HotFreeBooks.com
Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Rochester - A Description of its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See
by G. H. Palmer
1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Transcriber's Note: ^ denotes the text following is superscripted.

* * * * *



THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ROCHESTER

A DESCRIPTION OF ITS FABRIC AND A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE EPISCOPAL SEE

BY G. H. PALMER, B.A.



LONDON GEORGE BELL & SONS 1897



CHISWICK PRESS:—CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO. TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.



GENERAL PREFACE.

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:—firstly, the great county histories, the value of which, especially in questions of genealogy and local records, is generally recognized; secondly, the numerous papers by experts which appear from time to time in the transactions of the antiquarian and archaeological societies; thirdly, the important documents made accessible in the series issued by the Master of the Rolls; fourthly, the well-known works of Britton and Willis on the English Cathedrals; and, lastly, the very 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 fuller detail, especially in reference to the histories of the respective sees.

GLEESON WHITE. EDWARD F. STRANGE. Editors of the Series.



PREFACE.

Within the limits of a short preface it is impossible to enumerate all the sources of information, printed and in manuscript, to which reference has been made in the writing of this little work on the Cathedral church of the author's native city. He must especially mention the extent to which he has consulted the works of the Rev. G. M. Livett, Mr. W. H. St. John Hope, and Canon Scott Robertson among living authorities, while in the "Collections" made by Mr. Brenchley Rye, preserved in the British Museum (where Mr. Rye was once a keeper), notes have been found of many matters that might otherwise have escaped notice.

Most of the illustrations appear for the first time in this book. They are reproduced, by kind permission, from pen-drawings by Messrs. H. P. Clifford and R. J. Beale, and from photographs by Messrs. Horace Dan, J. L. Allen, F. G. M. Beaumont, and Messrs. Carl Norman and Co., of Tunbridge Wells.

Thanks are also due to the Very Rev. the Dean, the Rev. E. J. Nash, Mr. George Payne, F.S.A., and Mr. S. S. Brister, for kindnesses and helpful suggestions, as also to the head-verger, Mr. Miles, who, having been connected with the fabric for more than half a century, has a personal knowledge of its history during that time.

G. H. P. 9th Jan., 1897.



CONTENTS.

PAGE CHAPTER I.—The History of the Cathedral 3

CHAPTER II.—The Exterior 38 Tower and Bells 39 West Front 43 West Doorway 46 Nave and Main Transept 50 Choir and Gundulf's Tower 52 Monastic Buildings 55 Bishop's Palace 57 Enclosure and Gates 59

CHAPTER III.—The Interior 63 Nave 63 Lady Chapel 70 Main Transept 70 Font, Pulpit, and Stalls 75 Monuments and Slabs 76 Stained Glass 78 North Choir Aisle 81 Organ 81 Choir Screen 83 Choir and Choir Transept 83 Pavement 88 Stalls 89 Paintings 90, 92 Bishop's Throne 91 Pulpit and Lectern 93 Altar and Sedilia 94 Communion Plate 95 Monuments 96 Stained Glass 105 Chapter House Doorway 107 Chapter House and Library 108 South Choir Aisle 112 Crypt 115

CHAPTER IV.—The Diocese and Bishops 117



ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE The South Transept, from the south-east Frontispiece

Arms of the See Title-page

The West Doorway 2

North side of the Cathedral in the Seventeenth Century 14

North-west view, early Eighteenth Century 26

North-west view, early Nineteenth Century 31

The West end from the Castle Gardens 36

North-east view, with ruins of Gundulf's Tower 41

Capitals from the North side of the West door 46

Capitals from the South side of the West door 47

The new Chapter-Room and the ruins of the old 56

The ruins of the Cloisters, East range 57

A Doorway inserted in the old Roman Wall 59

The Prior's Gate and old Grammar School, 1825 60

Eastgate House, Rochester 62

Plan 64

The Nave—looking West 67

Decorated Capital, South Arcade of Nave 68

The Nave—looking East 69

One Bay of Norman work in the Nave (South Arcade) 70

The Nave, from the North Transept 71

The South Transept 73

The Tomb of Bishop Hamo de Hythe 82

The Choir Screen: Dean Scott Memorial 84

The Choir—looking East 85

A Corbel in the Choir (by the Bishop's Throne) 88

A Window of the Choir Clerestory 89

Tracery of a Window near the Chapter-House door 90

A Corbel in the Choir (middle of North Wall) 91

Bishop's Throne 92

The Wheel of Fortune, a fresco painting 93

The Tomb of Bishop John de Sheppey 101

The Tombs of Bishops G. de Glanvill and L. de St. Martin 104

Carved Coffin lid 105

The Chapter-House Doorway 109

The Tomb of Bishop John de Bradfield 112

The Crypt, looking towards the North-east 113

The Vane on the Guildhall 119



ROCHESTER CATHEDRAL.

CHAPTER I.

HISTORY OF THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF CHRIST AND THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.

Long, eventful, and very interesting is the history of the cathedral, or rather of the successive cathedrals, of the ancient city of Rochester. It is many centuries since, in 597, St. Augustine and his fellow missionaries landed on the coast of Thanet, almost on the very spot where Hengist and his bands had disembarked nearly one hundred and fifty years before. Hengist's descendant, Ethelbert, King of Kent, received them in the open air on the chalk downs above Minster, and, though he would not at once renounce the faith of his fathers, promised them shelter and protection. His conversion occurred a year later, and after that Christianity spread rapidly among his subjects. The royal city of Canterbury continued to be the centre of St. Augustine's labours, but only seven years passed, Bede tells us, ere he deemed it necessary to found other sees at Rochester and at London. Rochester therefore claims to be the second, or at most the third oldest of English bishoprics.

Justus, one of the band sent by St. Gregory to help the mission in 601, was consecrated as its first bishop in 604. A church was built for him by the king and dedicated to St. Andrew, the patron saint of the monastery on the Caelian Hill in Rome, from which St. Augustine and his companions had come. Bede relates that St. Paulinus was buried in it, later, "in secretario beati apostoli Andreae quod rex Edilbertus a fundamentis in eadem Rhofi civitate construxit." Ethelbert endowed it with Priestfield (a large tract of land lying towards Borstal) which still belongs to it, and with other property; and Justus, though himself a monk, placed it in the hands of secular priests.

All traces of this Saxon cathedral disappeared long ago, and its exact site was forgotten and remained unknown until portions of its foundations were discovered in 1889, during the underpinning, preparatory to restoration, of the present west front.[1] Beneath this front, but only for a little way within it, the older foundations extended. They were of hard concrete, from 4 to 5 feet deep and wide, and still carried fragments of the walls, about 2 feet 4 inches wide, of tufa, sarsen, and Roman brick. These remains, on examination, proved to have belonged to the east end of a building, which, in this direction, terminated in an apse that occupied almost the entire width. The southern junction of this apse was found first within the present church; and later, in lowering a gas main under the road outside, the north-east corner of the nave was discovered. The internal width of the building was then ascertained to be about 28 feet 6 inches. The lines of the north and south walls were followed by means of a probe across the old burial ground westwards as far as the road, running from the High Street to Boley Hill, and the foundations of the west wall lying along its side. These researches revealed no signs of aisles, quasi-transepts, or porch. If a western porch or apse ever existed, and has left any remains, these remains must lie beneath the road, so that excavation would be necessary to get at them. It has been conjectured that the west, as well as the east end, terminated apsidally. There would then have been placed, in the one apse, the high altar of St. Andrew, with the tombs of St. Paulinus, the apostle of Northumbria, and of St. Ythamar, the first Englishman to attain the episcopal dignity. Both of these died as bishops of Rochester, and they were buried in its cathedral in 644 and 655 respectively. The other apse, for this is possibly the right meaning to assign to "porticus" in the following quotation, would have contained the altar of St. Paul, and the tomb of Bishop Tobias, who is recorded to have been buried "in porticu Sancti Pauli apostoli, quam intra ecclesiam Sancti Andreae sibi ipse in locum sepulchri fecerat." The tracing of the foundations of a straight wall at the west end proves nothing, I think, against the existence of this "porticus," be it porch or apse, beyond. We know that it was a later addition by Bishop Tobias himself, and it is not to be supposed that, when he cut away part of the old wall to unite his work to the building, he would have taken the trouble to dig beneath the surface and remove the foundations too. It is to be hoped that at some time in the future all the remains of the old Saxon church, under the burial ground and under the road, will be uncovered, and its complete plan thus, beyond all cavil, ascertained.

[1] A full account by the Rev. G. M. Livett in Archaeologia Cantiana, xviii.

Troublous times fell on the church very soon after its erection, and, as Lambarde says: "No marvaile is it, if the glory of the place were not at any time very great, since on the one side the abilitie of the Bishops and the Chanons (inclined to advaunce it) was but meane, and on the other side the calamitie of fire and sworde (bent to destroy it) was in manner continuall." Even here in Kent a reaction against the new creed followed the death of Ethelbert, and his successor Eadbald relapsed into idolatry. Bishop Justus himself fled to Gaul in 617, and remained there a year before he was recalled by the king, but there were sadder times still to come. About the year 676, King Egbert having died, his brother Lothair usurped the throne of Kent. In this usurpation he devastated the country, without any respect for churches or religious houses, and especially plundered Rochester, driving Bishop Putta from his see. Soon afterwards, still within Lothair's reign, Ethelred of Mercia invaded Kent, "spoiled the whole Shyre, and laid this Citie waste."

There was little time to repair the losses and damages suffered on these occasions before the inroads of the Danes began. Rochester, lying at the head of an estuary on the side of England towards the Viking-land, was, of course, especially open to their attacks. In the year 840 they ravaged Kent, and both Canterbury and Rochester "felt the effects of their barbarity and hatred of the Christian religion." Again, in 884, large numbers of them, under Hasting, invaded England, but our city and cathedral were gloriously delivered out of their hands. "They," says Lambarde, "in the daies of King Alfred came out of Fraunce, sailed up the river of Medway to Rochester, and besieging the town, fortified over against it in such sorte that it was greatly distressed and like to have been yeelded, but that the King came speedily to the reskew and not onely raised the siege and delivered his subjects, but obtained also an honourable bootie of horses and captives that the besiegers had left behind them." Then, for a time, apparently, the city and cathedral had some repose, until, in 986, King Ethelred quarrelled with the bishop and besieged the town. In anger at its resistance he plundered the property of the church outside and had at last to be bought off. Much more grievous were the injuries and losses of about twelve years later, when, in 999, the Danes came again, drove away the inhabitants and plundered their city.

"And all these harmes Rochester received before the time of King William the Conqueror," in whose reign great changes for the better were to be begun.[2]

[2] For Norman work, see the paper by Mr. W. H. St. John Hope in Archaeologia, xlix., and Mr. Ashpitel's earlier essay in Jour. of the Brit. Archaeol. Assoc., ix.

Siward, who had been bishop since 1058, retained the see, after the Conquest, until his death in 1075. Sad indeed was the condition of the cathedral then. It was itself "almost fallen to pieces from age," much of its property had been lost, and there were only four canons left. Even this small establishment was steeped in poverty; it is charged also with lack of zeal. Arnost, a monk of Bec, succeeded Siward, but he died within a year. A bishop had now to be chosen who would be competent to cope with the poverty and deficiencies of the see, and to carry through remedial measures. At last Lanfranc appointed Gundulf, of whose great capacity he had personal knowledge. Want of money at first stood in the way of reforms; but, with the archbishop's help, much of the alienated property of the see was recovered, and the substitution of regular for secular clergy was undertaken. In 1082 a priory was established with twenty monks of the Order of St. Benedict, a number which grew to sixty before Gundulf's death. It was necessary, now, that a new church should be built, for the old one was not only, as has been said, very dilapidated, but also, probably, too small for the new establishment.

One of Gundulf's first undertakings seems to have been the erection, about 150 feet to the east of the Saxon cathedral, of the strong tower bearing his name. Ruins of this are still to be seen on the north side of the choir (see p. 52). It was about the year 1080 that he began his church. The plan was cruciform, but not of the usual northern type. The eastern arm was six bays long, and had aisles of the same length as the presbytery; its four easternmost bays stood on an undercroft, of which a portion still remains in the present crypt. The excavations there, in 1881, uncovering the old foundations, proved that the shape of this end of the church used to be rectangular and not apsidal. It had been concluded that its form was such, but on less positive grounds, thirty years before. The whole arm was 76 feet long by 60 wide, and from its end there was a small rectangular projection, constructed, probably, for the relics of St. Paulinus, which Gundulf, or, according to another account, Lanfranc, transported from the older church. In this prolongation we seem to have a germ of those that gave us afterwards the Lady Chapels of Lichfield, Westminster, Gloucester, and elsewhere. This small excrescence, chapel it can scarcely be called, probably did not rise very high, as room had to be left above it for the east window, which, with the clerestory, was needed to light the presbytery. The latter, like the choir of the present cathedral and like that of St. Alban's, had its aisles divided from it by solid walls.

To the west of the six bays of the eastern arm crossed a transept, remarkable for its narrowness. In the angle between it and the south wall of the choir, rose, as an integral part of the building, a smaller tower balancing the earlier great one of Gundulf, which had been allowed to remain in an almost similar, but independent, position on the other side. It has been conjectured that the lower portions of these two towers formed the transepts of Gundulf's church. This would have greatly reduced the length of its choir, while adding, to the same amount, to that of its nave. Such a theory is, however, quite untenable now, as the real lines of the transept have been traced. In 1872, when the south end of the present transept was underpinned, parts of the foundations of its predecessor's east and south walls were uncovered, and the footings of the clasping pilaster buttress of its south-west angle exposed. These showed that the transept occupied the position which we have assigned to it, and that its entire length was 120 feet, while it was only 14 feet wide. This width being so small, it is probable that the arcading of the nave was continued right up to the choir arch. There was no tower over the crossing. Of a south tower, as has been mentioned, the foundations have been found, but the only signs of it now left above ground seem to be some tufa quoins in the wall by the cloister door. Even if these traces did not remain there would be ample documentary evidence to prove that it had once existed.

The nave and its aisles were intended to be at least nine bays long. In the underpinning of the side aisles in 1875-76, the bases of Gundulf's buttresses were discovered, his foundations being easily distinguishable from later ones, and the curious fact was then made manifest that he did not finish the nave westwards. On the south side his work stops half a bay from the present west front, and on the north it only extends three bays to the west of the present transept. It is interesting to note that it is just from this point that it was, in the seventeenth century, found necessary to start the rebuilding of a portion of the north aisle wall. Taking it for granted that the nave arcades were, after the old English traditional manner, continued to the choir arch, we conclude that Gundulf completed nine arches on the south and five on the north side. The bishop probably finished the south aisle that he might build the cloister and monastic buildings against it in their usual positions; but did not deem the north so important, as it would be of no such ulterior use. In the same way the choir was finished, while the nave, or parochial portion, in which the monastic establishment had less interest, was possibly left to the townsmen, and remained longer incomplete. All that the monks most wanted,—enough of the nave to secure the stability of the choir and transepts, and the south wall that supported their cloister,—was built under Gundulf's direction. It has been thought likely that the nave was completed by the parishioners before the later Norman period. If so, the builders of that time seem to have swept away all the townsmen's work, probably because of its ruder execution.

Gundulf's arcades consisted, apparently, of two plain square-edged orders; the plan of his piers is not known. We do not seem to have any of his work, now, above the first string course in the nave. The triforium, in its present form at any rate, is, like the casing of the piers and the outer decorated order of the arches, of later Norman work.

The cathedral, or rather the part described above as Gundulf's work, seems to have been erected by 1087, in which year William the Conqueror bequeathed some money, robes, and ornaments to it. The monastic portions were certainly finished before Lanfranc's death in 1089.

Lambarde, following perhaps the chronicler who said, "Ecclesiam Andreae, paene vetustate dirutam, novam ex integro, ut hodie apparet, aedificavit," does not seem to suspect the incompleteness of Gundulf's work of which he gives the following quaint account. He tells how he "re-edified the great church at Rochester, erected the Priorie, and where as he founde but half a dozen secular priests" (the older authority that we have followed makes it still worse, only mentioning four) "in the Church at his comming, he never ceased, till he had brought together at the least three score Monkes into the place. Then removed he the dead bodies of his predecessors, and with great solemnitie translated them into this newe work: and there also Lanfranc was present with his purse, and of his owne charge in-coffened in curious worke of cleane silver the body of Paulinus, ... to the which shrine there was afterwarde (according to the superstitious maner of those times) much concourse of people and many oblations made. Besides this, they both joined in suite to the King, and not onely obtained restitution of sundry the possessions witholden from the church, but also procured, by his liberalitie and example, newe donations of many other landes and privileges. To be short, Gundulphus (overliving Lanfranc) never rested building and begging, tricking and garnishing, till he had advaunced this his creature, to the just wealth, beautie, and estimation of a right Popish Priorie."

Subsequently the choir was re-arranged; and the nave partly rebuilt, partly re-faced, added to, and finished with the west front, which, to a great extent, still remains. This later Norman work was carried out from east to west during the episcopates of Ernulf (1115-24) and John of Canterbury (1125-37). The upper part of the west front and some of the carving may not have been completed within even that period. What seems certain is, that we are indebted to later Norman builders for the re-casing of the piers of the nave arcade, the greater richness of their capitals, the outer decorated order of the arches, the triforium with its richly diapered tympana, and the west front. Assigning most of these works to the time of Bishop John, as seems best, we can point to others that testify to Ernulf's architectural skill. He is recorded to have built the refectory, dormitory, and chapter house. Portions of these still remain, and one feature, in the ornamentation of the chapter house, especially marks it as his work. This is a peculiar lattice-like diaper, which occurs elsewhere at Rochester,—in fragments that belonged probably to a beginning by him of the renovation of the choir,—but has only been noticed at one other place: by the entrance to the crypt at Canterbury, where also it is due to him.

An indication of the completion of the church in this new form,—or rather, it is safer to say, of the final destruction of its Saxon predecessor,—is perhaps contained in an entry that has been found, that "Bishop John translated the body of St. Ythamar, Bishop of Rochester." It seems peculiar that this relic was not moved to the new church at the same time as the remains of St. Paulinus. It may be that the earlier Norman bishop and monks valued the greatest of St. Augustine's fellow missionaries—a foreigner, like themselves, working here for the church—more highly than his successor in the bishopric and fellow saint, who belonged to the recently conquered and still despised English, and whose great glory was that of being the first bishop of their race.

The cathedral was apparently dedicated in 1130, by the Archbishop William de Corbeuil assisted by thirteen bishops, but one authority gives 1133 as the date. In "The history and antiquities of Rochester"[3] we read: "The city was honoured with a royal visit in the year 1130, when Henry I., the Archbishop of Canterbury, and many of the nobility were present at the consecration of St. Andrew's Church, then just finished: but their mirth was turned into sorrow, by their being mournful spectators of a dreadful conflagration which broke out on the 7th of May, and, without any regard to the majesty of the king, grandeur of the church, or solemnity of the occasion, laid the city in ashes and much damaged the new church." The Chronicle says, as to the extent of the damage done by this fire, "Civitas pene tota conflagravit."

[3] Anonymous, but probably by the Rev. S. Denne and W. Shrubsole. Published in 1772; second edition, 1817.

The Rochester chronicler, Edmund de Hadenham, records two great fires under the years 1138 and 1177; Gervase also mentions these, but gives their dates as 1137 and 1179. The exact extent of the damage and consequent repairs is not known in the case of either. It would seem from Edmund de Hadenham's account of the earlier, that, in it, the offices suffered most; and he speaks of their restoration under Bishop Ascelin. We read that the monks had to find other quarters, for a time, for many of their number whom it had rendered homeless. Gervase says of the same fire, "combusta est Ecclesia S. Andreae Roffensis et tota civitas cum officinis Episcopi et monachorum," and of the later one that in it the church, with the offices, was burnt and reduced to a cinder.

Lambarde, staunch Protestant as he was, saw in these fires a token of God's disapproval of such monastic institutions. After telling of the foundation by Gundulf, he continues, "but God (who moderating all things by his divine providence, shewed himselfe alwaies a severe visitour of these irreligious Synagogues) God (I say) set fire on this building twise within the compasse of one hundreth yeeres after the erection of the same." He then goes on to attribute the quarrels between Bishop Gilbert de Glanvill and the monks, and the church's losses through these, and its spoliation by King John's troops, to the same divine judgment. His book contains a great amount of accurate information, but often, as here, and in his account, quoted above, of Gundulf's really good and useful work, shows the strong prejudices of the ordinary English Protestant of his time.

In one or other of these two fires the eastern arm and transepts of Gundulf's fabric, and Ernulf's conventual buildings, must have been much injured if not reduced to ruins, and to the date of the second the outer part of the north choir aisle possibly belongs. Probably about 1190, Gilbert de Glanvill, who was Bishop of Rochester from 1185 to 1214, built a new cloister and the lower part of the outer wall of the south choir aisle as a portion of it. A great deal of work was done about that time to the conventual buildings by different priors and monks. Many records relating to it are gathered together in Mr. Ashpitel's paper.[4] He evidently thought that the church was then neglected—though, as we shall see, it does not seem to have been so—and apologizes for the monks, pointing out that there must have been enough of the nave left for services, and that, this being the case, it was natural for them, in their almost complete homelessness, to think of their dormitories, etc., before anything else.

[4] See footnote on p. 6.

The development, by means of great additions and alterations, of the present eastern arm and its magnificent crypt from the earlier and smaller Norman structures was probably taken in hand about 1190. The new work seems to have been begun from the east and continued westwards. It was at first perhaps roofed temporarily with wood, and only vaulted later. It may have been far enough advanced to allow of William of Perth's burial, directly after his death in 1201, in the north choir transept (still called by his name), where his tomb and shrine were afterwards so much resorted to. On the other hand, his body may have been laid in the north choir aisle until the new transept was ready to receive it. This was probably not the case however; it certainly was not, if the conjecture be correct, that 1195 is the approximate date of the removal of the eastern half of the Norman undercroft and of the portion of the presbytery above it, and that a little work in the choir aisles had been done even earlier. Other authorities, though, incline to the opinion that the part of the Norman presbytery which projected into the new work was not removed before it was almost completely inclosed. This would put off its demolition till later.

The "whole choir" was, we read, rebuilt by William de Hoo, the sacrist, with the offerings at St. William's tomb. The word "choir" must here, of course, be used in its more restricted sense, meaning the choir proper, as distinct from its transept and the presbytery. Even then to say absolutely that he rebuilt it is to go too far, for the walls dividing it from its aisles are still in the main of Norman construction, though they have Early English facings and decorations, and additions of this later period to their upper parts. The original intention of the architect had apparently been to change into arcades these solid walls, but, if so, he abandoned it. When the work on the choir walls was finished, some re-modelling of its aisles was soon carried out, buttresses being built within them to withstand the thrust of the new vaulting of the central part. In William de Hoo's work at this time we must include the arches across the western ends of the choir aisles, with the one bay of the transept clerestory over the northern of them, and possibly also the choir arch, with the piers that carry it. It seems, however, that these piers were only finally freed from the Norman nave arcade, and completed, as we now have them, to be the eastern pair of supports to the central tower, by Richard de Eastgate about twenty years later. It is recorded that the new work had been roofed and leaded by the sacrist Radulfus de Ros and the prior Helias. The new choir was first used in 1227, when the monks made their solemn entry into it, and the works, that have been described above, must have been finished at that date. Some fittings, probably originally inserted at this early period, still remain, viz., the eastern side of the pulpitum and some woodwork preserved in the present stalls. Richard de Wendover, Bishop of Rochester, and Richard, Bishop of Bangor, dedicated the church, or rather its new portions, but it was not until 1240 that the ceremony took place.

We must now go back a few years in order to mention the great losses that the cathedral sustained in 1215. In that year King John besieged and captured Rochester Castle, stoutly held against him by William de Albinet and other powerful barons. Then, Edmund de Hadenham tells us, the church was so plundered that there was not a pyx left "in which the body of the Lord might rest upon the altar." At such a time the offerings at St. William's tomb, which have been alluded to above, were especially needed and especially acceptable.

Within the first half of the thirteenth century, but certainly several years later than the entry into the choir, further great works were begun by the monk and sacrist Richard de Eastgate. He probably commenced by clearing away the two eastern arches of each of the nave arcades, which, it will be remembered, are thought to have been continued right up to the choir arch; and, then, having completed the piers at the ends of the choir walls, laid the bases of the two others that with them support the central tower. He next began the new north transept (ala borealis versus portam beati Willelmi), and made it half as wide again as its slender predecessor. Afterwards the north-west tower pier was erected at the junction of the transept and the nave, and, finally, there is a discussion as to whether the northern tower arch was built now or not until later. We are told that all this work, begun by Richard de Eastgate, was almost finished by Thomas de Mepeham, who became sacrist in 1255. The laying out of the bases of the western pair of piers to the central tower was formerly assigned to a much earlier date; while the eastern piers were supposed to have been finally finished in William de Hoo's time. This work would, however, scarcely have been done before the new wider transept was undertaken, and it cannot have been carried out before the eastern part of the Norman nave was cleared away.

Only a short time elapsed then before the building of the south transept (ala australis versus curiam) by Richard de Waldene, monk and sacrist, and next came the completion of the supports for the central tower, by the construction of its south-west pier and the other arches. The building of the eastern (the choir) arch, and the possible earlier date of the northern one, have already been spoken of. The two bays of the nave nearest the crossing, were also rebuilt in their present form, and the stability of the arches that were to bear the central tower was thus secured. The reconstruction of the whole nave seems to have been intended by the architects of this time; but want of funds, probably, stopped the work.



To leave purely architectural history for a while, we find the church on which all this labour was so lovingly bestowed undergoing another terrible experience in 1264. On Good Friday of that year it was desecrated by the troops of Simon de Montfort, after their capture of the city. In the old annalist's account we read (in Latin) how they "entered the church of St. Andrew on the day on which the Lord hung on the cross for sinners.... Armed knights on their horses, coursing around the altars, dragged away with impious hands some who fled for refuge thither, the gold and silver and other precious things being with violence carried off thence. Many royal charters, too, and other muniments, in the Prior's Chapel, and necessary to the church of Rochester, were destroyed and torn up. The oratories, cloisters, chapter house, infirmary and all the sacred buildings were turned into horses' stables, and everywhere filled with the dung of animals and the defilement of dead bodies."

There is a record of a later, more welcome visit from Earl Simon's conqueror. In 1300 Edward I. made a progress in Kent, and we find the following items in the wardrobe accounts for this, the twenty-eighth year of his reign. On the 18th of February he offered seven shillings at the shrine of St. William, and a like amount again on the next day. He then went forward to Canterbury, and on his return from the archiepiscopal city gave, on the 27th of the same month, seven shillings each for the shrines of SS. Paulinus and Ythamar in the church of the Priory.

From March till October, 1314, we read that Isabel, the queen of Robert Bruce, was a prisoner in Rochester Castle, permitted to walk at convenient times, under safe custody, within its precincts and those of the Priory of St. Andrew adjoining. This is, however, to some extent a matter of controversy.

The fourteenth century saw the junction of the new and the Norman work in the nave completed, and the design of rebuilding the whole western arm finally abandoned. A beautiful capital at the joining on the south side will call for especial mention later, and in the part of the triforium just over it there is a piece of apparently later-Norman work, which is, however, by builders of the "Decorated" period. They seem to have found it best to reproduce here, as accurately as possible, what they had just destroyed. That it is by them is shown by the stone used, which is greensand and not the Caen stone of later-Norman workmen, and by differences in working. The early-Norman architects had chiefly used tufa, and these successive changes of material are of great help in assigning their respective dates to various parts of the fabric.

About 1320 some alterations were made in the clerestory of the south transept, while on its east side there was, apparently, a conversion of two arches into one to form a large altar recess. This change seems to be alluded to when in 1322 the altar of the Blessed Virgin Mary in this transept is spoken of as "de nova constructo." At this time there were many disputes between the monks and the parishioners of St. Nicholas, whose altar[5] stood from 1322, at any rate, till 1423, against the rood-screen across the end of the nave beneath the western tower-arch. In 1327, in which year Mr. Walcott tells of a riotous assault by the townsfolk on the pretence of a right of entrance by day or night for the ministration of the Viaticum, an oratory was built, by agreement between the monks and the parishioners, "in angulo navis," for the Reserved Sacrament, and the small door was inserted in the west front. To dread of such attacks or fear of the crowds of strangers constantly passing through the town, which stood on the main road to Canterbury and the Continent, we must attribute the erection of the screens and strong doors of this time, which shut off the choir from the rest of the cathedral, and also the almost contemporaneous walling off of the priory from the town. Among these screens is included the west side of the pulpitum, which still contains its original central doorway, as well as the screens in the choir aisles. To this same period also belongs, apparently, the western cloister door.

[5] For further information about this altar, see p. 68.

In 1343 the central tower was at last raised by Bishop Hamo de Hythe, and capped by him with a wooden spire in which he placed four bells named Dunstan, Paulinus, Ythamar, and Lanfranc. The south tower had already been destroyed and with its demolition we approach the end of the changes which have brought the south choir aisle to its present form and which will be described in the chapter on the interior of the church.[6] The completion of this aisle is assigned to W. de Axenham; its wooden roof seems to belong to King Edward II.'s time. Decorated tracery was inserted in the presbytery windows soon after the erection of the tower, and Bishop Hamo is recorded to have reconstructed in marble and alabaster the shrines of SS. Paulinus and Ythamar. Finally, to this time, to about the middle of the fourteenth century, belongs the beautiful doorway which leads to the present chapter room and library, and is one of the chief glories of the church.

[6] See p. 112.

In the painted decoration of the choir walls, with its alternate lions and fleurs-de-lis,—which Sir Gilbert Scott partly saved and partly renewed,—we have probably a contemporary allusion to and commemoration of, the victories won by our countrymen in France in Edward III.'s reign. Rochester lay on the main route to the Continent and is sure to have seen much of the soldiers who passed to and fro. In 1360 there is a record of the passage of John II. on his way back to his own land. He had, it will be remembered, been defeated by the Black Prince at Poictiers in 1356, and brought as a prisoner to England until arrangements should be made for his ransom. It was on the 2nd of July that he went through the town, and, ere he left it, made an offering of sixty crowns at the Church of St. Andrew.

The oratory that was constructed in 1327, and other attempted arrangements, did not settle the differences between the monks and the parishioners of St. Nicholas. These were only finally ended by the erection of a new church, for the use of the latter, in the cemetery called the Green Church Haw, on the north side of the cathedral. The people were still allowed to pass within the north side of the cathedral in their processions, and the Perpendicular doorway which exists, walled up, towards the west end of the north aisle wall, was inserted for their passage. The right that the mayor and corporation of the city still retain of entering the cathedral in their robes and with their maces, etc., borne before them, by the great west door, seems to be a relic of the old parochial use of the nave.

Later in the fifteenth century the clerestory and vaulting of the north choir aisle were finished, and Perpendicular windows were inserted in the nave aisles. Then, about 1470, the great west window was inserted, and the nave clerestory, together with the northern pinnacle of the west gable, rebuilt. It was in 1490, or thereabouts, apparently, that the Perpendicular builders carried out their last important work: the erection of the so-called Lady Chapel, in the corner between the south transept and the nave. This seems to be really an extension of the Lady Chapel in the south transept (where the altar to the Blessed Virgin Mary has been already mentioned), to be a nave to this rather than a chapel itself.

There is now nothing very important to record until we come to the time, when, at the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII., regulars, after more than four centuries and a half, ceased at last to form the establishment of this cathedral. Two general visitations of religious houses had been made in 1535 and 1537, but neither of the reports on this establishment seems to be extant. If either could be found it would very possibly prove unfavourable. Some injunctions by Bishop Wells, in 1439, nearly a century before, seem to show that he found deviations from the rule of the order, and that he thought precautions against its infraction necessary.

During its later days the priory does not seem to have been in a flourishing state. In the twentieth year of King Henry VIII.'s reign, the annual income of its estates was returned to the exchequer as only L486 11s. 6d., and its financial condition, though it has not been accurately ascertained, seems to have been bad. In 1498 there were only twenty-four monks in the house, though the original establishment had been sixty, and this great diminution in numbers was probably due to the want of funds. Later, to the priory's acknowledgment of the Royal Supremacy, dated June 10th, 1534, there were only twenty signatures altogether.

The 20th of March, 1540, is the date of the commission to the Archbishop of Canterbury, George Lord Cobham, and others to accept the surrender of the house and its possessions to the king. On the 8th of April following the seal of the convent was affixed to the instrument of resignation, a document which seems to us very ironical in its wording. It was sent in, we read by them "with their unanimous assent and consent, deliberately and of their own certain knowledge and mere motion, from certain just and reasonable causes, especially moving their minds and consciences, of their own free will." Some pensions were granted on the day of surrender, the total number given among the dispersed monks being thirteen. These seem very few, but possibly vacancies had been left unfilled for some years in dread of such an event, and perhaps one or two of the monks embraced the opportunity of release from their vows. Others, we know, were given new appointments. Even the above small number soon dwindled. In Cardinal Pole's list of 1556 we find only one former member of this priory recorded as in receipt of an annuity, and five as in receipt of pensions. The annuity was possibly a payment to which the house was already liable at the time of the suppression, while the pensions would be the "convenient charity" of the Crown.

When enforcing their surrender the king had said that the monks were to go, that the endowment they had so long possessed "might be tornyd to better use as heraffter shall folow, werby Gods word myght the better be sett forthe, cyldren brought up in learning, clerks nuryshyd in the universites," etc. We shall now see how he tried to secure this improvement, and how, in some respects, at any rate, his scheme was good. It was not hurried forth at once, the letters patent for the new establishment not being issued till the 20th of June, 1542. It was then incorporated under the title of "the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary of Rochester."[7] Provision was made for a dean, six prebendaries, six minor canons, a deacon, a sub-deacon, six lay clerks, a master of the choristers, eight choristers, an upper and an under master of the grammar school, twenty scholars, six poor men, a porter, who was also to be barber, a butler, a chief cook, and an assistant. A yearly pension of L5 was to be paid also to four scholars, of whom two were to be members of each University.

[7] The original dedication was to St. Andrew.

The offices of deacon and sub-deacon were disused after the Reformation, and the butler and cooks ceased to be appointed when there was no longer a common table. Charles I. attached one of the prebends to the archdeaconry of Rochester in 1637; a union which is still maintained. Another was annexed by letters patent of 1713 to the provostship of Oriel College, Oxford, and this connection was confirmed by Parliament in the same year, though it has, of course, to lapse when, as has been the case, the provost is a layman. On the whole, the establishment, thus originally provided for, is maintained, but the full numbers are not just now kept up throughout, owing to a great loss of income due to the gradual decrease in value of landed property. With regard to the educational provisions, it will, perhaps, be interesting just to mention here, that it was chiefly owing to the late Rev. R. Whiston, long the head master of the Rochester Grammar School, that this and similar institutions were, about the middle of this century, made to conform more to the spirit of their original foundations, by the making of alterations, especially in the terms of scholarships, to meet the great changes that have since occurred in money values.

In 1541 panelled book-desks were provided for the new canons and singing men. Some of the panels belonging to them still remain, and are incorporated in the present choir stalls.

For some years little of interest occurred directly concerning the cathedral itself, though much happened of importance in the history of the see and its bishops. In 1558, however, the body of Cardinal Pole lay here for a night in state, and we are able to give an eye-witness's account, written by Francis Thynne, afterwards Lancaster Herald, and published in Holinshed's Chronicles in 1587. "Cardinal Poole died the same daie wherein the Queene" (Mary) "died, the third hour of the night.... His bodie was first conveyed from Lambeth to Rochester, where it rested one night, being brought into the Church of Rochester at the West doore, not opened manie yeres before. At what time myselfe, then a yoong scholer" (he was born in 1545), "beheld the funeral pompe thereof, which trulie was great and answerable both to his birth and calling, with store of burning torches and mourning weedes. At what time, his coffin, being brought into the church, was covered with a cloth of blacke velvet, with a great crosse of white satten over all the length and bredth of the same, in the middest of which crosse his Cardinal's hat was placed. From Rochester he was conveied to Canterbury, where the same bodie (being first before it came to Rochester inclosed in lead) was, after three daies spent in his commendations set foorth in Latine and English, committed to the earth in the Chapell of Thomas Becket."

In 1568 we have a curious story, said to be taken originally from records in the Rochester Diocesan Registry of the discovery and apprehension, at Rochester, of a Jesuit in disguise. A certain Thomas Heth, purporting to be a poor minister, came and asked the dean to recommend him for some preferment. The dean said that he would consider his case after he had heard him preach before him in the cathedral. No fault seems to have been found with the sermon, but in the pulpit afterwards, the sexton, Richard Fisher, picked up a letter that had been dropped, and carried it to the bishop, Dr. Gest. This was directed to Th. Finne from Samuel Malta, a noted Jesuit at Madrid. Heth was brought up and examined before the bishop; he acknowledged that he had preached for six years in England, but said that he had left the hated order. He was then remanded until the case had been reported to the queen and her council. Incriminating papers were in the meantime found among his belongings, and, at a later second examination, he confessed. He was pilloried, branded, and mutilated after the cruel manner of those days, beside the High Cross at Rochester, and was condemned to be imprisoned for life. From this imprisonment he was released by an early death.

We are next able to mention a visit by Good Queen Bess. She came to Rochester during her summer progress in Kent in 1573, and lodged, during her first four days in the city, at the Crown Inn. On the last day of her stay she was entertained by Mr. Richard Watts at his house, on Boley Hill, which then, it is said, obtained its name of "Satis," she having answered with this word his apologies for the poor accommodation that he had been able to offer to so great a queen. On Sunday, the 19th of September, she attended divine service, and heard a sermon at the cathedral.

In 1591 there is recorded the destruction of a great part of the chancel by fire, but the fabric itself does not seem to have been much damaged. At any rate, in 1607 the dean and chapter were able to certify to Archbishop Abbot, who was making a metropolitical visitation, that the church, though requiring weekly repair from its antiquity, was, as a whole, in reasonable condition. This statement was probably accurate, as the return was not followed by any injunctions from the visitor.

During the preceding year, A.D. 1606, Christian IV. of Denmark, brother-in-law of James I., had visited Rochester in company with the latter King and Queen Anne, and their eldest son, Prince Henry. These royal personages had separate lodgings during their stay, King James's own being at the Bishop's house. It was on Saturday that they arrived, and "the next day," we are told, "being Sunday, ... their Majesties came to the Cathedrall Church of the Colledge, where they heard a most learned sermon by a reverende grave and learned Doctor." This was Dr. Parry, Dean of Chester, one of the most famous preachers at his time. King Christian is said to have been much pleased with his discourse, and to have given him afterwards a very rich ring. The royal travellers then visited the shipping, and on the Monday "set forwarde towardes Gravesend."

In Archbishop Laud's annual report on the diocese to King Charles I., in 1633, it is said that the Bishop (Dr. John Bowle) complained "that the cathedral suffered much for want of glass in the windows, and the churchyard lay very indecently, and the gates down, because the dean and chapter refused to be visited by him on pretence that the statutes were not confirmed under the broad seal." Here the king wrote in the margin: "This must be remedied one way or other, concerning which I expect a particular account of you." There was probably a considerable likelihood then of the imposition of a new set of statutes of the archbishop's devising; the dean and chapter, however, managed to retain the old ones. They submitted to a visit from the archbishop, as metropolitan, in the following year, and in answer to one of his questions stated that the cathedral was sufficiently repaired in all its parts, the only defects, and these small, being in the glass of some of the windows. These defects had been left for a little while, owing to the great charges that they had incurred of late years. If they had been among the first parts repaired they would probably have wanted mending again before the other works were finished. This would have involved more expense. In addition to their ordinary annual outlay on the fabric, they had recently expended on it and on the "making of the organs" more than L1,000. The archbishop evidently thought this report correct, for with regard to the cathedral and its furniture he only found it necessary to enjoin: that the windows should be repaired without delay in a decent manner, and the bells together with the frames put in good order; that there should be a new fair desk in the choir, and new church books provided without delay; that the communion table should be placed at the east end of the choir in a decent manner, and a fair rail put up to go across the choir as in other cathedral churches. That they had not of their own accord seen to what he considered such an important matter as this last, is sure to have influenced him against them. In their answer the dean and chapter said that all these things were either done, or would be taken in hand as soon as possible, but pointed out that, if the altar were removed quite to the end, the clergyman ministering at it would be almost out of hearing of the congregation, and suggested instead the erection of a screen behind it, in the more westerly position, where it then was and again is, for it to stand against. This suggestion seems not to have been accepted. They pointed out the impossibility of carrying out his injunctions as to the "verie handsome fence" for their churchyard. They had before told him of parochial rights, and rights of way, in the cemetery, and promised that it should be as decently kept as possible in the future, and that they would report the mayor and citizens if they also did not do their best in the matter. The maintenance of the establishment seems to have been generally satisfactory, but there was some discussion as to requiring a "pettie canon" and two lay clerks, who were "gent, of his Ma^ties chappell," to provide substitutes when they were at court. The new desk was taken in hand, but they said: "for our church bookes, we conceave that noe church in England hath newer or fayerer," and went on to give particulars. As to his enforcement of the wearing of "square cappes" within the cathedral at times of service and sermons, they said that this was the usual practice of the dean and canons in residence, and that care would be taken that it should now be carried out by all.[8]

[8] These answers are published in the Fourth Report of the Historical Manuscripts Commission.

In Lansdowne MS. no. 213, at the British Museum, there is included "A relation of a short survey of the westerne counties of England, ... observed in a seven weekes journey begun at Norwich and thence into the West on Thursday, August 4th, 1635, ... by the same Lieutenant, that, with the Captaine and Ancient (Ensign) of the military company in Norwich, made a journey into the North the yeere before." It includes an interesting, rather antithetical, account by this officer of Rochester and its cathedral as they were just before the troublous times of the Civil War. He says: "As I found this Citty little and sweet, so I found her cheife and best structures correspondent to her smallnesse, which was neat and hansome, and neither great nor sumptuous. And first I'le begin with her cheife seat the Cathedrall, which was consecrated in Hen. the I. time; and though the same be but small and plaine, yet it is very lightsome and pleasant: her quire is neatly adorn'd with many small pillars of marble; her organs though small yet are they rich and neat; her quiristers though but few, yet orderly and decent." He then passes on to the deanery, the episcopal palace, and the monuments in the church. He names some of these last, and alludes to "diverse others also of antiquity, so dismembred, defac'd and abused as I was forced to leave them to some better discovery than I was able to render of them; as also the venerable shrine of St. William." John Weever, whose "Ancient funerall Monuments" was published in 1631, agrees with our Norwich lieutenant as to the dilapidated state of the older monuments in the church in his time. People are at times found, who thoughtlessly charge the Roundheads with all such defacements as these, but the above authorities clear them in many cases, though still leaving acts of "vandalism" that they are responsible for.

In "A perfect diurnall of the severall passages in our late Journey into Kent, from Aug. 19 to Sept. 3, 1642, by the appointment of both Houses of Parliament" we have an official account of the doings of the Parliamentary soldiers in this cathedral as elsewhere in the county. Of the last day of their stay in the town on their outward journey, we read: "On Wednesday, being Bartholomew Day, before we marched forth, some of our souldiers (remembring their protestation which they tooke) went to the Cathedrall about 9 or 10 of the clock, in the midst of their superstitious worship, with their singing men and boys; they (owing them no reverence) marched up to the place where the altar stood, and staying awhile, thinking they would have eased their worship, and demanded a reason of their posture, but seeing they did not, the souldiers could not forbeare any longer to wait upon their pleasure, but went about the worke they came for. First they removed the Table to its place appointed, and then tooke the seate which it stood upon, being made of deale board, having 2 or 3 steps to go up to the altar, and brake that all to pieces; it seemed the altar was so holy that the ground was not holy enough to stand upon. This being done they pluckt down the rails and left them for the poore to kindle their fires; and so left the organs to be pluckt down when we came back again, but it appeared before we came back they tooke them downe themselves. When this work was finished we then advanced towards Maidstone." At Canterbury it was far worse. There, "on Saterday morning before we departed some of our souldiers visited the great Cathedrall, and made havock of all their Popish reliques.... When they had done their pleasure we all marched to Dover." Their pleasure meant terrible injuries to this grand church.

The Cavaliers themselves agree that Rochester Cathedral suffered far less mischief than many other sacred edifices, from the bigotry of their opponents. The following passage, from a paper entitled "Mercurius Rusticus," of 1647, is quoted in "The History and Antiquities of Rochester." "In September, 1640" (apparently a mistake for August—September, 1642) "the rebels coming to Rochester, brought the same affections which they express'd at Canterbury; but in wisdom thought it not safe to give them scope here, as there; for the multitude, tho' mad enough yet were not so mad, nor stood so prepared to approve such heathenish practices. By this means the monuments of the dead, which elsewhere they brake up and violated, stood untouch'd; escocheons and arms of the nobility and gentry remained undefaced; the seats and stalls of the quire escaped breaking down; only those things which were wont to stuff up parliamentary petitions, and were branded by the leaders of the faction for popery and innovations; in these they took liberty to let loose their wild zeal: they brake down the rails about the Lord's table or altar; they seized upon the velvet of the holy table; and, in contempt of those holy misteries which were celebrated on the table, removed the table itself into a lower part of the church. To conclude with this farther addition, as I am credibly informed, they so far profaned this place as to make use of it in the quality of a tippling place, as well as dug several saw-pits, and the city joiners made frames for houses in it." Even the Royalist and Church party, therefore, allow that comparatively little damage was done here. The statement that the monuments "stood untouch'd" is especially interesting and valuable as coming from them.

The name of one despoiler is on record. In the answer by the dean and chapter to an enquiry by Bishop Warner, a certain John Wyld, a shoemaker of Rochester, is mentioned as having taken down and sold iron and brass work from some of the tombs. The Rev. S. Denne gives the following additional information,—on the testimony of "Mr. William Head, senior alderman of the city, a very antient worthy man, who died March 5, 1732,"—that the church was used as a stable by Fairfax's troops, who turned their horses' heads into the stalls in the choir.



Great efforts were made directly after the Restoration to bring the building into a decent state once more. On the 10th of April, 1661, Samuel Pepys, then on a visit of inspection to Chatham as Secretary to the Admiralty, tells, in his diary, how he went on to Rochester and "there saw the Cathedrall, which is now fitting for use, and the organ then a-tuning." The church must have been in a very bad state, for the dean and chapter reported to the bishop, in 1662, that the repairs that they had already executed had cost them L8,000, and that the defects still remaining in the fabric would need a further expenditure of not less than L5,000 to make them good. They said that they were unable to raise this sum themselves, but they remitted a quarter of the arrears due to them towards it. The under steward, Sir Henry Selby, gave up his salary for as long as should be thought fit; and several donations are recorded in the minute books, with the donors' names.

At this time Mr. Peter Stowell paved with freestone a great part of the body of the church, from the west door to the choir steps, at a cost of L100. This had been rendered necessary, probably, by the saw-pits mentioned above. He also recovered at his own expense the iron frame for the pulpit hour glass, and got back many books, records, etc., belonging to the church that were in the custody of Mr. Duke, of Aylesford. Under the Commonwealth, Stowell had for his loyalty suffered fine and imprisonment. He was joint registrar to the bishops from 1629 until his death in 1671, and was buried in the cathedral.

In 1664 the south aisle of the nave was re-cased, and in 1670 an agreement was made with Robert Cable, to take down a length of 40 feet of the north aisle wall and re-erect it from the ground.

During the reign of King Charles II. two remarkable funerals took place in the cathedral. The earlier of these was that of Cossuma Albertus, Prince of Transylvania, who, having been driven out by the Germans, came to Charles II. for succour. He is said to have been kindly received and given a sufficient maintenance. This prince was approaching Rochester on the 15th of October, 1661, when his chariot stuck fast in the mire within a mile of Strood, probably at Gad's Hill ("that woody and high old robbing hill," as our Norwich officer called it). He resolved to sleep in his coach, and was there killed, with his own hanger, and plundered by his coachman, Isaac Jacob, alias Jacques, a Jew, and his footman Casimirus Kausagi. The murderers were afterwards caught in London, and executed, the footman having confessed. Cossuma's body was found on the 19th. One arm was brought by a dog to its master, a doctor of physic of Rochester, who was out for a walk near, and a search was then instituted. Two contemporary accounts of his death and of his funeral, which took place on Tuesday, the 22nd, have been found. From one of these, in the "Mercurius Publicus" of October, 1661, the following is taken: "His body being brought to the parish of Strood was accompanied from thence to the west door of the Cathedral Church of Rochester by the Prebendaries of the said church in their formalities, with the gentry and commonalty of the said City and places adjacent, with torches before them. Near the Cathedral they were met by the choir who sung Te Deum before them; when Divine service was ended, the Choir went before the body to the grave (which was made in the body of the Church) singing Nunc dimittis. Thousands of people flockt to this Cathedral, amongst whom many gave large commendations of the Dean and Chapter, who bestowed so honourable an interment on a stranger at their own proper cost and charges." The exact site of this grave cannot be pointed out. An account of the other funeral is to be seen in the diary of John Evelyn for 1672. We there read: "June 2, Trinity Sonday, I pass'd at Rochester; and on the 5^th, there was buried in the Cathedral Mons^r Rabiniere, Reare Admiral of the French squadron, a gallant person, who died of the wounds he received in the fight. This ceremonie lay on me, which I perform'd with all the decency I could, inviting the Mayor and Aldermen to come in their formalities; Sir Jonas Atkins was there with his guards, and the Deane and Prebendaries; one of his countrymen pronouncing a funeral oration at the brink of his grave, which I caus'd to be dug in the quire." Such was the funeral of a brave ally; the English and French were then fighting together against the Dutch.[9] It is interesting to note here that the corner of his coffin, in a position such as Evelyn describes, beneath the choir, was touched when the tunnel was being made, in Sir G. Scott's time, to connect the organ with its bellows in the crypt.

[9] A longer account of the funeral was published in the Gazette at the time. Its date is given as the 6th May in the Cathedral Registers, but this must be wrong.

The steeple, a little later, had much attention devoted to it. It was in a dangerous way in 1679, and Mr. Guy, a celebrated architect, was asked to report on it. He stated that it was very ruinous and ready to break down into the church; that the plates were rotten, the girders quite rotted through, and all the lead so thin that it could not be repaired; that three corners also of the stonework were so rent and crooked that they would need to be taken down. "He supposed that the making good of the stone tower, the taking down of the old spire and putting up of a new, and to sufficiently cover the same with lead would cost L1,000 over and besides the old lead and timber." His was a very alarming statement, but he was not intrusted with the superintendence of this extensive piece of work. The dean and chapter seem to have hoped that the matter was not really quite so serious. A few months later they consulted Henry Fry, a carpenter of Westminster, and he declared that the mending of the lead and of one end of a beam at the lower end of the east side of the spire would be sufficient to keep it from falling. He was evidently skilful and honest, for with his, and some slight subsequent repairs, the spire stood for another sixty-nine years. One would think that he deserved more than the 30s. paid to him for his visit and report.

A sum of L160 was, in 1688, spent on the repairing of the old organ and on a new chair organ, a name often wrongly altered to 'choir organ.' In 1705 the nave was newly leaded, the names of Henry Turner, carpenter, Thomas Barker, plumber, and John Gamball, bricklayer, being inscribed with those of the bishop, dean, prebendaries, and verger on one of the sheets. The altar-piece of Norway oak, "plain and neat," which retained its place throughout the century, was probably constructed in 1707. A sketch of its history, with notices of the various adornments that it had at different times, will be given when the furniture of the choir is described. In 1724 a return was made to Bishop Bradford that three-quarters of the whole roof had been re-leaded within the previous twenty years, and that the rest was believed to be in good order. There was then no defect in the walls reported; the windows were said to be in good repair and the pavement also. Until 1730 the bells were rung from a loft or gallery over the steps to the choir, the approach being from Gundulf's tower. This gallery was then removed, and the vaulting of the crossing finished to match that of the south transept, which had been repaired and decorated not long before according to a plan by Mr. James. At the same time the order was given for the part of the organ screen towards the nave to be wainscoted.

Very considerable repairs and alterations were made in the choir during the years 1742-43, under the direction of Mr. Sloane. While they were in progress, for the space of a year and a quarter, the dean and chapter attended service at St. Nicholas Church. New stalls and pews were erected and the partition walls wainscoted; a pavement was laid "with Bremen and Portland stone beautifully disposed;" and an episcopal throne was presented by Bishop Wilcocks and placed opposite the pulpit, where the present throne now stands. Much white-washing was done at this time, even the numerous Purbeck marble shafts being covered with it. In 1788, however, they are mentioned as polished once more and restored to their original beauty. From shortly after the Restoration until about the time of these alterations, the inclosure of the bishop's consistory court had been situated near the west end of the south aisle of the nave. It was now removed to the Lady Chapel, where it remained until well on in the present century.

The steeple had, at last, to be rebuilt in 1749. Mr. Sloane's model of its woodwork was for many years preserved in St. William's Chapel, and has since been kept in the crypt, where it still remains, but in a very dilapidated condition. In 1763 the northern of the towers flanking the west front was considered to be in a dangerous state, and was taken down, together with the upper part of the north aisle end beside it. It was rebuilt soon afterwards. A bequest of L100, in 1765, by Dr. John Newcome, dean of the cathedral and master of St. John's College, Cambridge, towards the repair of the fabric, was probably intended to help this work. The new tower was professedly a careful reproduction of the old, but its incongruities have formed one of the reasons for the recent thorough renovation, instead of mere repairing, of the west front. It was only carried up to about half its former height, and was there, with the aisle end, finished off with battlements. This was all done before 1772, as an engraved view of the west front in that year shows. The southern tower is in this view still unlowered, but it was cut down, to match its fellow in height, soon afterwards.

For a long time previously the outer walls of the south choir aisle and south choir transept had occasioned great anxiety. They were not buttressed originally, like the similarly situated walls on the other side of the church, probably because they had the cloister and other conventual buildings to support and shelter them. Several attempts were made, in particular, to render the transept secure. A first was by the fixing of wooden ties, with large iron bolts, in the main timbers of the roof; a second, in 1751, in pursuance of advice by Mr. Sloane, by the raising of two great brick buttresses; and a third, about twenty years later, by lightening the roof. These were useful for a time, but, as the wall was still evidently declining, Mr. Mylne was consulted and, by his direction, piles of bricks were erected in the undercroft, and other methods were used to discharge the weight of the upper works. These schemes were brutal and inartistic. Though they answered their purpose for some years, they were afterwards found to be doing harm rather than good.



In his "History of Kent" (1782) Hasted gives expression to some very gloomy views as to the state of the fabric. We there read: "The whole bears venerable marks of its antiquity, but time has so far impaired the strength of the materials with which it is built, that, in all likelihood, the care and attention of the present chapter, towards the support of it, will not be sufficient to prevent the fall of great part of it, even in their time." Dr. Denne, however, thought the case, though bad, not quite so hopeless as this, and his more sanguine opinion has proved to be correct. Constant care, however, has had to be bestowed on the place.

A fine new organ was constructed for the cathedral in 1791. During the closing years of the eighteenth century or the earliest ones of the nineteenth occurred the destruction of the upper portion of Gundulf's tower, which was, before it suffered this injury, one of the most curious and interesting pieces of architecture in England. Some sketch-books of Mr. Essex, who was, in the closing years of last century, employed on restorations in the cathedral, are preserved in the Department of MSS. at the British Museum. They contain many notes on, and sketches of, the building and details in it, but nothing of interest for this history as they do not illustrate his work in the church.

Since the close of the Napoleonic wars the cathedral has passed through four busy periods of restoration. The first of these lasted from the beginning of 1825 until about 1830. Mr. L. N. Cottingham was in charge, Messrs. Bayfere, Smirke, Savage, and Twopeny being also consulted at various times. The roofs of the choir and its transept, though they had been thoroughly repaired only fourteen years before, were soon found to be quite unsafe and so eaten up with dry-rot, that it was necessary to renew them. The part of the south wall between the main transept and the chapter room was also dangerously out of the perpendicular. The great masses of brick within and triangular buttresses without, the clumsy attempts of the eighteenth-century architects to save it, had by their subsidence even increased the mischief. Cottingham removed them and built up the wall, which deviated twenty-two inches from the upright, with a face of ashlar which constituted an invisible buttress. He also found that the central tower consisted to a great extent of rubble, and was incapable of supporting the spire. He almost entirely rebuilt it from the roof, and left it in its present form, finished with corner pinnacles but without a spire. All these serious works affecting the safety of the fabric involved the setting aside, to a great extent, of restoration in an ornamental sense. The east end was, however, considerably improved by the removal of the huge altar screen that concealed much of it. He opened out and renewed the lower range of windows there, of which the central had been quite, and side ones partially, blocked with brick, and lowered the altar and its pavement, to show the bases of the chancel pillars. The ugly upper window he merely restored, and left it for Sir G. Scott to erect in its stead the more appropriate tier of lancets that now take its place. Cottingham also renewed many other windows, including the great west one, those on either side of the presbytery, and the Decorated one by the chapter room. In the nave some red brick flooring had York pavement substituted for it, and in the choir some Grecian panelling and a cornice along the side walls were removed. The stalls also were repaired, and the paint cleared off the seats in the choir. There are two other pieces of work in connection with which Cottingham's name is often mentioned. One of these was the restoration of the chapter house door, with parts of which much fault has been found. The other was not so remarkable in itself as for a great discovery that it led to. I refer to the removal, quite at the beginning of 1825, of the mass of masonry that had long concealed from view the famous monument of Bishop John de Sheppey, whose effigy was made almost perfect by the careful re-fitting of some fragments that were found. Unfortunately Cottingham had it re-coloured, though the fact seems generally forgotten.

Various other faults in Cottingham's work have since been pointed out, but at the time his restoration received much praise. On the 30th of November, 1827, we find the dean and chapter voting him an honorarium of L100, as a token of their appreciation of the ability and zeal that he had shown.

The opening years of the fourth decade of the century form our next period, during which Cottingham still had the direction of the works. He now substituted the present rich and elaborate, but not altogether praiseworthy roof of the main crossing, for the plainer one that he had placed there earlier, when he rebuilt the tower. He restored the canopy of Bishop John de Sheppey's monument, designed a new pulpit, and a new bishop's throne for the choir, and later, in 1848, was responsible for a new font in the nave. These will be described and their several fates recorded later.

To Mr. Cottingham we also owe a repair of the ceilings of the choir and nave, and a final cleaning from whitewash of the Purbeck marble shafts throughout the building. He cleared the crypt out thoroughly, lowered the ground there to the base of the columns, repaired the whole, and, especially, renewed the shafts. The organ was enlarged by Hill in 1842, at Canon Griffith's expense; and at that of his wife, in 1852, the Lady Chapel was restored.

From the year 1871 till his death in 1877 the fabric was entrusted to Sir G. Scott, and the work in it was all carried out from his designs and under his immediate superintendence. At an early stage of his work he put the clerestory of the nave in sound repair, and the western arm of the church was then used for services while the restoration of the choir was in progress. During the latter part of the time its aisle walls were underpinned. To the western transepts and crossing Scott devoted much attention, considering rightly that they formed one of the most elegant parts of the structure. He largely repaired the masonry of both the south and north transepts, underpinned the former's end, inserted some new windows in the west wall of the latter, and gave it a new doorway and massive oak door, in place of the ruinous entry that before existed. He did away with the low eighteenth century roofs and gables of both, restored the former gables, chiefly on the authority of old prints, and erected roofs of the old high pitch once more. In the south transept he made good, also, the interesting vaulting, with its oak ribs, which were decayed and threatening to fall. The spaces between them, which had been formerly boarded, he found filled only with lath and plaster. To the organ screen he gave back its original plainness, which made it rather an eyesore, as there was now no further screen in front of it, on the other side of the transept, as there had been when St. Nicholas' altar stood at the east end of the nave. For the organ a new case was made after his design, which, without any removal of the instrument or parts of it, preserves the vista of the choir. In making a tunnel to connect the organ with its bellows in the crypt, many interesting discoveries were made.

We now come to Sir G. Scott's work in the choir; it was very thorough. He restored the gables to the east end, the north transept, and the aisle of the latter, but had not funds to raise the roof to correspond. At the same time he replaced where they had been lost the curious little pinnacles that surmount the flanking turrets of the north choir transept and of the east end. The ugly, upper east window he, after some hesitation, decided to do away with, though it was in sound condition after Cottingham's repairs. In its place was erected the present group of lancets, which are certainly more appropriate, and have, with the tier below, from which he removed some inserted decorated tracery, a very pleasing effect. The high altar was removed from the east end to its old position, some distance in front, with a free passage all round. For this old situation conclusive evidence was found when the floor of the presbytery was lowered to show the bases of the piers round it. For the altar Scott himself designed its new reredos, and the greater part of the eastern arm was floored by him with encaustic tiles, though some would have preferred a pavement less showy and glittering in effect. The designs of most of these tiles were taken from a few old ones still to be seen in the choir transepts. Under his direction, too, new stalls for the dean and prebendaries were erected under the organ, and new stalls for the choir constructed. In these latter as much earlier work as possible was preserved. On the wall above them he restored a painting of which he found considerable portions still remaining there. He also designed the new pulpit, which was put in a different position to that of its predecessor, and the new throne. The earlier pulpit, by Cottingham, was removed to the nave, and the old throne went later to St. Albans. By far the greater part of the money for the work of all these three periods was found by the dean and chapter themselves, and for this they deserve great praise. The new choir furniture was, however, provided for by Dr. Griffith,—who had been formerly canon here,—and his wife, with a donation of L3,000. Earlier instances of their liberality on the building's behalf have been already given. The episcopal throne was the gift of Lord Dudley; and Dr. Claughton, then bishop of the see, gave the brass lectern in the choir.

A little later the rather plain stalls in the nave were erected by the Rev. A. Cazenove, an honorary canon, in memory of his father, who died in 1880. After the death of the late Dean Scott, the great lexicographer, it was decided to raise a memorial to him in his cathedral. The memorial took the form of a decoration of the choir screen with a series of statues under canopies. This was designed by Mr. J. L. Pearson, and, though not faultless, is a great improvement on the plain, flat wall left by Sir G. Scott.



Mr. Pearson has also been intrusted with the direction and superintendence of the last great restoration, which has been devoted chiefly to the famous west front. After its underpinning in 1888 a thorough repair of it was undertaken. This was absolutely necessary, for, in many places, the facing was leaving the core, and, in some, pieces of it had already fallen. Many of the stones needed replacing; in all such cases careful copies were substituted one by one. The great west doorway was thoroughly restored, its shafts were given separate bases once more, and new doors took the place of the old. The works, of this period also, were carried as far as possible by the dean and chapter, but on the 27th of October, 1892, an influential meeting was held at the Mansion House to find funds for their continuance. Subsequently the north flanking tower—in its then form, the work of the eighteenth century—was demolished, and entirely rebuilt for the second time, both it and its fellow being now raised again to their original height. A comparison with the illustration given on p. 26 of the front as it was in 1719, shows how careful and accurate the restoration has been. The north aisle end was at the same time restored to its old form, and the northern gable turret,—a curious specimen of fifteenth century work, which many were sorry to see disappear,—replaced by a copy of its fellow on the south.

After the death of Canon Burrows, in 1892, the new font, just within the west door, was erected by subscription, as a memorial to him.

The last piece of work that we have to record is the inclosure of a series of new vestries along the south side of the crypt. These have been paid for "with American dollars," the proceeds of Dean Hole's recent lecturing tour on the other side of the Atlantic.

The cathedral still has great and pressing needs. The most crying is, perhaps, the fitting of roofs to Sir G. Scott's gables in the eastern part, for their present isolated condition makes them unpleasantly conspicuous. This the dean is anxious to see undertaken next. A spire is also much wanted; the present tower, especially since it has been dwarfed by the raising of the transept roofs, looks scarcely worthy of a moderately important parish church, much less of a cathedral. However, when it is found possible to undertake the change, it should be remembered that Rochester is a small cathedral, and that the opposite fault to the present insignificance must also be avoided. The new spire must neither be too lofty nor too elaborate. Finally, as Sir Gilbert Scott pointed out, the parapets of the nave and its aisles are unworthy of the building, and a considerable amount of internal repair is necessary. These matters will have to be seen to as soon as the requisite funds can be found.



CHAPTER II.

THE EXTERIOR, MONASTIC BUILDINGS, ENCLOSURE, AND GATES.

Rochester lies within a bend of the Medway and is bounded by that river on the north and west. It is girt round by chalk hills, which, on the two sides mentioned, look down on it from across the stream. Its houses have now begun to climb the hills in greater numbers, but the space that used to be enclosed by the old city walls lies very low, the only piece of rising ground within their line being the mound on which the castle stands. The cathedral church is one of the smallest in England, and occupies a lowly position immediately beneath this mound and the mighty keep that crowns it. It can claim attention therefore neither by magnitude and grandeur nor by prominence of position. Its tower is, however, next to the castle keep, the most conspicuous object in the town, and this fact makes our regret the greater, that it is not more worthy of its position.

The cathedral, though unable to bear comparison in the matter of size with most others, and though by no means an imposing building, is a very interesting structure and well worthy of all the study and care bestowed upon it. It bears in itself many marks of its eventful history, and the work of finding these and solving their significance is a most attractive one. Many of its features, too, are important architecturally. The crypt, the Norman work in the nave, the great west doorway, and that leading to the chapter-room, all rank among the best examples of their respective kinds in England.

An excellent bird's-eye view of the cathedral can be obtained from the castle, either from the keep itself, or from a convenient opening in the outer wall. On the church's own level good views can be obtained of almost all the principal parts, though in some directions buildings interfere. The famous west front can be well studied from the road before it; and from a favourable position on the other side of the old cemetery, a good north-west prospect can be obtained. Passengers along the High Street are now, by the substitution of an iron railing for a former wall, enabled to gaze on the north side of the choir and the ruins of Gundulf's tower, across a stretch of turf that generally bears visible testimony to Dean Hole's love of flowers. A general view of the whole south side, together with the few remains of the monastic buildings, can be obtained from the road through the precinct; and, of the exterior of the building, the east end alone cannot be well seen except from private ground. There are other, more distant, views, which are both interesting and picturesque.

The Central Tower is the first feature to claim our attention now that we are come to the description of the exterior and its parts. The earliest tower over the crossing was raised, in 1343, by Bishop Hamo de Hythe, who crowned it with a spire of wood, covered with lead, and placed in it four bells, named Dunstan, Paulinus, Ythamar, and Lanfranc. This spire and the masonry of the tower caused great anxiety at the end of the seventeenth century, but with some not very considerable repairs then, and some slight ones later, lasted until 1749. Its height was 156 feet, but the authorities for its form do not at all agree. It is given a very uncommon shape in the north prospect by Daniel King, reproduced on p. 14. This seems to be followed by many engravings which, however, bring no additional testimony, for they do not correct great faults in other parts of it, such as the insertion of a bay too many in the nave, and the ignoring of a story in the transept ends. The north-west view from Harris's "History of Kent" (1719) makes the spire octagonal, and it appears of this form in many small sketches. Other engravings, as another view in Harris's own book, show it square, but without the peculiar treatment of the middle of each side, and with something simpler and plainer than the pairs of dormer windows in the plate by King. Some reasons may, however, be given for thinking the latter's version of the spire correct, though his engraving is elsewhere so inaccurate. Such are: (1) its abundant detail, perhaps too abundant, as others do not support his dormer windows, for instance; (2) the fact that Browne Willis, in his "Mitred Abbies," refers to this "draught" (when used to illustrate Dugdale's "Monasticon"), in preference to attempting a description himself; and (3) that the tiny view shown on the portrait engraving of Dr. Thorpe that forms the frontispiece to his "Registrum Roffense," agrees with it well when we take into consideration the smallness of its scale. The tower was square, without either battlements or corner pinnacles, and the spire rose directly from it. On the west side, it will be noticed, the blind arcading under a string course at the height of the ridges of the transept roofs, terminated downwards on the lines of a pointed gable, and we may hence conclude that the nave used to have a high-pitched roof before its present flat one.

The spire raised in 1749 was octagonal, and rose directly from the tower. It had neither parapet nor corner pinnacles to hide the transition from the square to the octagon, nor splaying to make this change less abrupt. Its form is shown in the 1816 view (p. 31), and Mr. Sloane's model of its woodwork is still to be seen in the crypt, in a very damaged state. A curious instance of the inaccuracy of some old engravings occurs in two plates by Metcalf, and by Ryland after B. Ralphe, which reproduce the same view of this cathedral, and are, apparently, only variations of the same plate. They represent the tower itself as octagonal, make it of excessive breadth, and give it three windows in each face.

The new spire was demolished, after an existence of a little less than eighty years, by Mr. Cottingham, who took down at the same time most of the old tower, and raised the present rather plain one, which bears no spire. Our illustrations render any description of the form of this tower unnecessary. It did not meet with approval, even before it was made more insignificant in appearance by Sir Gilbert Scott's heightening of the transept roofs. An apologist for Mr. Cottingham says that he was not altogether responsible for its faults, since he was compelled to modify his design, through a strong conviction among the townspeople, especially among the local builders, that he was overloading the supporting piers. He obtained expert opinion that they were capable of bearing twice the weight, but at last yielded, though he complained that by his so doing his work was spoiled.



The Bells are hung in this tower. They are six in number, and their sizes range from 34 to 52 inches. Mr. Stahlschmidt, from whose "Church Bells of Kent" the following particulars are derived, regrets that he could find nothing of the bell-history of the cathedral between 1343, the date of Bishop Hamo's four, whose names have just been given, and 1635, the year in which the present third bell was, according to its inscription, made by John Wilner. In 1683 Christopher Hodson, a London founder, re-cast the fifth and tenor bells for L120. The contract, which describes him as of St. Mary Cray, where he had probably a branch establishment, still exists, and he seems to have done the work near by, perhaps even within the precincts. The treble was re-cast by John Wood, of Chancery Lane, in 1695, at a cost of L9, and the contract for this work also is still preserved. In 1711 Richard Phelps, a well-known founder, supplied an estimate for the re-casting of a cracked bell (the fourth) weighing 15 cwt. He did not, apparently, obtain the commission, for this particular bell is recorded to have been re-cast during the next year by James Bagley, of Cripplegate, London, on behalf of his father Matthew, who was then near the end of his career. After finishing this work James, on his own and his father's behalf, warranted the bell sound, and, further, that the second, which he agreed to turn, "the striking sides being much worn," should be "as good as a new bell and retain the same note." This, the second, bell is the only one that bears no inscription; the fifth has, besides its inscription, the royal arms on its waist. The treble was again re-cast by Pack and Chapman, of London, in 1770, and in 1834 the tenor was re-made by Thomas Mears. After all these re-castings, it would be interesting to know how much old metal, from Bishop Hamo's or even older bells, the present peal still contains. Mention will be made of some very early bells when Gundulf's tower is described.

The West Front has recently been very carefully restored. Its great central window, and the flat gable above, belong to the Perpendicular period, but all the rest is either original Norman work, or as accurate a reproduction of this as possible.

In design the facade surpasses those of many cathedrals. The aisle ends, for instance, are not here, as in some cases, carried as screens to a greater height than is structurally necessary. This is more correct and, at the same time, allows the flanking towers to be more imposing and effective.

The nave end, the main central portion of the front, contains the great west door, to be described later, and over it the great window, inserted during the second half of the fifteenth century. The dripstone of the window terminates in two carved heads. On each side of the doorway is a round-headed recess, and on the level of the door-arch, and interrupted by it, runs a row of blind arcading, the shafts of which rise from plinths, that project in carved heads from an elaborate string course. The first complete bays of this arcade, on the north and south sides of the door, contain niches, within which statues of two bishops, Gundulf and John of Canterbury, were placed, in 1894, by the Freemasons of Kent. These statues are not at all worthy of praise. The space between the heads of the arcade and the decorated string course, crossing at the level of the window sill, is filled with a diaper pattern. There are three more blind arcades above, all interrupted by the window, before we come to those that run round the gable turrets. The lowest has a band of chevron moulding crossing the tops of its shafts, while carvings fill the lunettes in its heads. Next come two rows of a double interlacing fret, and then another string course, from which the second row of arcading springs. This has semicircular heads, with zigzag ornament, and a double series of intersecting arches above, like an arcade on Anselm's Tower at Canterbury. The topmost arcade of the three rises over another string course and is round-headed like the rest. Its arches do not, however, like theirs, run on continuously but form two groups of two on each side. The crenellated gable parapet rises from a string course with five sculptured masks, and has plain shields on its battlements. Of the gable turrets the northern has, in the last restoration, been made to match the southern. Both are now octagonal, and have two arcaded stories. Their tops are pyramidal, and ribs run down the edges from the curious conical cap, which crowns the apex of each.

The aisle ends stand back somewhat. Each has a lofty, ornamented arch, rising to the height of the sill of the central window, and containing, recessed within its upper part, a semicircular headed window. We see, higher up on each side, a single narrow light, and higher still an arcaded lean-to. At the end of the north aisle is a pointed doorway, inserted for the use of St. Nicholas' parishioners in 1327.

We will now conclude our account of the front in its present form, with a description of its flanking towers. The northern is square for its whole height, and has four rows, one above the other, of blind arcading. The southern, with the same number of arcades, is also square in its lower portion, but, for the two upper rows becomes octagonal, and finally terminates in an octagonal pyramid. The spire of its fellow on the north can scarcely be called octagonal; it is square, with the angles only slightly cut down, and with slight splaying at its base. On the summits of both are curious conical caps (like those described as surmounting the gable turrets), from which ribs run down the angles. The arcades are continued round the outer sides of the lower parts of the towers, and right round when the roofs of the aisles are passed. The heads of all the arches are as usual semicircular, and the second arcade from the top is filled with a diaper of semicircles arranged in a curious scale-like pattern.

Generally, as we have said, except for the great Perpendicular window and the gable above it, the front shows the design of the later Norman builders. The window that they constructed in it was possibly wheel-shaped, but we have no representation of the cathedral previous to its supplanting. The parts of the front that show their old form now have not, however, all continuously retained it. At the time of the erection of the Perpendicular clerestory to the nave, the northern gable turret was rebuilt in the curiously plain, octagonal, flat-topped form, which the oldest engravings of the front illustrate. It has only quite recently been altered again to the earlier shape of its fellow on the south; and is the only feature in which there is any conspicuous difference between the front as now seen and as shown in our early eighteenth century view. An earlier, seventeenth-century view exists, in which, if it were not so inaccurate, the front would have the same appearance. In this, however, as in his north prospect, Daniel King shows his great liability to err. We can point to the insertion of one tier of arcading too many in the central portion of the front, and to the omission of the windows at the ends of the aisles, as well as of the small door.

1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse