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The Deanery and Prior's Tower

A Grade I Listed Building in Carlisle, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.8943 / 54°53'39"N

Longitude: -2.9394 / 2°56'21"W

OS Eastings: 339844

OS Northings: 555905

OS Grid: NY398559

Mapcode National: GBR 7CXV.FB

Mapcode Global: WH802.T7GV

Entry Name: The Deanery and Prior's Tower

Listing Date: 1 June 1949

Last Amended: 11 April 1994

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1208577

English Heritage Legacy ID: 386602

Location: Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3

County: Cumbria

District: Carlisle

Town: Carlisle

Electoral Ward/Division: Castle

Built-Up Area: Carlisle

Traditional County: Cumberland

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Carlisle St Cuthbert with St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle

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Listing Text


671-1/10/27 Nos.5, 5A AND 5B
01/06/49 The Deanery and Prior's Tower
(Formerly Listed as:
The Deanery & No.5 & Stable and
Coachhouse adjoining No.5 on south)


Prior's tower with hall range, extension and adjoining
stables; now Deanery, museum and flats. For the Priory of St
Mary, Carlisle. Late C15 tower and hall with C17 extensions
and alterations; further 1853 extensions by James Stewart
(internal alterations now partly removed, 1882 by CJ
Ferguson); 1949-51 alterations dated 1950 on rainwater head.
Red sandstone ashlar, some of the extensions are of squared
red sandstone, on chamfered plinth, with string courses on
tower and battlemented parapet. Flat lead roof on tower;
otherwise greenslate roofs with coped gables and kneelers;
full and half-gabled dormers; ashlar ridge and end chimney
stacks. Stable range has sandstone flag roof. The main facade
faces towards the Cathedral.
Central square tower of 2 storeys over basement; the hall
range at the right is 2-storey, 3 bays with projecting
2-storey extension; left 3-storey, 3-bay extension and beyond
is the single storey, 4-bay stables. Tower has a central
2-light cusped headed oriel window, corbelled out, in a deeply
chamfered surround under hoodmould and pent roof. Other small
irregular casement windows; upper floor 2-light mullioned
window with diamond leaded panes. The right return has a high
crease for the original roof on the hall range. Rear has
similar oriel and other windows.
INTERIOR has rib-vaulted basement, contemporary with the
tower; panelled upper floor room with panelled doors; painted
wooden ceiling has decorative and heraldic devices, applied
during Prior Senhouse's term of office c1494 - 1521. Angle
newel stair to top storey and roof.
The Deanery has a 1950 right doorway with projecting stone
porch, in a single-storey 3-bay pent extension of 1853. First
floor is C17 with 2-light mullioned windows and late C17
carved panel of Bishop's arms. 2-light gabled 1/2 dormers
(appear on a view of 1715). The projecting facing double gable
extension at right is of 1853 with 2- and 3-light mullioned
and cross-mullioned windows. The rear wall of the hall range
is probably C15 stonework but now with sash and mullioned
INTERIOR has ground floor C16 segmental-arched stone
fireplaces; an upper floor fireplace is on corbels. Now
internal front wall has former C17 doorway. Wooden staircase
is probably of 1882 by CJ Ferguson; C19 panelled doors.
Extensive repairs in 1988-9 required the gutting of the hall
No.5 (the left extension) was formerly part of the Deanery but
now a flat. Central panelled door in stone architrave with
segmental pediment and flanking windows in stone architraves
were all inserted in 1950 when an 1853 pent extension was
removed; left blocked opening has a double chamfered surround;
a right projecting stone porch (added since 1950) gives access
to tower. Above are sash windows with glazing bars in C17
stone architraves with hood cornices. The V-jointed quoining
at the left of calciferous sandstone is 2-storey and above it
changes to red sandstone; the third storey was added in C19
with 1/2 gabled dormers. Rear 2- and 3-light mullioned and
cross-mullioned windows. INTERIOR altered.
Prior's Stables, Nos 5A and 5B, have a left recessed doorway
now with C20 door, the C15 flattened arch with the initials TG
(for Prior Thomas Gondibour, prior c1464-1494). Further right
C15 doorway has segmental chamfered arch with hoodmould.
Between the doors are a small and larger sash window with
glazing bars in chamfered surrounds; further left C20 window
in C20 opening. Left return has C20 double plank doors in C20
former garage opening. The roof had to be rebuilt in the
1960s. INTERIORS not inspected.
It is now thought that the tower was built in the 1490s, not
c1507 as previously thought. For further details see JH
Martindale, CWAAS, Trans.NS VII; Perriam CWAAS, Trans.NS
LXXXVII. Plans for the additions are in Cumbria County Record
Office. Ca/E4/2018 and for the 1882 alterations, Ca/E4/1543.
(Cumb. & West. Antiquarian & Archaeological Soc., New Series:
Martindale JH: VII: Notes on the Deanery: P.185-201; Cumb. &
West. Antiquarian & Archaeological Soc., New Series: Perriam
DR: LXXXVII: The demolition of the Priory of St. Mary:

Listing NGR: NY3984655904

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

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