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The Chain Gate with Approach Staircase

A Grade I Listed Building in Wells, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2108 / 51°12'38"N

Longitude: -2.6434 / 2°38'36"W

OS Eastings: 355152

OS Northings: 145931

OS Grid: ST551459

Mapcode National: GBR MN.3XTQ

Mapcode Global: VH89S.4TDN

Plus Code: 9C3V6964+8J

Entry Name: The Chain Gate with Approach Staircase

Listing Date: 12 November 1953

Last Amended: 31 May 2000

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1382904

English Heritage Legacy ID: 483307

Location: Wells, Mendip, Somerset, BA5

County: Somerset

District: Mendip

Civil Parish: Wells

Built-Up Area: Wells

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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(East side)

The Chain Gate, with approach staircase

(Formerly Listed as: CATHEDRAL GREEN Cathedral Church of St Andrew (including Chain Gate and Cloisters))



Gateway, with enclosed stair to Chapter House (qv) and to Vicars' Hall (qv). 1460, for Bishop Beckington. Doulting stone ashlar, Welsh slate roof with stone ridge, with plain gable to north and abutment to south.

EXTERIOR: two storeys, west elevation four and three bays. Moulded strings to first floor level and underside of crenellated parapet. North four bays have panelled faces with angled pinnacles starting from floor string, lower bays one and four have four-centre pedestrian arches with two tiers of three-unit panelling over, and bays two and three share the matching wagon arch two-light C15 transomed and traceried window of almost unique type, the windows to bays two and three being wider as they have a statue niche instead of central mullion. Remaining three bays plainer, the ground floor incorporating some C12 work, with large segmental pointed open arch to bay two, and the first floor having three-light windows with linked labels. All merlons and panels between them panelled. To south, two bays of heavier C12 construction enclosing the Chapter House access stair, with string and parapet on rake, buttresses and two four-light Geometric traceried windows with pointed arched labels and sloping sills, all linking into the north transept of the Cathedral (qv). East elevation similar in character.

INTERIOR: includes the approach staircase, with partial curl into the Chapter House (qv), part 1240/1286 but the upper part 1459, in vaulted lobby, a celebrated feature. Cornice with fleurons beneath roof with roll-moulded wall plate and canted rafters; three-bay south section has steps up from Chapter House doorway, plank door to central bay with axial roof and four-bay section over road with lower bay to doorway to Vicars Hall (qv).

This entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 20 February 2018.

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