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Cathedral Church of Christ and St.mary the Virgin, Durham

Description: Cathedral Church of Christ and St.mary the Virgin

Grade: I
Date Listed: 6 May 1952
English Heritage Building ID: 110420

OS Grid Reference: NZ2734642123
OS Grid Coordinates: 427346, 542123
Latitude/Longitude: 54.7733, -1.5764

Location: 1 Duncow Lane, Durham DH1 3RS

Locality: Durham
County: Durham
Country: England
Postcode: DH1 3RS

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Listing Text

NZ 2742 SW (South side)

14/365 Cathedral Church of
6/5/52 Christ and St. Mary
the Virgin


Cathedral church, originally of Benedictine Priory, refounded 1541 as secular

Main body 1093-1130, begun by Bishop William of St. Calais; Galilee 1189 for
Bishop le Puiset. West tower tops, east bay and Chapel of 9 altars, 1242-
c.1280. 1464-88 tower top stage. Restorations of late C18, early C19 and
mid C19, notably by Bonomi and Jackson, Pickering and Robson and Fowler.
Dressed sandstone; slate roofs. Cruciform with aisles, east transept aisles,
transeptal eastern chapel, crossing tower, twin west towers and western Galilee.
Galilee one storey with battlemented parapet and richly-moulded north entrance.
Large, restored C14 and C15 windows. West towers have 4 lower stages aligned
with those on nave: all have shafted round-arched openings (those on south side
enriched), the ground stage a blank arcade, the clerestory set back under a
corbel table. Elaborately-moulded opposed entrances in second nave bays have
medieval doors, the north now with replica of sanctuary knocker. 2 upper stages
to towers have pointed-arched openings under bands of blank arcading; corbel
table below pierced battlemented parapet with crocketed pinnacles. Transepts
have outer west stair turrets, blank arcading and large inserted Perpendicular
windows north and south. Crossing tower of 2 stages with tall openings under
crocketed ogee hoods, and high, pierced parapet. Chancel elevations similar
to nave except for 2-light windows in triforium and C19 Decorated windows in
aisles. Eastern transept 9 bays wide, divided into 3 and then into single bays
by large buttresses. Angle towers with short spires, the southern with elaborate
restored panelling.

Interior: tall 7-bay nave has alternating compound and incised round piers.
Intersecting blank arcading to ground stage with single lights above; paired
arches to gallery bays, 3 stepped arches in clerestory. Rib-vaulted throughout,
many ribs enriched. Galilee: 5 aisles of even width, 4 bays; quatrefoil piers
with waterleaf capitals and rich chevron mouldings to arches and vault ribs.
2-bay transepts with intermediate round arcade piers. South transept aisle
now D.L.I. chapel. Stellar vault in crossing tower. 5-bay chancel, the east bay
rebuilt in rich C13 style, all rib-vaulted, the aisle vaults being specially
early examples. 9 altars chapel 2 bays by 9 bays wide, the central 3 treated
as a unit. Two stages of tall lancets, multi-moulded and shafted with alternate
shafts of Frosterley "marble"; trefoiled blank arcading below. Quadripartite
vaults, the centre section double-ribbed with a central circle.

Fittings: Choir reredos (The Neville Screen) 1380, much restored and original
figures lost. Choir stalls and aisle screens, 1665 for Bishop Cosin, eclectic
mixture of Gothic and Renaissance motifs. Font and cover also of this period.
Remains of wall paintings of late C12-early C14 in Galilee and nave. Several
medieval tomb slabs, chests and figures, badly preserved, notably Bishop
Hatfield's monument and throne, 1363. Figures of later bishops, Shute Barrington
d. 1826 by Chantrey, the most moving. Much good C19 stained glass and
collections of rearranged medieval glass. Prior Castell's clock, early C16
reconstructed 1938 by S. Dykes Bower.

Sources: Pevsner Durham, revised Williamson, pp 162-201. V.C.H. Vol III,
B.A.A. Transactions III, 1980 (records of 1977 conference at Durham).

Listing NGR: NZ2731142150

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.