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Cathedral Church of Christ and St Mary the Virgin

A Grade I Listed Building in Durham, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.7735 / 54°46'24"N

Longitude: -1.5762 / 1°34'34"W

OS Eastings: 427360

OS Northings: 542144

OS Grid: NZ273421

Mapcode National: GBR KFF7.KM

Mapcode Global: WHC4Q.R8MX

Entry Name: Cathedral Church of Christ and St Mary the Virgin

Listing Date: 6 May 1952

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1161023

English Heritage Legacy ID: 110420

Location: County Durham, DH1

County: County Durham

Electoral Ward/Division: Elvet and Gilesgate

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Durham

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

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Listing Text

NZ 2742 SW,

PALACE GREEN (south side)

Cathedral Church of 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 nine 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 four 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. The two 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 two 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 nine bays wide, divided into three 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, three stepped arches in clerestory. Rib-vaulted throughout,
many ribs enriched. Galilee: five aisles of even width, four 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. Nine altars chapel two bays by nine bays wide, the central three 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.

Listing NGR: NZ2736042144

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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