blue plentifully ornamented with golden stars.

The Saturday Review is responsible for the statement—for the truth of which, however, it does not vouch—"that on the first occasion when Dean Close found himself beneath the roof, then glowing in all the brilliancy of modern painting and gilding, in semblance of 'the spangled firmament on high,' he solemnly ejaculated, 'Oh my stars!'"

At the triforium base foliated brackets support vaulting shafts of three clustered columns. At the point of contact with the base of the quatrefoil parapet they are ornamented with rings, and their capitals are foliated, but not so naturally as the capitals below. Great semi-circular rafters spring from the capitals and cross the choir. Smaller rafters start from the cornice of the clerestory. These are intersected in the centre of the ceiling by a longitudinal beam. Small moulded ribs divide the space between each great rafter and the longitudinal beam into sixteen panels. The intersections are decorated with carved bosses.

Hammer-beams.—From the foot of three of the principal ribs hammer-beams project. They seem to indicate an intention on the part of the builders to cover the choir with an open-timber roof like that of the Great Hall at Westminster. But having decided on the waggon-headed roof, they did not trouble to remove these beams. Wall pieces and curved struts now connect them with the vaulting shafts, and they have been decorated with "carved angels ever eager-eyed, with hair blown back and wings put cross-wise on their breasts."

More than one hundred carved figures ornament the cornice, and the following texts in black-letter appear above them:—

NORTH SIDE.—Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of the Lord. (Eccles. v. 1.)

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord. (Ps. cxxxiv. 2.)

Praise ye the name of the Lord. (Ps. cxxxv. 1.)

Praise God in His sanctuary, (Ps. cl. 1.)

Exalt ye the Lord our God and worship at His footstool. (Ps. xcix. 5.)

SOUTH SIDE.—How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! (Ps. lxxxiv. 1.)

My praise shall be of Thee in the great congregation. (Ps. xxii. 25.)

O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together. (Ps. xxxiv. 3.)

Holiness becometh Thine house for ever. (Ps. xciii. 5.)

The great East Window is the crowning ornament and special glory of the cathedral. It is unsurpassed by any other in the kingdom; perhaps there is not a window equal to it in the whole world.

Rickman says: "It is one of the finest if not the finest Decorated window in the kingdom. Its elegance of composition and the easy flow of its lines rank it even higher than the celebrated west window of York, which it also excels in the number of divisions. The window is by far the most free and brilliant example of Decorated tracery in the kingdom."

Fergusson, in his "History of Architecture," also praises it: "Its upper part exhibits the most beautiful and perfect design for window tracery in the world. All the parts are in such just harmony the one to the other—the whole is so constructively appropriate and at the same time so artistically elegant—that it stands quite alone, even among windows of its own age."

"The stone-work of all this part (the east window) is entirely new, although it reproduces most minutely the original design" (King, 202-3).

"The whole of the mouldings, both of the mullions and tracery, externally are nearly destroyed, owing to the perishable nature of the stone with which it is constructed" (Billing, p. 60 (1840)).

This great window almost entirely fills the east end of the choir, being 51 feet high from the sill to the top of the tracery and about 26 feet wide in the clear.

Immediately after the fire in 1292, the work was started, and the jambs with their slender shafts and foliated capitals were erected. Nothing more was done till about the middle of the fourteenth century, when the arch mullions were added; and the tracery dates from about the end of the same century. The mouldings were left unfinished until the restoration of the cathedral, 1856. The tracery (Decorated) is composed of eighty-six pieces struck from 263 centres. Some of the pieces forming the chief divisions are nearly five feet in length. Although the stone-work is modern, the design has been most faithfully copied from the original. In the lower part there are nine lights, no other Decorated window in existence having so many. The west window of Durham Cathedral (partly copied from, but inferior to, the west window of York) and the Rose window in the south transept at Lincoln are of the same character; but that of York ranks next in importance, and is the only window able to compete with the east window of Carlisle.

The design consists of two complete compositions united under one head by interposing a third. The York window, on the contrary, is altogether one complete design, from which no part can be separated without breaking the integrity of the composition.

The width of the opening is the same in both windows, but while the actual tracery of the York window is more than two feet higher, the Carlisle window is greatly superior in the beautiful arch mouldings above its tracery, and also in the side shafts and mouldings.

Again some stiffness is imparted to the design of the York window by the central mullion which reaches from the basement to the top of the arch. The tracery branches outwards from this on each side, and depends upon the arch for support; while the tracery in the Carlisle window is not so dependent. Neither in skilful workmanship nor in variety of ornament is the York window equal to that at Carlisle. With the exception of four quatrefoils (placed above each alternate mullion) it is composed of trefoils. Carlisle, on the contrary, possesses nine quatrefoils, in addition to four placed like those at York. Nearly all the small spandrels formed by the various ornaments are perforated, and this imparts a remarkable air of lightness to the window.

The beautiful stained glass in the tracery is all that remains of the ancient glass. It is of the time of Richard II., and was no doubt preserved because of the expense that reglazing its small intricate forms would have involved.

The subject is a Doom—the Resurrection, the Last Judgment, and the New Jerusalem.

"We have our Lord sitting in judgment; the Procession of the Blessed to the Palace of Heaven; the Place of punishment for the wicked; and the general Resurrection.

"The figure of our Saviour is in the uppermost quatrefoil of the central compartment; His countenance will bear the closest inspection; it exhibits evident traces of suffering, but is calm, severe, and dignified. His head is surrounded by a cruciform nimbus. Below this are two quatrefoils, easily distinguished by their silvery appearance. These represent the Procession of the Redeemed to the heavenly Jerusalem, whose towers and pavilions are shown in the quatrefoil to the right. St. Peter stands in the gateway in an attitude of welcome; at his feet flows the River of Life, which some of the Redeemed have reached. The red glare of the Place of punishment makes it easy to be distinguished; the tortures represented are of the most realistic character, and the devils are very material beings, with tails, hoofs, and horns.

"The rest of the picture is occupied with the representation of the general Resurrection:—the dead rising from their graves—ecclesiastics are vested, but laity rise naked, though kings wear their crowns: several bishops are among the crowd, and a pope wearing the triple tiara. Some of the ecclesiastics are bearded, and probably are intended for canons of the cathedral, who, being Austin or Black canons, would wear their beards.

"In one of the quatrefoils, just above the mullions, is a figure surrounded by a heraldic border; this represents John of Gaunt, who was Governor of Carlisle from 1380 to 1384. It is said that he supported the prior, William de Dalston, who refused obedience to the bishop, and had been excommunicated; and that, out of gratitude, he was thus represented in the east window."[4]

[4] "Guide to the Cathedral of Carlisle," by R.H. and K.H.

A "Jesse," which originally filled the lower part of the window, was destroyed at the Reformation. The present glass was inserted in 1861, in memory of Bishop Percy (d. 1856). It represents events in the history of our Lord. Although the colours do not harmonise well with the old glass, they are in accord with the gorgeous colouring of the ceiling. Like most of the stained glass in the cathedral, this is by Hardman of Birmingham.

Bishop Strickland (1399-1413) erected the Stalls, which are of black oak, and occupy the three western bays of the choir.

Our English cathedrals are far ahead of foreign cathedrals in the beauty and richness of the tabernacle work of their stalls, which in many instances are "like a whole wood, say a thicket of old hawthorn, with its topmost branches spared, slowly transformed into stalls." These in Carlisle, if not among the finest specimens in England, certainly take very high rank.

There are forty-six compartments, divided by fifty columns, upon which the tabernacle work rests. Each compartment consists of a large canopy decorated with quatrefoils, and battlemented. This is surmounted by three smaller canopies and pedestals which were originally occupied by small carved figures. A large pinnacle, richly decorated, like the others, with crockets and finials, finishes the compartment.

Between each stall is a small buttress beginning at the capital and finishing somewhat beneath the top of the large pinnacle. These buttresses have, alternately, a pedestal with a canopy above; and a pedestal supporting a small flying-buttress terminating in a pinnacle enriched with small crockets.

Prior Haithwaite is said to have added the tabernacle-work after the year 1430.

The division between each stall shows either a well-executed foliated ornament, or an angel. In the north-west and south-west angles the elbows of the seats are carved with the head of a king supposed to represent Henry IV. The panels of the desks are elaborately worked, and the stone plinth which supports them is decorated with quatrefoils.

The stalls at the west end of the choir are wider than the others, and are used by the higher dignitaries of the cathedral.

The Dean's stall is on the left of the choir entrance, and the Bishop's on the right. This arrangement is said to have existed since the time of AEthelwulf. He was the first prior, and upon his elevation to the bishopric he still kept the prior's seat.

The hinged seats, known as misereres or misericordes, were constructed to keep the monks from falling asleep while at prayers. The carvings beneath these seats are of different designs, generally grotesque.

The following is a list of the subjects found carved thereon:—


A dragon swallowing a man. Bird and young. Dragon and lions. Three dragons, one with a human face. Winged figure with a tabour. Dragon devouring a bird. Coronation of the Virgin. Three griffins. Pelican in its act of piety. Dragon and lion fighting. Griffin and two young ones. Two dragons joined together. Two storks eating out of a sack. Figure with wings, claws, and human face. Angelic musician. Two eagles. Double-headed eagle. Fox and goose. Two dragon bodies with a human head. Angel playing an instrument. A man with two eagles plucking his beard. Dragon, and two lions with human faces.


Two angels. Dragon. Bird and beast fighting. Human head on two animal bodies. Winged dragon. Winged serpent. Two beasts with one head. Two men fighting. Griffin with human head. Dragon and foliage. Two eagles holding the head of a beast. Fox and goose. Human figure with four wings. Man and dragon fighting. Angel bearing a shield. Angel and dragons. Pelican in its act of piety. Boar killing a man. Man holding two dragons. Dragon killing a beast. Mermaid. Dragon and lion in combat.

The Salkeld Screen.—On the north side of the choir, the westernmost bay of the presbytery is filled by a fine wooden screen of Renaissance work, erected about 1542 by Lancelot Salkeld, last prior and first dean of Carlisle. It is divided into three compartments; through the central one entrance could be gained to the choir formerly by an ascent of three steps from the north choir aisle.

It is very elaborate, and some portions are very beautiful. The lower part is panelled, each panel having two heads carved in bas-relief. The upper part is of well-executed tracery work.

Over each compartment is a pediment decorated in the centre with shields. The western one has been restored. The initials L.S. and D.K. (Lancelot Salkeld, Decanus Karliolensis) occur on the screen. The other bays were originally filled with screen-work similar to that in St. Catherine's Chapel. In 1764 these screens were removed and stored in the Fratry crypt as lumber. In the end they were used as firewood; only a few pieces preserved by the neighbouring gentry escaping destruction. A stone screen now surrounds the sacrarium on three sides. The reredos is higher than this screen. It is arcaded, and its compartments have triangular-headed canopies and some well-executed figures. The late Mr. Street designed it, and its cost was L 1790.

The Bishop's Throne, of English and foreign oak, was also designed by the late Mr. Street. The canopy of the throne is nearly thirty feet high.

The Pulpit is a memorial of Archdeacon Paley, who is buried close at hand in the north choir aisle. It is of richly-carved Caen stone, on a plinth of black Manx marble, and ornamented with carvings in white alabaster, of scenes from the New Testament. In shape it is hexagonal, with shafts at the angles rising into an enriched cornice. The lectern—a brass eagle—was given in memory of the late G.C. Mounsey, sometime diocesan registrar.

In the middle of the choir is a monument to Bishop Bell. On a blue slab under a triple canopy, the centre pediment of which has I.H.S., and its point the Deity and Christ, is a brass figure of a bishop in pontificalibus, mitre and gloves; his right hand holds on his breast an open book inscribed—

Hec mea Spes in sinu meo

His left hand, over which hangs the maniple, has a rich crosier. On a semi-circular scroll over his head—

Credo q^d redemptor meus vivit et novissĩo die de terra surrectũr sũ et in Carne mea videbo deũ salvatore meũ.

Under his feet—

Hac marmor fossa Bell presulis en tenet ossa Duresme dudũ prior his post pontificatũ Gessit atq' renuit primum super omia querit Dispiciens mudũ poscendo pramia fratrũ

On the ledge round the slab—

Hic jacet Reverendus Pater Ricardus Bell quondam Episcopus Karleolensis qui ab hac luce migravit videlicet vicesimo Quarto die ... Anno Domini.... Et omnium fidelium defunctorum. per misericordiam dei requiescant in perpetua pace. Amen.

The ancient high altar probably stood one bay nearer to the west than the present altar. There, in the presence of Bishop Halton, Robert Bruce took an oath of fidelity to Edward I. Ten years later he proved false to this oath, and the Papal Legate solemnly excommunicated him with bell, book, and candle.

Very shortly after this, Edward I. dedicated the litter in which he had journeyed thus far, and mounting his horse at the cathedral door rode through the priory gateway bent on the conquest of Scotland. He never lived to reach that country, for he died in sight of the Scottish coast at Burgh-on-Sands.

North Choir Aisle.—This aisle is entered by a handsome Decorated arch, a very good example of thirteenth-century work.

The north wall, with the exquisite two-light lancet windows, is Early English, and dates from the period immediately after the demolition of the Norman choir about 1260.

Each compartment of the cinquefoil wall-arcade is separated by triple columns, and the space divided into four parts by shafts, barely detached from the wall, supporting foliated arches. This is the general description for both north and south choir aisles.

The eastern bay belongs to the retro-choir, and is of later date.

Above the wall-arcade are the graceful two-light lancet windows, with their slender columns, deep mouldings, and rich dog-tooth decoration.

In each bay there are four divisions; the two outer ones blank, and the two others forming the window. The shafts are detached from the wall; the central one is higher than the rest, and its capital is foliated. From the outer columns in the blank divisions, the shoulder, or hipped rib, after rising a short distance, sinks to the level of the capitals of the vaulting columns. At the side of the window columns two small circular mouldings, decorated with small dog-tooth ornament, continue without a break round the head of each window. A large blank quatrefoil is inserted in the space between the lights and the outer arch moulding.

The corner column (north side of entrance) has been inserted by cutting away part of the east wall of the north transept. Like the aisle it dates from about the last half of the thirteenth century. On its capital there is the spring of a pointed arch, enriched with dog-tooth ornament similar to the entrance arch.

Probably it was intended to pull the north transept down, and rebuild it with the addition of an eastern aisle. This column would then have been part of it. The existence of an offset on the north face of the aisle wall, with the return of the base-course and string-course upon it, seems to add weight to this theory.

The nearest clustered column to it has also been altered, and consists of five shafts instead of three. A rib springs from the additional shafts to the centre of the corner column. There are also remains of groining like that of the aisle.

The bay near the entrance has a window (Perpendicular) dating from after the Civil Wars. Beneath this there was formerly an entrance to the cathedral. This has now been walled up.

The groined stone roof dates from after 1292, although, perhaps, it is composed of materials of an earlier date.

On the south side of the entrance is a very beautiful foliated bracket; the foliated boss at its base was at one time ornamented with a very fine knot.

Monuments in North Choir Aisles.—In the third bay from the east are two low-arched recesses. Being of the same date as the aisle, they may have been intended to receive the statues of the bishops who did their best to repair the ravages of the fire in 1292. The arches are almost flat, and decorated with a kind of chevron moulding very rarely met with. In Burpham Church, Sussex, there is another example of this moulding applied to the decoration of the south side of the south transept arch.

A bishop's effigy is in the eastern recess. It is of Early English date; and before 1292 was situated within the choir. Afterwards a niche was cut in the fourth bay from the east for its reception. It was eventually placed in its present position at the time of the restoration of the cathedral, and the other niche filled up. It may possibly represent Bishop Silvester of Everdon. It has suffered damage during its migrations in the cathedral; and the feet are broken. This was probably done when it was removed from the choir to the aisle (1856). Jewels which originally enriched the mitre and the cross on the breast have disappeared.

In the next bay to the east is a small mural brass plate finely engraved in memory of Bishop Robinson (1598-1616.) He was a native of Carlisle, and, entering Queen's College, Oxford, as a "poor serving child," eventually became provost, and proved a great benefactor to that foundation.

"The bishop is represented in pontificalibus, kneeling, with one hand supporting a crosier; the other is sustaining a lighted candle, and holding a cord to which three dogs are attached, who appear guarding an equal number of sheepfolds from the attack of wolves. Below the candle is a group of figures bearing implements of agriculture and peaceful industry; near their feet is a wolf playing with a lamb; and various warlike instruments scattered and broken. Each part is illustrated with appropriate Greek and Latin sentences chiefly selected from the Scriptures. Behind the bishop is a quadrangular building, enclosing an open court, and apparently intended to represent the college which he had so much benefited.

"Over the gateway is a shield charged with three spread eagles, being the arms of Robert Eglesfield, the founder of that college; on the college are the words, Invenit destructum; reliquit extructum et instructum (he found it destroyed; he left it built and furnished). Above this building is the delineation of a cathedral; over the entrance is inscribed—Intravit per ostium (he entered by the door); on a label across the entrance is Permansit fidelis (he endured faithful to the end), and below, on the steps, under a group of figures, one of whom is kneeling and receiving a benediction, are the words, Recessit beatus (he departed blessed). Near the top of the plate is the angel of the Lord bearing a label inscribed in Greek characters, Tois Episcopois (Unto the Bishops).

"Above are the words, Erant pastores in eadem regione excubantes et agentes vigilias noctis super gregem suum (there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field and keeping watch over their flocks by night). At the bottom of the plate in the cathedral is a Latin inscription to this effect: 'To Henry Robinson of Carlisle, D.D., a most careful provost of Queen's College, Oxon, and afterwards a most watchful bishop of this church for eighteen years, who on the 13th Calend of July in the year from the delivery of the Virgin, 1616, and of his age 64, devoutly resigned his spirit unto the Lord. Bernard Robinson, his brother and heir, set up this memorial as a testimony of his love.'"[5]

[5] Jefferson, "History of Carlisle," p. 180.

About halfway up the aisle Archdeacon Paley lies buried between his two wives, Jane (d. 1791), and Catherine (d. 1819). On a brass plate in the centre of the stone is the following inscription:—

Here lie interred the remains of WILLIAM PALEY, D.D. who died May 25th 1805 Aged 62 years.

Archdeacon Paley wrote both of his well-known works, "Horae Paulinae" and "Evidences of Christianity," at Carlisle.

Legendary Paintings.—Between the bays east and west of the Salkeld screen there is a broad stone plinth panelled in front. The stalls stand on the plinth west of the screen, and the backs are painted with scenes from the monkish legends of St. Anthony the Hermit, St. Cuthbert, and, in the south choir aisle, St. Augustine. A rhymed couplet explains each picture; and the paintings, though rudely executed, give good examples of late fifteenth-century dress and ornament. Prior Gondibour caused the work to be done, and as Richard Bell was bishop at the time he may have suggested illustrating the life of St. Cuthbert, who was really the first bishop of Carlisle, and whose body was enshrined at Durham, where Bell had been prior before his elevation to the bishopric.

The following is a detailed account of the Legendary Paintings, with short note of the principal persons therein represented:—

St. Cuthbert was born in the Lothians; at eight years he was living under the care of a widow in the village of Wrangholm.

In 651 while keeping watch over his master's flocks near the Lauder, which flows into the Tweed, he had a vision of the soul of Bishop Aidan being carried up to heaven by angels. A few days after, he heard of the death of the good bishop, and straightway journeyed to the monastery of Melrose. Here he was accepted, and in a short time received the tonsure.

The Northumbrian peasants at this time were, mostly, only Christians in name. Cuthbert wandered among them, choosing the most out-of-the-way villages, where other teachers would not go. "He needed no interpreter as he passed from village to village; the frugal long-headed Northumbrians listened willingly to one who was himself a peasant of the Lowlands and who had caught the rough Northumbrian burr. His patience, his humorous good sense, the sweetness of his look, told for him, and not less the vigorous frame which fitted the peasant-preacher for the hard life he had chosen.

"Never did man die of hunger who served God faithfully," he would say, when nightfall found them supperless in the waste. "Look at the eagle overhead! God can feed us through him if he will"—and once at least he owed his meal to a fish that the scared bird let fall.

In 664 he was made prior of Lindisfarne. "Gentle with others, he was severe with himself, and was unsparing in his acts of mortification and devotion."

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