Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Winchester - A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Episcopal See
by Philip Walsingham Sergeant
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Transcriber's note:

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

2. Inconsistencies in hyphenation or the spelling of proper names and dialect or obsolete word spellings have been left as they were in the original.


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


PHILIP W. SERGEANT Late Scholar of Trinity College, Oxford

With Fifty Illustrations

London George Bell & Sons 1899 First Published, Jan. 1898 Second Edition, Revised 1899

W. H. White and Co. Limited

Riverside Press, Edinburgh


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

To specify all the authorities which have been made use of in each case would be difficult and tedious in this place. But amongst the general sources of information which have been almost invariably found useful are:—(1) the great county histories, the value of which, especially in questions of genealogy and local records, is generally recognised; (2) the numerous papers by experts which appear from time to time in the Transactions of the Antiquarian and Archaeological Societies; (3) the important documents made accessible in the series issued by the Master of the Rolls; (4) the well-known works of Britton and Willis on the English Cathedrals; and (5) the 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, E.F. STRANGE, Editors of the Series.


It would be useless to attempt to record all the sources of information to which it has been necessary to have recourse in preparing this short account of Winchester Cathedral and its history; but I should like to acknowledge the main portion of the debt. "The Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain in 1845" must, of course, take the first place, for to Willis's paper every one must go who wishes to know the cathedral well. Britton's "Cathedrals," Browne Willis's "Survey of the Cathedrals," and Woodward's "History of Hampshire," with the more recent Diocesan History of Winchester by Canon Benham, and the "Winchester Cathedral Records" of various dates, have been of great service. An article in the Builder of October 1, 1892, and one on St Cross in Architecture for November 1896, must also be mentioned. Above all, I am glad to be able to express my gratitude to one of the editors of this series, Mr Gleeson White, without whose assistance this account would never have been commenced. The engraving of the iron grill-work is reproduced from Mr Starkie Gardiner's "Iron-work," Vol. I., by permission of the Science and Art Department, South Kensington.



CHAPTER I.—History of the Cathedral 3

CHAPTER II.—The Cathedral Building and Close 16 The Exterior 19 The West Front 20 The North and South Sides 26 The Central Tower 27 The Transepts 27 The East End 28

CHAPTER III.—The Interior 33 The Nave 34 The Minstrels' Gallery 40 The Grill-work 43 The Norman Font 44 Wykeham's Chantry 46 Edingdon's Chantry 50 The Choir 50 The Tomb of "William Rufus" 52 The Reredos 55 The Transepts 61 North Transept 65 South Transept 65 The Library 71 The Feretory 72 The Holy Hole 72 Gardiner's and Fox's Chantries 74 The Mortuary Chests 76 The Retro-choir and its Chantries 79 The Lady Chapel 84 The Guardian Angels and Langton Chapels 90 The Crypts 93 The Stained Glass 94

CHAPTER IV.—History of the See 96

CHAPTER V.—The Bishops of Winchester 101

CHAPTER VI.—Other Institutions connected with the Cathedral 118


PAGE The Cathedral from the North-West Frontispiece The Deanery 2 Old View of the North Side of the Cathedral 11 Monument to Bishop Ethelmar 15 The Cathedral from the Deanery Gardens 19 The West Front 21 North-West Bay—Exterior 25 East End—Exterior 29 Nave, showing Screen before Restoration 31 Transformation of the Nave 35 The Nave, looking East 37 The Nave, looking West 39 The Grill-work from S. Swithun's Shrine 41 The Norman Font 45 William of Wykeham's Chantry 47 The Choir, looking East 51 The Choir Stalls 53 The Altar and Reredos 57 The North Transept 59 View in North Transept 63 Door to Henry de Blois' Treasury 66 Bishop Wilberforce's Monument 67 South Aisle, from Transept 69 Back of Feretory, with Bishop Gardiner's Chantry 73 Bishop Fox's Chantry and Details 75, 76 South Aisle of Retro-choir 77 Cardinal Beaufort's Chantry 81 The Lady Chapel 85 Details of Lady Chapel 85 Bishop Langton's Chapel and Details 89, 90 Queen Mary's Chair 91 Mortuary Chest in Choir 95 Carving on Choir Stalls 111 Details of Font 117 Winchester College: "School" 119 Winchester College: The Outer Gateway 120 Winchester College: Chantry Chapel 121 Winchester College: Inscription and The Trusty Servant 122, 123 St Cross from the South 124 St Cross from the Quadrangle 125 St Cross: East End from Nave 126 County Hall with Round Table 127 The City Cross 129 Tombstone in Churchyard 131 The West Gate 132 PLANS OF THE CATHEDRAL AND CRYPTS 134, 135




Unlike many of our cathedral cities, "Royal" Winchester has a secular history of the greatest importance, which not only is almost inextricably interwoven with the ecclesiastical annals down to a comparatively recent date, but should at times occupy the foremost position in the records of the place. To attempt, however, to trace the story of the city as well as that of the cathedral would be to recapitulate the most important facts of the history of England during those centuries when Winchester was its capital town. Its civic importance, indeed, was not dependent upon the cathedral alone, for before the introduction of Christianity into the island Winchester was undoubtedly the principal place in the south of England. The Roman occupation, though it seems a mere incident in its record, lasted over three centuries, about as long as from the reign of Henry VIII. to that of Queen Victoria. Richard Warner (1795) sums up the various names of Winchester when he speaks of "the metropolis of the British Belgae, called by Ptolemy and Antoninus Venta Belgarum; by the Welch or modern Britons, Caer Gwent; and by the old Saxons, Wintancester; by the Latin writers, Wintonia" ("Collections for the History of Hampshire").

Even, therefore, when we read the account of the legendary king of the Britons, Lucius, founding a great church at Winchester in A.D. 164, we do not touch the source of its fame, nor have we discovered the record of the first building devoted to religious worship on the site of the present cathedral. How far certain references to early pagan temples may be trusted does not here concern us; but at Christchurch Priory, some thirty-five miles to the south-west in the same diocese, bones "supposed to be those of sacrificial birds" have been exhumed on the site of its church. There was, however, a relapse into paganism after the first dedication of the Christian building, so that there can be no certainty about the date of such discoveries.

On the authority of Vigilantius' "De Basilica Petri" (i.e. at Wynton or Winchester), quoted by Rudborne in "Anglia Sacra," John of Exeter, and other writers, we have it that a great church was rebuilt from its foundations at Caergwent by Lucius after his conversion in A.D. 164; and that he erected also smaller buildings with an oratory, refectory, and dormitory for the temporary abode of the monks until the monastery itself should be completed. Quotations from another lost author, Moracius, provide us with the dimensions of this edifice, the length being variously given as 209 and 200 passus, the breadth as 80 and 130, while the tower was 92 passus in height. This church, it was said, was dedicated to S. Saviour in November 169, and endowed with property formerly held by the pagan priests. "The site of the monastery to the east of the church was 100 passus in length toward the old temple of Concord and 40 in breadth to the new temple of Apollo. The north position was 160 in length and 98 in breadth. To the west of the church it was 90 in length and 100 in breadth, to the south 405 in length and 580 in breadth." Willis, from whom the above dimensions are quoted, does not attempt to reconcile the figures except in so far as he suggests pedes for passus, substituting one foot for five. During the persecution of the Christians by Diocletian in A.D. 266 the buildings were destroyed; and the new church, dedicated to "S. Amphibalus," who was said to be one of the martyrs in that persecution, was not so large as its predecessor. In writers of the period we find occasional references to the "Vetus Coenobium" or old monastery at Winchester. The new building was not destined to remain long undisturbed in the service for which it was intended, for when Cerdic, King of the West Saxons, was crowned at Winchester and the pagans once more gained the ascendancy, the monks were slaughtered and the church, devoted to other rites, remained a temple of "Dagon" from 516 to 635. In the latter year S. Birinus, in pursuance of his mission from Honorius to "scatter the seeds of the holy faith in those farthest inland territories of the English which no teacher had yet visited," converted King Cynegils to Christianity. This king intended to erect a great new church, and, with that end in view, destroyed the desecrated building and granted the law for seven miles round to the monks whom he destined to take possession of the new building. He died, however, within six years of his conversion, and was buried before the altar of the partly-erected church. His son Cenwalh therefore completed the building, which S. Birinus dedicated to Christ in honour of the Holy and Indivisible Trinity. Birinus was followed by Aegelberht, afterwards Bishop of Paris, who resigned in 662; Wina, who died as Bishop of London, ejected in 666; and Eleutherius, who died in 676.

So far the see was not at Winchester, but was temporarily placed at Dorchester in Oxfordshire. Under Hedda, the fourth successor of S. Birinus, the seat was at last moved to Winchester, in accordance with the intention of the royal founder, and at the same time the body of the saint, which had hitherto rested at Dorchester, was removed to the cathedral city. King Cenwalh himself also on his death was buried in the building which he had completed.

Practically nothing is known of the actual Saxon building, and the very legends are scanty. We learn that the city was ravaged by the Danes two years after the death of S. Swithun, but the cathedral itself appears fortunately to have escaped damage.

The bishopric of Athelwold, commencing with his consecration by Dunstan on November 29, A.D. 963, has more importance in the history of the cathedral than that of his immediate predecessors. He was chosen by King Edgar to undertake the work of a new monastery in which the king took such pleasure that he is said to have measured the foundations himself. This work carried out at Winchester by Athelwold is described at great length in a Latin poem by Wolstan. No doubt the florid eulogy of the poem is open to grave suspicion where it concerns the details of the building, but, even when we make full allowance for poetic exaggeration, the church appears certainly to have been a large and important one. The poem in its first form is reproduced in Mabillon's version of Wolstan's "Life of S. Athelwold," but in its entirety it consists of an epistle of over 300 lines to Bishop Elphege Athelwold's successor. Some passages deserve quotation. "He built," says Wolstan, "all these dwelling places with strong walls. He covered them with roofs and clothed them with beauty. He repaired the courts of the old temple with lofty walls and new roofs and strengthened it at the north and south sides with solid aisles and various arches. He added also many chapels, with sacred altars which distract attention from the threshold of the church, so that the stranger walking in the courts is at a loss where to turn, seeing on all sides doors open to him, without a certain path. He stands with wondering eyes until some experienced guide conducts him to the portals of the farthest vestibule. Here marvelling he crosses himself and knows not how to quit, so dazzling is the construction and so brilliant the variety of the fabric that sustains this ancient church, which that devout father himself strengthened, roofed, endowed, and dedicated." Later Wolstan speaks of Athelwold's addition of "secret crypts," of "such organs that the like were never seen," of a sparkling tower reflecting from heaven the sun's first rays, "with at its top a rod with golden balls and a mighty golden cock which as it turns boldly sets its face to every wind that blows." More might be quoted, but it is sufficient here to refer those interested in the matter either to the chronicle itself or to Willis in the "Proceedings of the Architectural Institute" for 1845. Though Wolstan thus describes Athelwold's undertaking at great length, it does not appear that the bishop actually did more than commence the restoration of the original buildings, for his successor is exhorted in the letter to carry out Athelwold's design. The chronicler Rudborne makes mention only of the dedication of a minster in honour of the Apostles Peter and Paul, in the presence of King Aethelred, Archbishop Dunstan and eight other bishops, on October 20, 980 A.D. John of Exeter ascribes to Athelwold the entire rebuilding of the cathedral, but the Winchester annalist does not mention Athelwold's great works.

From Athelwold's death to the succession of Walkelin the history of the cathedral is little more than a record of its bishops; but with Walkelin we reach a very important epoch in its existence. In 1079, the Winchester Annals relate, this bishop began to rebuild the cathedral from its very foundations, as was commonly done by the Norman ecclesiastics of the time. According to this account, it was in 1086 that the king granted Walkelin, for the completion of his new building, as much wood from the forest of Hempage (three miles distant from the city on the Alresford road) as he could cut in four days and nights. Walkelin collected all the men he could, and within the given time removed the whole forest. The king, passing its site, cried: "Am I bewitched? or have I taken leave of my senses?" But the bishop, when he heard of his anger, pleaded to be allowed to resign the see if he might but keep the chaplaincy and the king's favour. At this William relented, saying: "I was as much too liberal in my grant as you were too greedy in availing yourself of it" (Willis). In 1093 the new church was formally consecrated, and on April 8, "in the presence of almost all the bishops and abbots of England, the monks came with the highest exultation and glory from the old minster to the new one: on the Feast of S. Swithun they went in procession from the new minster to the old one and brought thence S. Swithun's shrine and placed it with honour in the new buildings; and on the following day Bishop Walkelin's men first began to pull down the old minster, and before the end of the year they demolished the whole of it, with the exception of one apse and the high altar." When the old high altar was pulled down, we are told, "the relics of many saints were found." The cathedral, as Walkelin designed it, was for the most part so strong that its core and much of its actual work remains to this day; but the central tower lacked the stability of the rest, for on October 7, 1107, during the vacancy which occurred after Walkelin's death, it fell. The monkish chroniclers attributed the fall to the fact that William Rufus, "who all his life had been profane and sensual and had expired without the Christian viaticum" (Rudborne), was interred beneath it in 1100. William of Malmesbury, however, with a degree of incredulity rare in his days, says it may have been that it would have fallen in any case "through imperfect construction." He describes the burial thus:—"A few countrymen conveyed the body, placed on a cart, to the cathedral of Winchester, the blood dripping from it all the way. Here it was committed to the ground within the tower, attended by many of the nobility, but lamented by few. The next year the tower fell; though I forbear to mention the different opinions on this subject, lest I should seem to assent too readily to unsupported trifles."

After Walkelin's death the history of the building is lost sight of for some time, owing to the continual disturbances which all England was undergoing. With De Lucy's accession, however, in 1189, considerable additions were made to the cathedral, in the form of the Early English retro-choir, of which the details are given later in this volume. De Lucy's work, it has been pointed out, was carried out in such a way as to leave the Norman building undisturbed as long as it was practicable to do so, the circular apse being left in situ until the new external walls had been erected, while the presbytery itself was not touched until the Decorated Period set in. De Lucy would doubtless have made further alterations but for his death in 1204. As it was, two years before that event he instituted a confraternity to carry on his work for the space of five years, and to this body is due some of the work which is attributed loosely to him.

It was during De Lucy's tenure of Winchester that Richard was re-crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury after his return from captivity. He passed the night before at S. Swithun's Priory, and was brought thence in the morning to the Cathedral "clothed in his royal robes, with the crown upon his head, holding in his right hand a royal sceptre which terminated in a cross, and in his left hand a golden wand with a figure of a dove at the top of it, ... being conducted on the right hand by his chancellor, the Bishop of Ely, and on the left by the Bishop of London" (Roger de Hoveden). The Bishop of Winchester himself does not seem to have been present, probably on account of a dispute with the king.

Another period of disturbance follows the comparatively quiet rule of Bishop De Lucy, and it is not until we reach 1346 that we come to a fresh outburst of architectural zeal on the part of the incumbents of Winchester. But Edingdon, and still more his successor Wykeham, left very lasting monuments of their occupancy at Winchester. It must not be forgotten that, while to Wykeham is due the credit of most of the actual transformation of the building, Edingdon must have first conceived, however vaguely, the design. Edingdon's attachment to Winchester is well illustrated by his quaint reason for refusing the offer of Canterbury: "if Canterbury is the higher rack, Winchester is the better manger." He is, indeed, charged with having left a considerable debt on the building, since his successor seems to have recovered a large sum from his executors, who had also to compensate Wykeham for large numbers of cattle which had "disappeared from the various farms of the bishopric." Yet it appears from Edingdon's own will that he began rebuilding the nave and left money for the continuation of the work.

Wykeham, as we shall see, had already a reputation for architectural skill when first introduced to Edward III., and this reputation stood him in good stead in the matter of preferment. When he was elected to Winchester he found the bishop's palaces of Farnham, Wolvesey, Waltham, and Southwark in a very dilapidated condition, and he set these in order before he turned his attention to anything else. New College, Oxford, and Winchester College practically occupied him up to 1393; whilst his work in the cathedral was really the last great undertaking of his life, inasmuch as it was not finished at the time of his death. The actual method of Wykeham's transformation of the interior is described more fully elsewhere, and we will not therefore do more than quote a few words from Willis on the work done. "The old Norman cathedral was cast nearly throughout its length and breadth into a new form; the double tier of arches in its peristyle was turned into one, by the removal of the lower arch, and clothed with Caen casings in the Perpendicular style. The old wooden ceilings were replaced with stone vaultings, enriched with elegant carvings and cognizances. Scarcely less than a total rebuilding is involved in this hazardous and expensive operation, carried on during ten years with a systematic order worthy of remark and imitation.... Judging from the provision of his will of the expenditure for the last year and a half, the cost of this great work to the bishop in present money cannot be estimated at less than L200,000."

Wykeham's successor, Beaufort, was far less a bishop of Winchester than an English statesman. His contributions to the architecture of his see are very small. He did indeed so add to the hospital of St Cross as to make it almost a new foundation; but in the cathedral he only left one monument, though this Milner styles the "most elegant and finished chantry in the kingdom," lying on the south side of the retro-choir. Waynflete, who followed him, left another fine chantry in a corresponding position to the north. Under Bishops Peter Courtenay and Thomas Langton, the latter of whom has his chapel at the east end, next the Lady Chapel, considerable additions were made to the architecture of the cathedral, though most of the credit is due to the priors Hunton and Silkstede, who seem to have been chiefly responsible for the new work. This included a prolongation of De Lucy's Lady Chapel, carried out in all probability between the years 1470 and 1524; and the erection of the present side aisles of the presbytery, in place of the original Norman aisles. In the latter year (1524) the side screens of the presbytery were added by Bishop Fox, whose motto can be read on them. The work of Fox, whose chapel is behind the reredos to the south, began in 1510, and was carried out under early Renaissance influence. He found the choir and presbytery converted, to a great extent, to the Decorated style, though the Norman aisles remained. He completed the transformation, adding the above-mentioned screens, together with a wooden vaulting. He would probably have also replaced with his own work De Lucy's additions at the east end and the Norman transepts, had he but had the time. This, however, he did not live long enough to do, for he died in 1528. Roughly speaking, his work lies between the transepts and the Early English east end.

The Reformation Period did not benefit much to the architectural features of Winchester Cathedral, while it most certainly did them harm. "The bones of S. Swithun," says Woodward, "were doubtless lost at the Reformation, when his costly shrine was taken from the feretory, where it stood so long, and destroyed." The period was now at hand when many seem to have considered it a religious duty to destroy monuments, or at least deface them; and Winchester, though it suffered less than many churches, by no means escaped damage. Under Stephen Gardiner, however, no great evil befell the building. Gardiner's own chantry behind the reredos commemorates his connection with the cathedral, and distinctly illustrates the inferior taste of his day, when compared with the earlier tombs about him; though it might easily have been far worse. The Puritans maltreated it on other grounds than those of taste, it is to be feared. It was during Bishop Gardiner's tenure of the see that Philip of Spain and Mary were married at Winchester. Contemporary records by a Spaniard in Philip's suite, and by an English observer of the same date, recently revealed to us by Mr Martin A.S. Hume, set forth the story of the marriage most vividly. The king arrived from Southampton in a storm of rain, and "donned a black velvet surcoat covered with gold bugles and a suit of white velvet trimmed in the same way, and thus he entered, passing the usual red-clothed kneeling aldermen with gold keys on cushions, and then to the grand cathedral, which impressed the Spaniards with wonder, and above all to find that 'Mass was as solemnly sung there as at Toledo.' A little crowd of mitred bishops stood at the great west door, crosses raised and censers swinging, and in solemn procession to the high altar, under a velvet canopy, they led the man whom they looked upon as God's chosen instrument to permanently restore their faith in England." Two days after the wedding took place. Great attention is paid to the clothes by both English and Spanish narrators, and the ceremony and dresses were very magnificent; the Queen's ladies "looked more like celestial angels than mortal creatures." The Queen, we are told, blazed with jewels to such an extent that the eye was blinded as it looked upon her; her dress was of black velvet flashing with gems, and a splendid mantle of cloth of gold fell from her shoulders; but through the Mass that followed the marriage service she never took her eyes off the crucifix upon which they were devoutly fixed. The marriage took place in the July of 1554, and the chair used by Queen Mary is now standing in Bishop Langton's chapel.

Some stormy years at the end of Gardiner's interrupted episcopacy and during the rule of his immediate successors did not much affect Winchester externally; but under Robert Horne the whole diocese suffered terribly through the "Puritanical" views of its bishop. The Norman chapter-house was pulled down, part of the lead on the cathedral roof was stripped off, and stained glass, architectural decorations, etc., throughout the neighbourhood were ruthlessly destroyed. However, after a short period of comparative peace, far worse had yet to come. Under James I. and during the early part of the reign of Charles I., little happened to the building beyond the institution of Curle's passage through the buttress at the southern end of the cathedral, with its quaint inscription on the western wall. The Great Rebellion, as was only to be expected, brought Winchester into the utmost peril. The important situation of the town in the south of England caused it to become the centre of much hard fighting. Sir William Waller, whom Winchester has no cause to remember with affection, came very near to destroying the interior of the cathedral entirely. His troops marched right up the nave in full war equipment, some even being mounted. Tombs were defaced, relics scattered, statues mutilated, stained glass smashed, and the more portable objects carried out into the streets. It is difficult to estimate with any exactitude what was the whole extent of the damage done; but we have sufficient testimony in the broken figures, empty niches, etc., to see that it was great. One highly creditable incident in the midst of the general disgrace has been recorded—namely, the preservation from insult of Wykeham's chantry. This was the work of a Colonel Fiennes, who had been educated at Wykeham's College at Winchester. The protests of the inhabitants seem to have finally induced Waller to call off his fanatical troops from their work of destruction and violation. What might have happened to the cathedral, had this not been done, it is quite impossible to imagine. "Of the brass torn from the violated monuments" in 1644 "might have been built a house as strong as the brazen towers of old romances" (Ryves's "Mercurius Rusticus" quoted by Milner).

Here the architectural history of Winchester Cathedral practically ends. We find tombs and memorial brasses of all dates, but until the modern restorations nothing of importance affected the actual appearance of the church. Among the few examples of Jacobean work to be seen within, the nave pulpit can hardly be classed, since it was brought from New College Chapel at Oxford as late as 1884. The two statues of James I. and Charles I. by the west door are the work of Hubert le Sueur, who came to England in 1628. The urns which were supposed in the last century to decorate the reredos have long ago been removed, as has also the gilt Jacobean canopy which formerly disfigured the centre of this screen; but Benjamin West's "Raising of Lazarus" still remains above the altar.

This century's work in the cathedral is not very formidable in its extent. All of it is mentioned elsewhere in this book, and it is sufficient here to say that the erection of Sir G. Scott's choir-screen and the restoration of the reredos are the most noticeable "modern" features, though the latter was carried out on the old lines as nearly as was thought advisable. Sir G. Scott's additions to Winchester have by no means given universal satisfaction, severe language having been applied to them by more than one expert. The most recent alterations have consisted chiefly of a very necessary, though costly, strengthening of the nave roof. This work is, of course, invisible from the ground level, but can be reached from the stair in the south transept. A repair of the organ has also been provided for, and new glass has been inserted in the large south window of the Lady Chapel, in memory of Bishop Thorold.



Before any detailed consideration of the architecture of the cathedral, it is well to be clear as to the various dates of the chief parts. But it must here be remembered that practically in every instance the now existing portions replaced still earlier structures on the same site. Mention has been made already of the changes from the original building to the one commenced in the eleventh century. In 1079 Bishop Walkelin laid the foundations of a great Norman church, of which the transepts, the outer face of the south nave wall, the core of the nave itself, the crypts, and a portion of the base of the west front are still existing. Walkelin's work was completed in fourteen years, just before the end of 1093. The tower fell in 1107, but was rebuilt soon afterwards in the form which we now see it. Bishop de Lucy's work, which came next in date (1189-1204), includes the Chapel of the Guardian Angels, flanking the Lady Chapel, at the north-east end of the cathedral, and the corresponding chapel on the south-east, which afterwards became the chantry of Bishop Langton. The piers of the presbytery probably date from about 1320. The west front was rebuilt in Edingdon's time (1345-1366), and a small part of the reconstruction of the nave, the first two bays of the north aisle, and a bay of the south are generally attributed to him. The great re-modelling of the nave, the outer walls of the presbytery, and the continuation of the Lady Chapel range in date of completion from the end of the fourteenth to the sixteenth century. So much, however, of each period has been altered, and often modified almost beyond recognition by later additions, that it is impossible to make more than a rough guess at the age of the various portions. The work of Wykeham and his successors is so important that it must be left until we reach it in its proper place.

The ground covered by the actual building is one and a half acres in extent. The close is fine and extensive, and is surrounded by a high and stout wall which marks the limits of the old Benedictine monastery. The houses within the close are of widely different dates, from the Early English period to recent years. They comprise the official residences of the dean and the canons, together with some private houses. The changes made from time to time in the distribution of the ground have involved the disappearance of the old priory buildings, and it is not possible to trace with certainty their original form. The laying out of the close has concealed the ground plan of the cloisters which once adjoined the cathedral. What is now called by the name is the passage between the south transept and the former chapter-house, which was pulled down in 1570 by the destructive Bishop Horne, in order, it is said, that the lead in the roof might be sold. Five extremely fine Early Norman arches which were once part of the chapter-house still remain, and may be seen in a line with the end of the slype, beyond the south transept. Some traces of small arches on what is now the extreme outer wall of the transept mark where arcading once ran along the inner wall of the chapter-house. No vestige of the roof remains. The "slype" is a passage which was cut through the southern buttress by Bishop Curle, to put a stop to the constant use of the nave and south aisle as a thoroughfare by the townspeople. The anagrams on the walls commemorate the purpose of the passage; the first, on the western arch, reading:—


and that over the eastern arch:—

/ACR S ILL CH / SA >IT >A >ORO[1] / / / / ERV/ S/ IST/ F/

In the angle of an old extension of the chapter-house south wall are traces of the dormitory and infirmary which formerly stood there. The Early English doorway with Purbeck marble shafts seems to have led to this dormitory. To the south of this is the deanery or prior's hall, the acute external arches, which date from the reign of Henry III., forming a vestibule with a southern aspect, while above are some narrow lancet-windows. Although the original portion of this hall dates from the fifteenth century, it was considerably altered in the seventeenth, during the second Charles's reign. This king himself sometimes stayed at the deanery, where Philip of Spain lodged for one night before his marriage. Over a wooden building, which now serves as the dean's stables, is an ornamental timber roof of late thirteenth-century work, which was once part of the old pilgrims' or strangers' hall originally standing in this part of the close for the benefit of pilgrims to the shrine of S. Swithun.

[1] Illac precator, hac viator ambula (That way thou that prayest, this way thou that passest by, walk); Sacra sit illa choro, serva sit ista foro (That way is sacred to the Choir, that for use to the market-place).

In the south wall of the cathedral, close to the west front, there is a doorway which is reported to have led to the chapel and charnel-house mentioned by Leland. "S. Swithin, now called Trinity," he says, "stands on the south side of the town, and there is a chapelle with a carnarie at the west end of it." S. Swithin is, of course, the cathedral itself. Leland's other carnary, which must not be confused with this, was attached to a chapel "on the north side of S. Mary Abbey church at Winchester, in an area thereby, on which men entre by a certen steppes. One Inkepenne, a gentilman that berith in his shield a scheker sylver and sables, was founder of it. There be three tumbes of marble of prestes custodes of the chapelle."

Among the old houses which have vanished from the close is one in which Charles II. in vain requested Bishop Ken to allow Nell Gwynne to lodge; and one which was erected for her and not pulled down until this century. The cathedral precincts, however, still contain on the southern side several buildings well worthy of notice. A picturesque house yet standing is that which was known by the name of Cheyney Court. It now serves as a porter's lodge, and stands by the wooden-doored gateway which opens into Kingsgate Street. The doors are supposed to have come down to us from the thirteenth century. Previously this lodge was the courthouse of the Soke of Winchester, and the centre of the episcopal jurisdiction here. The old timbered front, with its barge-boards, was in 1886 concealed behind a rough-cast cement coating, but in that year this was fortunately stripped away, and the present charming aspect revealed to the eye.

The Exterior.—It would be difficult to deny that the exterior of Winchester Cathedral is disappointing, and few are likely to echo the opinion of an over-zealous admirer of the building who said that the longer one looks at it the more one feels the low central tower to be the only kind that would suit the huge proportions of the building. On the contrary, it may be said that it is impossible to look at Winchester without a feeling of regret that the superb mass of the great fabric, the largest mediaeval church in England since the destruction of old S. Paul's, is not crowned by a loftier central tower. There is a legend to the effect that there were seven towers in the original design—the central one, two at the west end, and one at each angle of the transepts; and this seems to be supported by the solid character of some of the piers in the transepts. Yet, despite the rather ungraceful outline of the whole building, when its mere size is realised, it gradually asserts its importance and incontrovertibly proves its right to be considered one of the very finest structures in England.

It will not be out of place to quote a short criticism which sums up the external qualities of the cathedral in a concise way:—"With the exception of portions of the late work in the presbytery, the exterior of Winchester is severe in treatment, and plain wall-space plays an important part in the design. Plain parapets and simply treated pinnacles characterise the work of the nave. The Norman transepts are externally but little altered, except by the insertion of Decorated windows to give more light to the altars in their eastern aisles; and De Lucy's work eastwards is, compared with some work of its date, simple in the extreme. Rather more elaboration was bestowed on the design of the new eastern bay of the Lady Chapel by Prior Silkstede and Bishop Courtenay; but, taken as a whole, Winchester has one of the simplest exteriors for its size and importance in the country" ("Winchester Cathedral" in The Builder for October 1892).

The ground-plan of Winchester Cathedral is in the form of a plain Latin cross, hardly broken in its outline save by the Perpendicular prolongation of the Lady Chapel at the east end. But, simple as is the plan, "the great length of the church" (to use the words of Fergusson) "is pleasingly broken ... by the bold projection of its transepts, which here extend, as usual in England, three bays beyond the aisles, their section being the same width as that of the nave." The width of the nave with the aisles is 88 feet, while the transepts measure, from east to west, 81 feet. The total length has already been given as 556, and the width from north to south across the transepts is 230 feet. The altitude of the walls is 75 feet, which is a foot less than at Peterborough, though three more than at Ely.

The West Front, the work of Bishop Edingdon, has been roughly handled by its critics, though Britton calls it a fine specimen of Perpendicular architecture. The original Norman work demolished by Edingdon was, as excavations have proved, forty feet in advance of the present facade. To judge by accounts of the destroyed portions, the west front in its earlier state must have been far more imposing than it is at present, for not only is it now commonplace in mass, but even the detail has no particular charm to atone for the change. The whole of this work appears so thoroughly Perpendicular in character that it has been questioned whether at such an early date as that to which it is assigned the style can have been so far developed. Woodward, indeed, though attributing to Edingdon the walls and the principal part of the west end, declares the tracery, the fronts of the porches, and much of the panelling to be later; but a comparison of Winchester with another church undoubtedly built by this bishop, at his native town of Edingdon, in Wiltshire, supports the tradition which credits him with its erection. Besides this evidence, we have additional proof in the fact that he left by his will certain property to be devoted to the completion of the nave. Late though his work may appear at first sight, yet when it is closely examined and compared with Wykeham's work the difference is very apparent.

The whole western facade with its three bays is wanting in greatness, and its effect may be said to be that of a large parish church rather than a cathedral. Not only do we miss the western towers which are so often the most striking feature of an English west front, but the screen which masks the lower storey lacks the richness which distinguishes a somewhat similar feature at Exeter. The curiously poor appearance, notwithstanding its huge size, of the great west window is perhaps chiefly responsible for the want of dignity in the whole; nor is there, to redeem this, any delicate fancy in the tracery. The "merest stone grating" Willis terms the window, and though from so warm a panegyrist of the church this seems a severe criticism, no one can traverse his opinion.

By way of further proof that the west front was Edingdon's work, Willis points out that, while in Wykeham's panels the masonry itself is carefully finished, and the same stones used for the ground of the panel and its mouldings, in Edingdon's work the monials and tracery alone exhibit good masonry, the panels being filled with rough ashlar. By other tests, too technical to quote here, the same critic makes it clear that the west front, with two compartments of the nave on the north and one to the south, must be attributed to Edingdon, though he probably did not finish the gable and turrets, which seem to be the work of Wykeham. The present state shows a gable rising in the centre, flanked by octagonal pinnacle turrets. On the apex of this gable is a canopied finial containing a niche wherein now stands a figure of William of Wykeham, the original statue, which was supposed to represent S. Swithun, having been removed to the feretory when the west front was restored in 1860 at a cost of L3000. The triangle of the gable is filled with tracery, the lower part of the central panels in which serve as a smaller square-headed six-light window above the parapet which crosses at the head of the great nine-light window. Buttresses assist in supporting the two towers, and lesser ones project to hide the sides of the porch, which, pierced by three doorways and crowned by a parapet, extends along the whole lower storey, across the nave and both aisles. Above the screen the pitched roofs of aisles may be seen. The bays containing the side windows, of four lights each, accord in style with the large central one, having also wall tracery in panels over the comparatively small surface of unpierced wall. The screen itself has three deeply-recessed portals with pointed arches, and a large canopied empty niche on each side of the main entrance.

The central doorway is divided by a clustered shaft, where from spring two cinquefoil arches. The recessed portal has a groined roof, with an arcade of cusped arches on the main west wall, broken by the doorways which give admission to the nave. A pierced balcony of simple design crowns the whole of the screen and forms a gallery which is said to have been used for bestowing episcopal benedictions to the people outside the cathedral on festival days.

The excavations which brought to light the old foundations of the original west front showed "a wall of 128 feet from north to south, and 12 feet thick, with returns at each end of the same thickness 60 feet in length. At their eastern ends the walls again turn in at right angles and meet the present side aisles at 17 feet from each corner. Within the parallelogram thus partially traced two other walls run from east to west at a distance of 36 feet from each other." In a garden adjoining the west end of the cathedral at the time when these observations were made, part of the south-west angle of the walls still remained. Indications of the western towers were apparent; and Willis suggests that they were probably either unfinished, or in a threatening condition, so that Edingdon demolished them; even as at Gloucester the western towers of the cathedral were removed, and the facade was replaced by a perpendicular west front at the beginning of the fifteenth century.

The original west front may very probably have been similar to that of Lincoln Cathedral, "unornamental," says a writer in Architecture, "save for some interlacing arches and dwarf blind arcades, and with no windows to reflect the setting sun, or to light the cavernous interior."

The two westernmost bays of the North side are due to Edingdon, and we get here well contrasted the work of Edingdon and of Wykeham. In Willis's plan the difference can be clearly seen. The two windows to the right are heavier, lower, and broader, and display much deeper exterior mouldings, with "a most cavernous and gloomy appearance," while the window on the left hand is much narrower and lighter. The left-hand buttress is like the others on the north side of the church, whereas the other three are different from it and from one another, that on the extreme right, together with its pinnacle, being apparently just as Edingdon left it. The pinnacles and upper set-off of the two centre buttresses in the figure were added by Wykeham to Edingdon's underwork. The mouldings of Wykeham's windows are more elaborate than those of Edingdon's, where the tracery is similar to that of the west window. Of the bays on the north side the nine next to Edingdon's two, together with the three beyond the northern transept, are Wykeham's work, as are the three bays beyond the transept on the southern side and the extension of the Lady Chapel. Edingdon claims, beside what has been already mentioned, one bay on the south, next the west front. De Lucy's work consists of the three easterly bays on either side, and part of the Lady Chapel exterior. The rest of the bays are Norman, and the prevailing note is simplicity, not to say rudeness. The South side of the nave is almost devoid of decoration, the bays being merely divided by flat buttresses which do not reach below the bottoms of the aisle windows. The eleven windows in the clerestory above are all alike, divided only by flat buttresses. Aisle and clerestory both show a plain parapet and corbels. The bold buttresses on the north side, with their panelled and crocketted pinnacles, save it from the monotony of the south side, which, however, was once greatly concealed by cloisters and convent buildings, and is even now far more enclosed than the northern side.

The low Central Tower, the coping of which is only 35 feet above the ridge of the transept roof, is Norman, though, as explained before, of later date than the transepts. It is of a simple square form, 150 feet high by 50 wide, and is divided by a string course into two storeys, the lower of which is plain with small round-headed windows; the larger upper storey has on each side three narrow round-headed windows, which form a kind of arcade round the upper part of the tower, surmounted by a zig-zag string course. At the angles are engaged shafts. The massive manner in which the tower was rebuilt in the eleventh century can be better appreciated from within, when we come to the piers which support it. The building has been said to prove that the Normans of the period were "still bad masons and imperfectly acquainted with the principles of construction," the masses of masonry employed showing an enormous waste of both labour and materials. But the architects at any rate gained their end, since the tower has stood to the present day. The strength of the original Norman work, indeed, is so great that for all the 250 feet of nave no flying-buttresses were required to support the later vaulting.

The gables of the Transepts are not so high as those of the nave, but the clerestory parapets are on the same level. The side aisles are much lower than those in the nave or the presbytery. The parapets are plain, over a series of small arches supported by corbels; except that in the eastern aisle of the south transept the parapet rests on plain corbels, and above the western clerestory of the other transept is a cornice with Perpendicular bosses. In this clerestory, again, the buttresses are Perpendicular, whereas otherwise throughout the transepts they are flat Norman. Over the eastern aisle of the north there is no cornice or corbel; "the parapet," says Woodward, "with no more than a water-table under it, is carried across the gable of the north transept, so as to form an alura above the buttress, in front of the circular window there." The Perpendicular rose-window in the northern gable cannot now be seen from the interior, being hidden by the transept ceiling, but in the illustration from Britton, on page 59, it is visible. The corresponding gable on the south shows panelling with interlacing Norman arches, but there are only two narrow lights. Many symptoms show that square towers were to have been erected flanking the transept gables. There is an unfinished turret at the north-east corner of the north transept, while the springing of an arcade and the generally incomplete appearance prove that a side tower was intended. The other three extreme angles of the transepts also bear out this view. The width from east to west of the transepts is enormous as compared with the height of the central tower above. It rather looks from the presence (barely perceptible from outside) of the westernmost windows of the presbytery aisles as if those who carried on Wykeham's work had meant to reduce this great width, and give more importance to the presbytery and retro-choir externally. It is certain, at any rate, that the Norman transepts narrowly escaped a complete transformation. That on the north side of the cathedral shows very considerable alterations, in the majority of its windows, from the old Norman pattern. A built-up doorway may be noticed under the first window from the west of this transept.

The exterior of the Presbytery has only three compartments on each side, but in each there are four lights in aisle and clerestory alike. The windows are of the Wykeham pattern, though probably a little later in date than his work. The buttresses, which rise above the aisle roof, culminate in square panelled pinnacles, surmounted by crocketted ogee canopies. From these buttresses spring graceful flying-buttresses, with pierced spandrels running to the clerestory walls. On the northern side the plain parapet has over it a pierced battlement.

The East End, as it now stands, is some 110 feet beyond the original Norman termination, and presents a square face, projecting with a flat parapet beyond the high gable over the actual east window. The Norman apse was demolished about 1320 in all probability, and the present polygonal end substituted for it. It seems that originally the aisles of the Norman presbytery continued round this apse, which was flanked by two small towers. The eastern chapel may have been dedicated to the Holy Trinity as at Canterbury, and probably extended as far as the western arch of the present Lady Chapel. The central gable of the old termination, rather acute in form, is richly decorated with panels and crocketting, and is crowned by a tabernacle wherein Bishop Fox is represented leaning on the pelican. "Three of the panels in the centre are pierced and glazed, forming a small square-headed window; and under it is a door opening upon an alura, behind a crenelated, panelled, and pierced parapet, over a cornice with bosses, at the base of the gable, and just above the east window" (Woodward). The Perpendicular east window has seven lights, and resembles, in the form of its head, Wykeham's windows. A portrait bust of Fox has been discovered on the north corbel of the hood-mould of this window, and the flying-buttresses (which, as Willis pointed out, the jointing of the masonry proves to be later insertions into the clerestory walls) have the pelican carved on them. The whole gable is flanked by richly canopied octagonal turrets, on which the flying-buttresses abut. The lower part of the east window cannot be seen from below, being lost behind the roof of the chantry aisles.

The whole of the eastern arm of the cathedral is curiously mixed in style, furnishing examples of Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular architecture. Beyond the main east gable just described projects a low Early English structure of three nearly equally high aisles, of which the central or Lady Chapel has received a further Perpendicular addition. There has been apparently a slight subsidence of the Early English walls, which has caused the irregular look of the arches in the interior of the southern retro-choir aisle (see page 69). Above the plain string-course of the retro-choir there is in each compartment, under a level parapet, an arcade of narrow pointed arches, four in number, the central couple of each set being pierced and glazed, so as to form pairs of lancet windows. The Langton and Guardian Angels' chapels, which project not quite half as far as the Lady Chapel from the old eastern limit of the church, show a triple series of arcades, diminishing in size as they mount. The central arcade is much cut into on the eastern face by the large three-light windows of the lateral chapels. There is no parapet above the arcades. At the angles between these chapels and the retro-choir aisles are staircases enclosed in small octagonal turrets rising slightly above the adjoining parts with merely a plain parapet at the top.

The Lady Chapel has at the end and at each side a fine seven-light Perpendicular window, the heads of the lights below the transom being cinquefoiled, while above each window is a cornice supported by small arches resting on corbels; over all is a pierced battlement, which is also crenelated at the actual east end. Below the east window of the Lady Chapel, between the two great buttresses with mutilated canopies on the two lower of their three divisions, there is some blank panelling, consisting of four shallow-arched recesses with a pilaster down the centre, each arch uniting two minor ones with cinquefoil cusps at the head and crowned by a quatrefoil with a rosette in the middle. There were originally four heads at the ends of the corbels under these quatrefoils, but the southernmost is broken away. A similar arcade runs along the southern wall of the Lady Chapel, but there is none on the north side. The two main corbel-tables at the east end show the arms of England and France and the bishop's device of three "torteaux." Under these, at a short distance from the ground, are two smaller windows, which give light to the Lady Chapel crypt. The panelling dates from about 1490, and is due to Bishop Peter Courtenay.



The very first glimpse of the nave, as one enters by the west door, reveals the superb proportions of the interior. In spite of all statistics of its size, the outward appearance of the building hardly impresses the spectator with the fact that Winchester is the largest cathedral in Northern Europe, and it is not until one is within the walls that the great length of the cathedral begins to become real and its majesty is properly appreciated. The total span, from end to end, of 556 feet, compared with the 537 feet of Ely, the 525 of York, the 524 of Lincoln, and the 516 of Canterbury, would not alone produce the effect of almost infinite vastness, and is certainly not realised either in a distant prospect from the hills or in a nearer view from the cathedral precincts. But when once the nave is entered, owing partly to the open and comparatively low choir-screen, the magnificent vault of nearly 400 feet may easily be understood to have few rivals in the world. Certainly neither of the two buildings in England which are practically equal in size to Winchester Cathedral give the peculiarly overwhelming sense of length produced here. The old epithet of "Royal" may be said to apply as fitly to the cathedral as to the town, and it certainly is a worthy shelter for the bones of half-forgotten dynasties, and as fine a monument of an earlier England as Westminster is of later periods in the development of the country.

Of course, as in all English cathedrals, a lack of colour and a sense of coldness and emptiness modifies any unqualified admiration which one might at first feel. But Winchester could well afford to admit far more than the most captious critic could utter against it, and yet claim to be the most stately nave that England can show. Despite the late recasting, the proportions are Norman, and the very core of the pillars is still the original Norman stonework. Notwithstanding the changes wrought by Edingdon and Wykeham, all the more petty detail of the Decorated period is lavished on a colossal structure planned with the simple magnificence of those that "builded better than they knew."

Perhaps it is not quite fair to the later architects to attribute all the excellence of the work to the earlier builders, for the graceful columns of the nave's eleven bays which rise unbroken to where the roof-groining springs from their capitals are made by Wykeham to fulfil a new duty which entirely alters their whole aspect. The general effect has been said to be as if a Norman architect had expressed himself in the more refined idiom of the early fifteenth century. Yet the work of Edingdon and Wykeham was ruthless in its way. The original Norman nave of Walkelin consisted of the normal three storeys, of equal height in this case—the main arches, triforium, and clerestory. At the present day the main arches are fully half as high again as they were in the Norman cathedral, while the base of the clerestory has been brought down to meet them, so that the triforium appears to have vanished or rather to exist merely as a balcony over each arch. As a matter of fact, however, it was the old clerestory which was entirely removed and replaced by the present upper storey. On p. 35 we see on the one hand typical Norman work, of the character still existing at Romsey Abbey and Christchurch Priory—to mention only the two large churches nearest to Winchester. During the conversion of the nave the bases and capitals of the grouped shafts of the main arches were removed, together with all the masonry above them. This is not mere conjecture, for the Norman shafts and capitals which still remain on the north side of the nave, in the second bay from the crossing, where they were covered by the ancient rood-screen, show that the pier-arches of the nave sprang from the same height as those of the transepts; the Norman main arch of the triforium still exists in every compartment over the vault of the side aisles to prove that the triforium of the nave was practically on the same level as that of the transepts, and the tops of the Norman shafts yet remaining above the nave-vaulting are additional evidence that the nave was to all intents and purposes uniform with the transepts in its general arrangement. In the south aisle, moreover, there is to be seen the lower extremity of a Norman shaft, once covered by some votive altar or shrine which was removed during the destructive period of the Reformation. "It may be readily noted," says the writer of a recent article on Winchester Cathedral, "how the new ashlar was brought down to the level of this vanished altar, and how Wykeham's vaulting-shaft has been made to end in foliation where it once rose in receipt of prayers and wax-candles vowed in return for mercies vouchsafed." In the seven westerly piers of the south aisle, the Norman stonework has merely received new mouldings; while flat Norman buttresses can be seen outside between the clerestory windows, also on the south side.

On the division into two, in place of the usual three, storeys, it may, perhaps, be of interest to quote some remarks of Willis in the "Proceedings of the Archaeological Institute." "The compartment of Wykeham's nave," he says, "is divided into two parts vertically instead of three; for although it has a triforium gallery, yet this is so completely subordinated to the clerestory window that it cannot be held as a separate division of the composition, as in the Norman work where the triforium compartment is of all importance and similar in decoration to the other two, although not exactly like them. In Wykeham's work, on the contrary, we find above the lofty pier-arch what at first sight appears to be a clerestory window divided at mid-height by a transom, and recessed under a deeply-pointed archway. But it is above the transom only that the real window is formed by glazing the spaces between the monials. Below the transom these spaces are filled with panels, and two narrow openings cut through the latter give access from the roof to a kind of balcony which projects over the pier-arches. In each compartment this balcony exists, but there is no free passage from one to the other. This mode of uniting the triforium and clerestory by the employment of a transom dividing the stone panels of the former from the glazed lights of the latter is common enough at the period of Wykeham's work and before it, but the balcony is unusual."

It is needless to add any further explanation, since the diagram fully explains both the present state of the nave and the manner in which the transformation from the original Norman design was brought about; but it may be worth while to quote an architect's verdict on the general effect of Wykeham's work in the nave. "If we cannot admire all the details," says this writer, "we can but bear tribute to the conception of the whole. Its lofty arcades give no space for triforium, and the proportion between the clerestory and the arcade is somewhat unsatisfactory. If we except the vaulted roof, and the chantry of the great Wykeham himself, and his predecessor Edingdon, this portion of the church may, with reason, be considered simple in its character, and bears distinct evidence of having been grafted on earlier work. The Norman columns still remain in one or two places towards the east end of the nave arcade, but with the exception of these and of the Norman masonry existing in the piers on the south, and perhaps portions of the aisle walls, all is transformed to Perpendicular detail" (The Builder, October 1892).

Altogether there are, between the western doors and the piers supporting the tower, twelve arches on each side, one of each series being included in the choir. Hooks and brackets may be seen in the face of the piers at about three-quarters of their height; these were formerly used for the suspension of arras on occasions of great festivity.

It has been practically established that the sculpture at least of the nave and its vault was not finished for nearly half-a-century after Wykeham's death. We find Cardinal Beaufort's arms and bust, and his device, a white hart chained, as well as Waynflete's lily, intermingled with the arms and bust of Wykeham. Under the triforium gallery is a cornice, in each compartment of which are to be found seven large sculptured bosses, representing a cardinal's hat, a lily, roses, etc. Of the compartments of the clerestory in the nave we have said that they have the appearance of a very fine Perpendicular window. All, however, except the upper part of the centre of these seeming windows is really panel-work. The old Norman main arch of the triforium may be seen behind this panelling, under the present clerestory windows.

Until recently the mass above pressed very heavily on the nave-vaulting, but during the last and preceding years (1896-7) the strain has been relieved by the insertion of new supplementary timbers above the original Hempage Forest beams, which can still be seen by those who wish. The cost of this work of repairing the roof and vault has been about L9000, and so far has not at all exceeded the original estimate. In August 1897 a large amount still remained to be subscribed. As seen from below each division of the vault is "bounded by two vaulting-shafts, which rise to the level of the clerestory window-sill and send out from above the capital nine diverging ribs to the ridge-rib, by which the whole vault is divided into a series of bisected and interlacing lozenges, as the basis for all the groining" (Woodward).

The general effect of the nave can be gathered from the illustrations, which bring out well the appearance of height which is bound to impress the spectator standing near the central western door. In the nave aisles also a fine view may be obtained, the comparative narrowness counteracting the lessened height. As one looks down the church towards the west, it will be noticed that the western interior wall is practically entirely filled by the great window, for not only does this stretch across the whole width, but the mullions also are carried right down to the floor-level, a double series of panels occupying the space below the sill of the window. The glass in the window proper is, for the most part, very old, and, as is pointed out elsewhere (see p. 94), is arranged in patterns after the fashion of a kaleidoscope. This arises from the fact that the fragments of which it is composed are entirely disjointed, and probably incapable of being pieced together.

The monuments and objects of interest in the nave are numerous, but chief perhaps are, on the north side, the Minstrels' Gallery, the old grill-work, and the font; and, on the south side, the chantries of Bishops Wykeham and Edingdon. But, first of all, though not on account of pre-eminent merit, should be mentioned the bronze statues of James I. and Charles I. to the north and south of the main west door, against the interior wall. They were executed by Le Sueur, the artist who executed the fine equestrian figure of Charles I. at Charing Cross. A note on the sculptor's payment for these bronzes may be seen in the "Record of Exchequer," from which it appears that he received L340 for the two, with a further L40 for "carrying and erecting them" at Winchester.

In the north-west corner stands the Minstrels' Gallery or Tribune, the work of Edingdon. It is supported by two flattened arches springing from the pier shafts, and is panelled on its face and spandrels The panelling is decorated with flowered cusps, and the central bosses bear the arms of Wykeham. This gallery appears to have been intended for use on State occasions; now, however, it is merely used as a room in which the episcopal registers may be stored. In height it extends half-way up the neighbouring piers.

Near this, at the western end of the north aisle, is a door made up of four pieces of iron Grill-work, which originally stood at the top of the steps leading up from the south transepts to the retro-choir. The place where it used to be is still pointed out, and indeed marks are visible in the piers to which it was secured. A paper read to the Society of Arts by Mr J. Starkie Gardiner, describes the door as being, from its style, "the oldest piece of grill-work in England. The design is composed of sprays formed of two rolls of scrolls, welded to a central stem, like a much-curled ostrich feather, with lesser scrolls in the interstices and the major scrolls, each terminating in an open-work trefoil, or quinquefoil. The large scrolls are 5-1/2 in. in diameter and rather stout, the grill possessing great resisting powers, though it would not be hard to climb.... There is, unfortunately, no means of fixing the date, since no other grill resembles it; but, from the position indicated in the cathedral, it may well have been made as long ago as the eleventh or twelfth century." It was originally intended to keep the miscellaneous crowd of pilgrims to the shrine of S. Swithun from penetrating farther into the church by way of the south transept. They were obliged to enter and depart by the Norman doorway in the north transept.

It will not be necessary to record all the monuments and the brasses which so abundantly cover the walls, but those of the greatest interest will be alluded to. In the fifth bay of the north aisle are two memorials of very different dates, those of the "Two Brothers of Avington" (1662), and of the novelist, Jane Austen, the youngest daughter of the rector of Steventon in Hampshire. Her monumental brass is affixed to the wall below the other, which records how the two brothers were "both of Oxford, both of the Temple, both Officers to Queen Elizabeth and our noble King James. Both Justices of the Peace, both agree in arms, the one a Knight, the other a Captain."

In the next bay, opposite the Norman Font, is an inscription relating to Mrs Montagu, the founder of the "Blue Stocking" Club. It is to this effect:—"Here lies the body of Elizabeth Montagu, daughter of Matthew Robinson, Esq., of West Layton, in the County of York, who, possessing the united advantages of beauty, wit, judgment, reputation, and riches, and employing her talents most uniformly for the benefit of mankind, might be justly deemed an ornament to her sex and country. She died on the 25th August, 1800, aged 81."

The Norman Font, which Milner called crux antiquariorum, is situated on the north side of the nave between the fifth and sixth pillars from the west front. It is one of a group of seven found in England; of which four are in Hampshire, at East Meon, S. Michael's (Southampton), S. Mary Bourne, and Winchester; two in Lincolnshire, in the cathedral and at Thornton Curtis; and one at S. Peter's, Ipswich. Of four similar fonts on the Continent, that at Zedelghem, near Bruges, is most like the Winchester example, and also illustrates the same legend. The material of which these fonts are made is a bluish-black calcareous marble, such as is still worked at Tournai in Hainault. The font before us is a nearly square block of marble supported on a solid central column ornamented with horizontal mouldings, with four disengaged pillars of lesser diameter, with "cable" mouldings, at each corner. The spandrels of the top are decorated with carved symbolic subjects, leaves and flowers on two sides, and on the other two doves drinking from vases out of which issue crosses, typifying baptism, it is said. It is rather curious that the artist has disregarded the usual symmetry, and filled his spaces without reference to the corresponding ones. On the north and east faces of the font are three circular medallions with symbolic doves and salamanders. On the south and west are scenes from the life of S. Nicholas of Myra, as was fully demonstrated by Milner; the north side showing the saint dowering the three daughters of a poor nobleman, while on the west he restores to life a drowned person, probably the king's son in one of the stories of his life, and rescues from death by the axe three young men who are about to be slain either by the executioner or by a wicked innkeeper, for there are two versions. Some authorities would find four scenes represented on the west side; but on what grounds it is difficult to see. There only appear to be two figures of the saint, and the two scenes are divided by what looks like a short vertical bar indicating a difference of subject (see p. 117). The cult of S. Nicholas of Myra grew rapidly in the twelfth century, being popularised by the crusaders. In this century it is known that the carved work at Tournai, whence it is probable that the black marble came, was remarkable for its symbolism. The font has been thought to be older, on account of its archaic figures, but, as the Dean of Winchester pointed out in a paper read before the Archaeological Association in 1893 (to which we are indebted for much of this account), the mitre which S. Nicholas is represented as wearing was not recognised as part of a bishop's official dress until the very end of the eleventh century; in fact, the particular form of mitre depicted appears to have been late twelfth century. The conclusion naturally arrived at is that the font is of Belgian origin, carved at Tournai between 1150-1200, and its presence at Winchester may well be due either to Henry of Blois or to Toclive.

On the north side of the steps leading up to the choir is a brass tablet on a pillar, recording the merits of the "renowned martialist," Colonel Richard Boles, who fought on the king's side at Edgehill, and died bravely in a small action at Alton, Southampton, in 1641, his party of sixty being surprised by a large force of the rebels. "His gracious sovereign hearing of his Death gave him high Commendation, in that passionate expression,—Bring me a Moorning scarf, I have lost one of the best Commanders in the Kingdome." Between the ninth and tenth pillars on this side is the tomb of Bishop Morley, with an epitaph written by himself at eighty years of age. By the next pillar is the monument of Bishop Hoadley, with a good medallion-portrait of him on it.

On the south side of the nave we find two remarkable tombs, of which the first is the Chantry of William of Wykeham, called by Timbs "one of the best remaining specimens of a fourteenth century monument." It stands, where Wykeham erected it, "in that part of the cross (formed by the church) which corresponds to the Saviour's pierced side," and occupies the space between the piers which enclose the fifth bay from the west end. The site is said to have been previously occupied by an altar dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, Wykeham's patroness. He left directions, moreover, that three monks should celebrate masses thrice daily in his chantry, receiving for this one penny a day, while the boys who were to sing there nightly were assigned 6s. 8d. a year. Needless to say, his wishes are not now carried out. The stone-screen which surrounds the chantry is of beautiful and elaborate workmanship, the effect of which has been compared to lace, while above graceful shafts support a canopy, of which the pinnacles rise to the level of the triforium gallery. At the east end are traces of an altar and credence table, and close by is a piscina. Above are two rows of canopied niches, which, however they were originally occupied, have for long been untenanted until quite recently. During the early part of 1897 the pedestals have been filled with ten statue of modern workmanship.[2] A row of five empty niches runs along the western wall. The vault of the chantry is richly groined with lierne work; it is tinted a vivid blue on the back-ground, and the bosses on the groins are gilt. The ironwork in this chantry is also noticeable. The tomb within has fortunately suffered but little from time, and, thanks to the courage of one of the pupils in Wykeham's foundation at Winchester, Colonel Nathaniel Fiennes, the Parliamentarians left both this monument and the college buildings untouched. On the tomb itself lies the figure of Wykeham with his hands folded across his breast, habited in Episcopal robes and mitre, his crozier on his shoulder. Three small figures of monks praying kneel at his feet, while his head is slightly raised up by supporting angels. A little arcade runs all round the tomb, with a series of shields in the spaces, containing his arms and motto "Manners Makyth Man" and the arms of the see of Winchester. His epitaph, on a slip of red enamelled brass in a chamfer round the edge of the tomb, has been thus translated:—

Here, overthrown by death, lies William, surnamed Wykeham. He was Bishop of this Church, which he repaired. He was unbounded in hospitality, as the rich and poor alike can prove. He was also an able politician, and a counsellor of the State. By the colleges which he founded his piety is made known; The first of which is at Oxford and the second at Winchester. You, who behold this tomb, cease not to pray That, for such great merits, he may enjoy everlasting life.

[2] "One method of commemorating the Quincentenary of Winchester College (1893) was the insertion of statues into the niches of the Founder's Chantry in the Cathedral. The work was done by Mr Frampton, A.R.A., under the direction of Mr Micklethwaite. The subjects are the Virgin and Child, with Angels; William of Wykeham, presenting a scholar of Winchester; and a Warden of New College, presenting a scholar of that college (the artist worked with a photograph of the present Warden before him); the Pastor Bonus with SS. James and John; SS. Peter and Paul. The altar and fittings were presented by Colonel Shaw Hellier; the cross being inscribed with the chronogram;—nVnC gLorIa In eXCeLsIs Deo et In terra paX hoMInIbVS bonae VoLVntatIs" (The Church Times, Aug. 20, 1897).

As one proceeds along the nave toward the east, the choir is reached by two flights of four steps each with a landing between, over which formerly there extended a rood-loft from pillar to pillar, bearing on it Stigand's great cross. To the south of these choir steps and adjoining the intermediate landing is the Chantry of Bishop Edingdon, the earliest in date of the chapel-tombs at Winchester. The chantry is very plain in comparison with the others in the cathedral, and apart from the tomb there is only a slightly raised platform at the east end, without an altar. A shaft of the large pillars runs down the centre of the east and west interior walls. On the tomb lies the figure of the Bishop in pontificalibus, his stole bearing the symbolic and much-disputed "Fylfot" cross, which has been interpreted as a sign of submission. Edingdon's curious Latin epitaph, given on page 107, is on a blue enamelled strip of brass on the edge of the tomb.

Close to Edingdon's chantry is the Nave Pulpit, which is in itself a good piece of Jacobean work, though not happily situated in the nave of Winchester. It stood formerly in the chapel at New College, Oxford, and did not appear at Winchester until 1884, when it was presented by members of the Mayo family. If one stands facing east in the aisle to the right of this pulpit, one of the most picturesque views in the cathedral lies before one, through part of the south transept and up the southern ambulatory of the retro-choir to the bright colours of Langton's chapel window at the end. It will readily be noticed how out of the perpendicular are the piers of this ambulatory as one approaches the east end of the church. This seems to have arisen through a slight subsidence of the ground here.

The original rood-screen exists no longer, and in its place we have but a modern copy, by Sir Gilbert Scott, of the work in the Decorated choir stall canopies. This oak Choir Screen, which is all that breaks the view between west porch and reredos, has not met with much approval, and the pallor of its wood does not contrast agreeably with the rich colour of the old choir stalls. This, however, cannot with justice be made a ground for complaint against the architect, who modelled his work as far as possible on the original.

As one enters the Choir, which is raised above the level of the nave by the two sets of four steps, the stalls above-mentioned will be found to reach on either side from the eastern piers of the central tower to the first piers of the nave. They are of carved oak and are possibly the best existing examples of their date in England. The style is Early Decorated, and Willis points out the similarity between their canopies and gables and those of Edward Crouchback's chapel in Westminster Abbey. The details are varied and graceful, with the design of each pair coupled under a pointed arch with a cinquefoil in its head, which is again surmounted by a high crocketted gable. The oak has turned a superb hue with age, very different from the colour of the modern screen which is banked by the reveals of the old bishop's throne. The misereres below are much earlier in date than the canopies, but do not go quite so far back as those at Exeter, which may be assigned to about 1230. The desks and stools of the upper tier show the date 1540 and bear also the initials of Henry VIII., Bishop Gardiner, and Dean Kingsmill. The pulpit on the north side of the choir was given by Prior Silkstede, whose name it bears, and is also of finely carved work. Above the choir stalls on the northern side is the organ, which was repaired this year.

Toward the east end of the choir stalls, in the centre of the pavement, lies the much-disputed Tomb of William Rufus. It is a plain coped tomb, constructed of Purbeck marble. Since it was known that William was buried originally beneath the tower, this tomb was assumed to be his, and in Cromwell's time it was violated, when, as Milner relates, there was found therein, "besides the dust, some pieces of cloth embroidered with gold, a large gold ring, and a small silver chalice." The very fact of these discoveries, however, tend to prove that the grave was not that of Rufus. It is now frequently held that it is that of Henry of Blois, who is known to have been buried "with much honour before the high altar"; Rudborne records that he was sepultus in ecclesia sua coram summo altari. Yet others suppose that he still lies in the space before the altar. The ring found in Cromwell's time, set with a sapphire which denotes a bishop, may be seen in the cathedral library. When the contents of the tomb were last examined, on August 27, 1868, the remains, though much disturbed by the previous violation, indicated a man of about 5 feet 8 inches, and fragments of red cloth with gold embroidery were to be seen. It was also gathered that the body had been wrapped in lead, as Henry of Blois was said to have been.

The vaulting of the presbytery, which is of timber carved to imitate stone, is remarkable for its very fine and brilliantly coloured bosses, forming a quite unique collection of designs. Milner mentions as the chief among these, "the arms and badges of the families of Lancaster and Tudor, the arms of Castile, of Cardinal Beaufort, and even of the very sees held successively by Bishop Fox. The part of the vaulting from the altar to the east window bears none but pious ornaments: the several instruments of the Saviour's Passion, including S. Peter's denial, and the betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane, the faces of Pilate and his wife, of the Jewish high priest, Judas kissing Jesus, Judas' money-bag, the Veronica"—this is immediately above the place of the cross on the reredos—"the Saviour's coat, with the Cross, crown of thorns, nails, hammer, pillar, scourges, reed, sponge, lance, sword with the ear of Malchus upon it, lanthorn, ladder, cock, dice, etc." Under the tower the vaulting is of wood, dating from 1634. Before this year the choir-lantern was visible from below, with its striking late Norman stonework divided into two tiers. It has been proposed to re-open the lantern, but this would necessitate the removal of the bells from the tower, a matter of considerable expense. It would also be a pity to take down the vaulting with its various devices, including the arms, etc., of Charles I., his queen, and the Prince of Wales, a medallion of the two former, the Scotch and Irish arms, and those of Archbishop Laud, Bishop Curie, and Dean Young. The central emblem is that of the Trinity, with a "chronogram" indicating the year 1634 thus:—sInt DoMUs hUjUs pII reges nUtrItII regInae nUtrICes pIae. The larger letters, picked out in red, serve as Roman figures which added together make up the required number.

From the commencement of the choir to the high altar are eleven steps, making nineteen in all from the level of the nave. This elevation, of course, much enhances the imposing effect of the altar and reredos as seen from the lower plane. It is due to the existence of the Norman crypt beneath, and can be paralleled both at Canterbury and at Rochester. The raised platform includes the presbytery with its aisles and the retro-choir, and extends under the central tower to the second pillar beyond. The nave and transepts are thus on a lower level. Before the altar are rails which date from the reign of Charles I., while the Altar Books were presented to the cathedral by Charles II.

The great Reredos, which separates the presbytery from the feretory and the eastern end of the church, is, to judge from its style, late fifteenth-century work. It has been attributed to Cardinal Beaufort, and to Bishop Fox and Prior Silkstede, but no inscription or armorial details can be discovered to confirm either of these suppositions. It is similar in character to the altar-screens of Christchurch Priory, Hants, and S. Mary Overy (S. Saviour's, Southwark); but, less fortunate than the former, it was despoiled of all the statues which once filled its niches, while it has not "the exquisite grace of detail which marks the choir of angels at Southwark." The reredos at S. Albans, in the same style, though not so large, was erected between 1476 and 1484; and, as at Winchester before 1899, shows a cross-shaped space where, according to legend, a huge silver crucifix was placed. Now once more, as in the sixteenth century, there is a figure on the great cross. It is curious to note an attempt, during the rage for pseudo-classic architecture in the last century, to beautify the reredos by placing sham funeral urns in its niches. These were fortunately removed in 1820, and in recent years they have been replaced by a series of statues intended to reproduce as far as possible the original effect. In the Builder for October 10, 1892, a large reproduction was given of a very interesting drawing by the late Mr J.W. Sedding, showing the whole screen completely restored; but this scheme was unfortunately not used. A large oil-painting, "The Raising of Lazarus," by Benjamin West, purchased in 1782 by Dean Ogle, till 1899 hung immediately over the altar. Before 1818 a huge wooden canopy in Jacobean style, freely enriched with gold, covered all the central portion of the screen. This was due to Bishop Curie.

The reredos is so large that it occupies the whole of the space between the choir piers, and, being constructed of a very white stone, is the prominent feature of the choir. The work is very elaborate, the whole screen being arranged in three tiers with canopied niches containing eighteen large statues, while smaller figures—kings, saints, angels, etc.—occupy the splays between. The pinnacles are pierced and crocketted, and there is a central projecting canopy over the place of the original crucifix. On either side of the high altar is a door leading to the feretory at the back of the reredos, and these have in their four spandrels interesting groups of fifteenth-century sculpture, representing various scenes in the life of the Virgin, the Annunciation, and the Visitation of S. Elizabeth, still showing traces of colour. The fact that these carvings have escaped destruction, just as the lower tier at Christchurch escaped, is only to be explained on the assumption that they were hidden behind some panelling since removed, for of all images which provoked iconoclastic fury those representing the Virgin were the most certain to be attacked. The whole is crowned by a triple frieze of leaves, Tudor roses, and quatrefoils, at a height little short of the corbels which support the arches of the roof.

The eighteen larger statues were, and are now, since the restoration of the reredos, arranged in the following order. In the uppermost tier, to the left and right of the head of cross, were S. Peter and S. Paul, who were the patron saints of the church. Two on either side of these were the four Latin Doctors, SS. Augustine, Gregory, Jerome, and Ambrose. "Below these, on the middle tier, we had two great local bishops, S. Birinus, first occupant of the see, standing beside the figure of the Virgin, and on the other side S. Swithun, the benevolent bishop, patron-saint of the church: beyond them, over the two doors, were SS. Benedict and Giles,[3] the one founder of the Order to which the Priory belonged, the other the Hermit Saint, who always pitched his tabernacle just outside the walls of medieval cities; he is here set in honour to commemorate S. Giles' Hill, and especially S. Giles' Fair, from which the Convent reaped great benefit" (Dean Kitchin: "Great Screen of Winchester Cathedral"). Outermost on this tier stand the statues of the two deacons, SS. Stephen and Lawrence. In the lowest tier, on either side of the altar, stand SS. Hedda and Ethelwolf, two of the most famous Anglo-Saxon bishops of the see of Winchester. Next these saints there is the doorway on either side and beyond these doors are statues of King Edward the Confessor, and S. Edmund the King. Between the figures of SS. Swithun and Birinus, stand statues of the Virgin and S. John, while above the arms of the Cross are the four Archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael. In all there are now fifty-six statues on the screen, the smaller figures including famous kings, bishops, women, and a representation of Izaak Walton.

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