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Chapel of St Peter at Auckland Castle

A Grade I Listed Building in Bishop Auckland, County Durham

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Latitude: 54.6669 / 54°40'0"N

Longitude: -1.6699 / 1°40'11"W

OS Eastings: 421387

OS Northings: 530250

OS Grid: NZ213302

Mapcode National: GBR JGSG.8V

Mapcode Global: WHC52.BY1P

Entry Name: Chapel of St Peter at Auckland Castle

Listing Date: 21 April 1952

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1196446

English Heritage Legacy ID: 385601

Location: Bishop Auckland, County Durham, DL14

County: County Durham

Civil Parish: Bishop Auckland

Built-Up Area: Bishop Auckland

Traditional County: Durham

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): County Durham

Church of England Parish: Bishop Auckland

Church of England Diocese: Durham

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Bishop Auckland

Listing Text


634-1/8/84 (East side (off))
21/04/52 Chapel of St Peter at Auckland


Domestic aisled hall, later chapel, with terrace and steps.
c1190. For Bishop du Puiset (on stylistic evidence), possibly
on foundations of earlier hall, completed by 1249. Aisle walls
probably raised by Bishop Bek (1284-1311) replacing smaller
gables. Conversion to chapel including rebuilding south wall,
renewing clerestory, and refacing east and west walls, 1661-5
for Bishop Cosin. Craftsmen John Langestaffe mason, Marke Todd
and James Hulle, joiners, Abraham Smith, John Brasse and
Richard Herring, carpenters and carvers (Raine, Boyle). Aisle
floors raised to level of nave, and chapel refloored, for
Bishop van Mildert in 1827. Further restorations for Bishop
Lightfoot, and 1978-83 for the Church Commissioners.
MATERIALS: rusticated ashlar, coursed squared stone north
wall, roof not visible.
PLAN: chapel has 4-bay aisled nave and chancel with screen, to
west full-width vestibule. South porch to west entrance
passage and robing room.
EXTERIOR: east elevation has tall 5-light window with
geometric tracery, and 2-light aisle windows with trefoil
heads. Below windows blocked arches and relieving arch are
vestiges of screens passage of former hall. In first bay of
north wall a similar arch under the window is also blocked and
was part of the domestic hall arrangements. South elevation
refaced for Cosin has rich rustication, much with lozenge
jewels. 3-light aisle windows have reticulated and decorated
tracery. 7 clerestory windows probably for Cosin, with
segmental heads and modified geometric tracery. Tall pinnacled
buttresses, at aisle and clerestory angles polygonal with ogee
coping. Crocketed pinnacles corbelled between clerestory
lights. West gable has tall 4-light window with reticulated
tracery, and at top a well-cut inscription ADORATE DOMINUM IN
ATRIO SANCTO EIUS and Cosin's arms above. All parapets
South-east entrance projects with canted arcaded C18 Gothic
porch below 2-light window under battlemented parapet. In
porch, richly carved C17 doors.
Terrace wall and steps at east end. Shallow stone L-plan steps
flank wall with ashlar coping, the end sections forming
parapets to steps. At centre, one 1881 inscription recording
Bishop Lightfoot's work and his setting up of the second
inscription, dated 1752 `JOSEPHUS EPISCOPUS FECIT' must relate
to work done by Bishop Butler who began major improvements to
the grounds.
INTERIOR has black and white marble floor, 4-bay arcades, west
screen, and panelled beamed roof on arched braces and
corbelled wall posts. Arcades have many-moulded pointed arches
on quatrefoil piers with shaft rings, north and south shafts
sandstone, east and west shafts Frosterley limestone which is
also used for capitals and arches. Central bays are shorter.
West responds are head corbels, and capitals waterleaf, the
southern more elaborate; others moulded. Round lessenes above
piers support large figures of angels.
In west wall 3 arches of a blind arcade with stiff leaf
decoration, discovered in 1980s restoration, have been left
exposed; this was the dais end of the hall. In north aisle
western bay a pointed arch is also revealed, with stiff leaf
capital. 3 steps to altar with carved Frosterley limestone and
oak reredos 1884 by Hodgson Fowler in Perpendicular style,
carving by P de Wispelaere of Bruges.
Woodwork for Cosin in his typical style, mixing Gothic and
Baroque, includes pulpit and reading desk, chancel stalls with
principal canopies, and magnificent carved oak screen with
swags of fruit and foliage.
MONUMENTS include Frosterley marble grave cover in centre of
nave with long inscription to Bishop Cosin; seated figure of
Bishop Trevor 1775 by Nollekens. Ceiling richly carved and
painted with armorial bearings especially those of Bishop
Cosin. C19 armorial bearings of Bishops set on aisle walls.
Stained glass mostly by Burlison and Grylls. In west entrance
vestibule, arms of Bishop Cosin in stained glass.
(Raine J: History of Auckland Castle: Durham: 1852-: 45;
Medieval Architecture and its Intellectual Context: Cunningham
J: Auckland Castle: Some Recent Discoveries: London: 1990-:
81-90; Mackenzie E: County Palatine of Durham: Newcastle:
1834-: 294; Archaeologia Aeliana series 2: Hodgson J F:
Article VIII The Chapel of Auckland Castle (for 1896):
Newcastle upon Tyne: 1847-: 113-240; Archaeologia Aeliana
series 2: Hodgson J F: Article VI The Chapel of Auckland
Castle - Addenda (for 1897): Newcastle upon Tyne: 1847-:
113-240; Boyle: The County of Durham: 1892-: 483-497).

Listing NGR: NZ2138430248

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

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