Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Hereford, A Description - Of Its Fabric And A Brief History Of The Episcopal See
by A. Hugh Fisher
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The Cathedral Church Of Hereford

A Description Of Its Fabric And A Brief History Of The Episcopal See By A. Hugh Fisher

London George Bell and Sons



This series of monographs has been planned to supply visitors to the great English Cathedrals with accurate and well illustrated guide-books at a popular price. The aim of each writer has been to produce a work compiled with sufficient knowledge and scholarship to be of value to the student of Archaeology and History, and yet not too technical in language for the use of an ordinary visitor or tourist.

To specify all the authorities which have been made use of in each case would be difficult and tedious in this place. But amongst the general sources of information which have been almost invariably found useful are:—(1) the great county histories, the value of which, especially in questions of genealogy and local records, is generally recognised; (2) the numerous papers by experts which appear from time to time in the Transactions of the Antiquarian and Archaeological Societies; (3) the important documents made accessible in the series issued by the Master of the Rolls; (4) the well-known works of Britton and Willis on the English Cathedrals; and (5) the very excellent series of Handbooks to the Cathedrals, originated by the late Mr. John Murray; to which the reader may in most cases be referred for fuller detail, especially in reference to the histories of the respective sees.

GLEESON WHITE. EDWARD F. STRANGE. Editors of the Series.


In addition to the well-known books mentioned in the General Preface, the "Monastic Chronicles" and many other works named in the text, some dealing especially with Hereford have been of valuable assistance to me in preparing this little book. Amongst these are the various careful studies of the Rev. Francis Havergal, Dean Merewether's exhaustive "Statement of the Condition and Circumstances of the Cathedral Church of Hereford in the Year 1841," and "The Diocese of Hereford," by the Rev. H.W. Phillott.

My best thanks are also due to the Photochrom Company for their excellent photographs.







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The early history of Hereford, like that of the majority of cathedral churches, is veiled in the obscurity of doubtful speculation and shadowy tradition. Although the see had existed from the sixth century, it is not till much later that we have any information concerning the cathedral itself.

From 755 to 794 there reigned in Mercia one of the most powerful and important rulers of those times,—King Offa. He was a contemporary of Charles the Great, and more than once these two sovereigns exchanged gifts and letters. Under Offa Mercia became the first power in Britain, and in addition to much fighting with the West Saxons and the Kentish men he wrested a large piece of the country lying west of the Severn from the Welsh, took the chief town of the district which was afterwards called Shrewsbury, and like another Severus made a great dyke from the mouth of the Wye to that of the Dee which became henceforth the boundary between Wales and England, a position it has held with few changes to the present day. In church history Offa is of no less importance than in secular, for as the most powerful King in England he seems to have determined that ecclesiastical affairs in this country should be more under his control, or at least supervision, than they could possibly be with the Mercian church subject to the Archbishop of Canterbury. In 786, therefore, he persuaded the Pope to create the Archbishopric of Lichfield. Although Canterbury regained its supremacy upon Offa's death when Lichfield was shorn by a new Pope of its recently acquired honours, the position gained for the latter see by Offa, though temporary in itself, must have had lasting and important influence. Offa is generally held responsible for the murder, about 793, of AEthelberht, King of the East Angles, who had been promised his daughter, AEthelthryth, in marriage.

Had AEthelberht been gifted with a knowledge of future events (which would not have been a more wonderful attribute than many of the virtues which were ascribed afterwards to his dead body), he could hardly have desired a more glorious fate. His murder gained for him martyrdom with its immortal glory, and he could scarce have met his death under happier auspices. Visiting a king's residence to fetch his bride he died by the order of a man whose memory is sullied by no other stain, a man renowned in war, a maker of laws for the good of his people, and eminent in an ignorant age as one who encouraged learning.

Legend and tradition have so obscured this event that beyond the bare fact of the murder nothing can be positively asserted, and the brief statement of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, "792. This year Offa, King of the Mercians, commanded the head of King AEthelberht to be struck off," contains all that we may be certain of.

One writer speaks of a hired assassin, and others lay the crime at the door of Cynethryth, Offa's Queen, who is said to have insinuated that the marriage was only sought as a pretext to occupy the Mercian throne. Finding her lord's courage not equal to the occasion, she herself arranged the end of AEthelberht. There is talk of a pit dug in his sleeping-chamber and a chair arranged thereover, which, with an appearance of luxurious comfort, lured him to his fate. The body was, according to one writer, privately buried on the bank of the river "Lugg," near Hereford.

"On the night of his burial," says the Monkish Annalist, "a column of light, brighter than the sun, arose towards heaven"; and three nights afterwards the figure (or ghost) of King AEthelberht appeared to Brithfrid, a nobleman, and commanded him to convey the body to a place called "Stratus Waye," and to inter it near the monastery there. Guided by another column of light, Brithfrid, having placed the body and the head on a carriage, proceeded on his journey. The head fell from the vehicle, but having been discovered by a "blind man," to whom it miraculously communicated sight, was restored by him to the careless driver. Arrived at his place of destination, then called "Fernlega" or "Saltus Silicis," and which has since been termed Hereford, he there interred the body. Whatever the motive for the crime, there is ample evidence of Offa's subsequent remorse. In atonement he built monasteries and churches, and is even said by some to have gone on a pilgrimage to Rome, though this rests on slight evidence.

The miracles worked at the tomb of the murdered King were, according to Asser, so numerous and incredible that Offa, who had appropriated AEthelberht's kingdom, was induced to send two bishops to Hereford to ascertain the truth of them, and it is generally agreed that about A.D. 825 Milfrid, who was Viceroy to the Mercian King Egbert after the death of Offa and of his son Egfrid, expended a large sum of money in building "Ecclesiam egregiam, lapidea structura" at Hereford, which he consecrated to the martyred monarch, and endowed with lands and enriched with ornaments.

Although one of the old chroniclers calls it a church of stone, it is quite uncertain what were the materials, size, or architectural character of this edifice. It seems, however, that by 1012, when Bishop Athelstan was promoted to the see, it had fallen into sheer ruin, or, at any rate, sufficient decay to necessitate his beginning a new building. Of this no clearer account has been handed down to us than of Milfrid's church. Soon after it was finished Algar or Elfgar, Earl of Chester, son of the Earl of Mercia, was charged with treason at a Witan in London, and (though his guilt is still disputed) was outlawed by Edward the Confessor. He hired a fleet of Danish pirate ships from the Irish coast, joined King Gruffydd in Wales, and marched with him into Herefordshire, determining to make war upon King Edward. Here they began with a victory about two miles from Hereford over the Earl of that shire who was a Frenchman, and tried to make his men fight on horseback in the French fashion, which they did not understand,—the English way being for the great men to ride to the field of battle, but there to dismount and fight with their heavy axes on foot. Earl Ralph, the Frenchman, turned his horse's head and fled the field, and the English, encumbered with their long spears and swords, followed helter skelter. After killing some five hundred, AElfgar and Gruffydd turned to Hereford and came upon the church which Bishop Athelstan had caused to be built. There they met with a spirited resistance: amongst other victims seven of the canons were killed in an attempt to hold the great door of the minster; but, ultimately, the church and town were burned.

Earl Harold, son of Earl Godwin, himself, when it was too late, came with half of his army to Hereford, and with his usual predilection for peace (notwithstanding his valour) soon after removed the outlawry from AElfgar, and quiet was restored.

In 1056, the year following this disaster, the worthy Bishop Athelstan died at Bosbury. He had been blind for thirteen years before his death, and a Welsh bishop had acted for him. His body was interred in the church which he had "built from the foundations," and we may therefore suppose that the "minster" was not entirely destroyed.

In 1057, on the death of Earl Ralph, the Frenchman, so important was Herefordshire, through its position on the Welsh borders, and, since it had been strengthened by Harold, such an important military post was the town of Hereford, that it became part of his earldom.

From 1055 to 1079 the minster is said to have been in ruins. At the latter date Bishop Lozing (Robert de Losinga) began to rebuild the cathedral, and there are vague accounts that it was in the form of a round church in imitation of a basilica of Charlemagne which had been built at Aix-la-Chapelle between 774 and 795. If such a form ever existed it must have been completely destroyed, as the work of the Norman period that remains is clearly English both in treatment and in detail. If this could be proved to be Lozing's work, then it had no similarity to the Roman style. The building begun by him was carried on by Bishop Raynelm, who held the see from 1107 to 1115, and placed on a more regular basis the establishment of canons living under a rule. These prebendaries or canons did not live in common like the monks, but in separate houses near the church. Whether he completed the building or not, Bishop Raynelm undoubtedly made many additions and alterations.

We may here quote an interesting account of the duties of the cathedral treasurer, which were probably settled about this time. They throw a curious and suggestive light on the ceremonies of the period. "At Hereford," says Walcott, "he found all the lights; three burning day and night before the high altar; two burning there at matins daily, and at mass, and the chief hours on festivals; three burning perpetually, viz., in the chapter-house, the second before S. Mary's altar, and the third before the cross in the rood-loft; four before the high altar, and altar on "Minus Duplicia," and five tapers in basons, on principles, and doubles, at mass, prime, and second vespers, four tapers before the high altar, five in the basons, thirteen on the beam, and seven in the candelabra; the paschal and portable tapers for processions. He kept the keys of the treasury, copes, palls, vestments, ornaments, and the plate, of which he rendered a yearly account to the dean and chapter. He found three clerks to ring the bells, light the candles, and suspend the palls and curtains on solemn days. He found hay at Christmas to strew the choir and chapter-house, which at Easter was sprinkled with ivy leaves; and on All Saints' day he provided mats."(1)

The next great changes were made under Bishop William de Vere (1186-1199). His work was of transitional character, and bears much resemblance to the beautiful transitional work at Glastonbury. He removed the three Norman apsidal terminations at the east end, doubled the presbytery aisles, thus making two side chapels in each transept which have since been replaced by the Lady Chapel with its vestibule.

In a paper read before the Archaeological Institute in 1877, Sir G. G. Scott suggests that the central apse projected one bay beyond the sides; but this is merely conjecture. A curious feature in De Vere's work was his putting columns in the middle of the central arch. It is probable that the part of the presbytery we now have was but the beginning of a larger scheme never carried out, which included building the presbytery and dividing the eastern wall into two arches instead of one as at Lichfield and Exeter.

According to Sir Gilbert Scott's theory, the Early English Lady Chapel was an extension of the work of Bishop de Vere: it is especially interesting, and an unique example of its date in being raised upon a crypt.

At the Bishop's palace was a splendid hall of which it seems likely De Vere was the builder,—at any rate he must have been the first or second occupier. It was of noble dimensions, being 110 feet in length, consisting of a nave 23 feet broad, with aisles 16 feet wide, independently of the columns. This was divided into five bays by pillars supporting timber arches formed of two pieces of curved oak. Nearly the whole of the present Bishop's palace is included within the space occupied by this grand hall.

In 1188 when Archbishop Baldwin made pilgrimage into Wales on behalf of the crusade, he was entertained in this hall by Bishop de Vere, and doubtless some of those who devoted themselves to the work were Hereford men.

The central tower of the cathedral, that fine example of decorated work, covered with its profusion of ball-flower ornament, was built by, or at any rate during the episcopate of, Giles de Braose (1200-1215), an ardent opponent of King John.

The remaining examples of decorated date are the inner north porch (as distinct from the addition of Bishop Booth) and what remains of the beautifully designed chapter-house, a decagon in plan, each side except the one occupied by the entrance being subdivided into five seats.

During the term of office of Bishop Foliot (1219-1234), a tooth of St. AEthelberht, whose remains had been almost entirely destroyed by AElfgar and Gruffuth in 1055, was given to the cathedral. The donor of this precious relic was Philip de Fauconberg, Canon of Hereford and Archdeacon of Huntingdon.

The next Bishop, Ralph de Maydenstan, 1234-1239, presented some service-books to the cathedral.

In 1240 Henry III., with his wonted preference for foreigners, appointed to the Hereford bishopric, Peter of Savoy, generally known as Bishop Aquablanca, from Aqua Bella, his birthplace, near Chambery. He it was who rebuilt the north transept. He was one of the best hated men in England, and not content with showering benefices upon his relations, he perpetrated one of the greatest frauds in history in order to raise money to aid the annexation schemes of Popes Innocent IV. and Alexander IV. Of these, however, full particulars will be found in a chapter on the Diocese.

While he was absent in Ireland collecting tithes, attended by a guard of soldiers, Prince Edward, coming to Hereford to resist the encroachments of Llewellyn, King of Wales, found there neither bishop, dean, nor canons resident. For this they earned the severe reprimand of the King, and the Bishop returned to Hereford. Shortly after, he was seized within the cathedral precincts by the insurgent barons of Leicester's party, together with all the foreign canons (who were his own relations). They were carried to Eardisley Castle, where the spoil they had just brought from Ireland was divided among the insurgents.

Bishop Aquablanca died soon after these events, in 1268. He was endowed with a character full of contradictions, extreme aggressiveness, mingled with remarkable tact.

When he got the better of the Hereford citizens, after their attempt to encroach upon his episcopal rights, he remitted one full half of their fine and devoted the other to the cathedral building. While he was showing in his life a disgraceful example to the clergy of the country, at the same time he gave liberally to the cathedral foundation in books, ornaments, money, and land, left a rich legacy to the poor, and a lasting monument in the rebuilding of the north transept of the cathedral itself.

With the exception of the arches, leading into the aisles of the nave and choir, the Norman work of the transept was altogether demolished, and replaced by another consisting of two bays with an eastern aisle. Over the latter was built a story now used as the cathedral library, which is approached from the north aisle of the presbytery by a staircase turret. His tomb is one of the finest in the cathedral. Under it, together with those of his nephew, a Dean of Hereford, are his own remains, except the heart, which, as he had wished, was carried to his own country of Savoy.

In 1275 the Chapter of Hereford elected to the bishopric Thomas de Cantilupe, one of the greatest men who has ever held that office, a man whose life was in almost every way a remarkable contrast to that of his predecessor, Bishop Aquablanca. It is said that the Bishop of Worcester, his great-uncle, asked him as a child as to his choice of a profession, and that he answered he would like to be a soldier. "Then, sweetheart," his uncle is said to have exclaimed, "thou shalt be a soldier to serve the King of Kings, and fight under the banner of the glorious martyr, St. Thomas." Regular attendance at mass was his custom from earliest years. Both at Oxford and Paris he distinguished himself, gaining his degree of M.A. at the Sorbonne, and on his return accepted, at the request of the university of Oxford and with the consent of the King, the office of chancellor. In this capacity he showed singular courage and determination in repressing a brawl between the southern scholars and those of the north, in which we are told he escaped with a whole skin, but not with a whole coat.

He was chosen to fill the post of Chancellor of England under Simon de Montfort, at whose death, however, he was deprived of the office. It was some years after this that he became Bishop of Hereford, and was consecrated at Canterbury, September 8th, 1275. No Welsh bishop attended the consecration.

After he became a bishop he still wore his hair-shirt and showed ever intense devotion in his celebration of divine service. He was remarkable in the steadfastness and ability he displayed in maintaining the rights of the see. Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, claiming a certain "chace" near Malvern Forest, whence came the Bishop's supply of game, found a relentless opponent in Bishop Cantilupe. The Bishop was prepared with the customary "pugil" or champion (who received 6s. 8d. per annum), though his services were not required. The Earl was excommunicated, and appealing to the law in a trial Bishop Cantilupe eloquently maintained his right to capture "buck, doe, fawn, wild cat, hare, and all birds pertaining thereto," and as a result of the verdict being in his favour, caused a long trench to be dug on the crest of the Malvern Hills as a boundary line, which is still traceable.

Llewellyn, King of Wales, was made to restore three manors of which he had obtained unlawful possession; and Lord Clifford, for cattle-lifting and maltreating the Bishop's tenants, was compelled to walk barefoot to the high altar in the cathedral, while the Bishop personally chastised him with a rod.

Many cases did he fight out successfully, but his greatest struggle was on a question of testamentary jurisdiction with Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury, by whom he was ultimately excommunicated and obliged to leave the country, attended by Swinfield, his faithful chaplain.

He obtained a decree in his favour from Pope Martin IV., but died on the homeward journey on August 25th, 1282. He was buried in the church of St. Severus, near Florence; but his bones having been divided from the flesh by boiling, were later carried to England and solemnly placed in the Lady Chapel of the cathedral. It is said that the Earl of Gloucester, with whom Bishop Cantilupe had had the dispute about the chace, attended the ceremony, and that blood began to flow from the bones when he approached the casket containing them; upon which the Earl immediately restored the property he had taken unjustly from the church.

Forty years later Bishop Cantilupe was canonised. It is said, amongst other evidences of his saintliness, that he never allowed his sister to kiss him. Three hundred sick people are said to have been cured at the place of his interment, and so many candles were presented by the crowds of visitors that Luke de Bray, the treasurer of the cathedral, had a dispute with the prebendaries as to the value of the wax, two-thirds being finally assigned to the treasurer and one-third to the prebendaries.

After five years Bishop Cantilupe's bones were removed to the Chapel of St. Katherine, in the north-west transept, on Maundy Thursday, April 6th, 1287, in presence of King Edward I. They were again twice moved in the sixteenth century to the Lady Chapel and back again to the north-west transept.

The building of the chapter-house may have spread over some part of Cantilupe's episcopate, and probably part of the cloisters were erected about this time.

The miracles said to have been wrought at the shrine of St. Cantilupe are both many and various. More than sixty-six dead people are said to have been restored to life. The saint's intervention appears to have been extended even to animals, as we find that King Edward I. twice sent sick falcons to be cured at this tomb. So great was the reverence for the saint that the See of Hereford was allowed by the Crown to change its armorial bearings for the arms of Cantilupe, which all its bishops have since borne.

Bishop Cantilupe was succeeded by his devoted chaplain, Richard Swinfield, an excellent preacher and a man of agreeable manners. Bishop Swinfield, like his predecessor, stoutly vindicated the rights and discipline of his diocese, once against a layman for taking forcible possession of a vacant benefice, another time against a lady for imprisoning a young clergyman in her castle on a false charge, and also against the people of Ludlow for violating the right of sanctuary, and in many cases against abuses of all sorts. On one occasion Pontius de Cors, a nephew of Bishop Aquablanca, who had obtained from the Pope the provision of the prebend of Hinton, interrupted the installation of Robert de Shelving appointed by Bishop Swinfield, gained admission to the cathedral with an accomplice, and was formally installed by him in spite of the remonstrance of the Chapter. He held his place by force of arms during that day and the next, but later submitted to the Bishop.

Bishop Swinfield was probably the builder of the nave-aisles and of the two easternmost transepts. This amounted to a remodelling of the work of De Vere. The bases of his piers and responds were retained and may still be seen, and upon the former octagonal columns were erected to carry the vaulting. The windows were altered throughout. It was in his time that the "Mappa Mundi," the curious map of the world designed by Richard of Haldingham of Battle in Sussex, a prebendary of Hereford in 1305, now preserved in the cathedral, came into possession of the Chapter.

Richard Haldingham was a great friend of Bishop Swinfield, and when it was necessary for him to send representatives to a provincial Council in London, A.D. 1313, Haldingham was deputed to attend with Adam of Orleton, a place belonging to the Mortimers of Wigmore in the north-east of Herefordshire.

Three years later (1316), on the death of Bishop Swinfield at his chief residence, Bosbury, Adam of Orleton succeeded him in the bishopric.

King Edward II. was not jubilant over the appointment of a friend of Roger Mortimer to this important position, and, failing to persuade Adam to decline the bishopric, he appealed to the Pope, begging him to cancel the appointment, but with no more success. The fortunes of the Bishop of Hereford became identified with the Queen, whom he joined on her return from France with her eldest son. It was at Hereford that this youth, then fourteen years of age, was appointed guardian of the kingdom under the direction of his mother.

The King, who had sought refuge in Wales, was captured at Neath Abbey, and the great seal taken from him by Bishop Adam Orleton, while the Chancellor, Hugh Despenser, was conveyed to Hereford, where he was crowned with nettles and dressed in a shirt upon which was written passages from Psalm lii. beginning, "Why boastest thou thyself, thou tyrant: that thou canst do mischief." Amid the howlings of a great multitude who mocked his name by shrieking "Hue!" he was finally hanged on a gallows 50 feet high and then quartered. Among the prisoners were two wearing holy orders, and these the Bishop of Hereford claimed as his perquisite.


Bishop Adam, wary, unscrupulous, but at the same time vigorous and of unusual ability, played a great part in politics to the end of the wretched King's life. Some historians still believe that he recommended the murder; he certainly supported the deposition in Parliament, and went to Kenilworth as one of the commissioners to force the King's resignation. If thus interested in secular politics, he was no less watchful and vigilant in the affairs of his bishopric and the cathedral.

The great central tower, destined centuries later to be a source of such anxiety and a problem of such difficulty to the restorer, was even at this early date showing signs of dilapidation, and Bishop Orleton obtained from Pope John XXII. a grant of the great tithes of Shenyngfeld (Swinfield) and Swalefeld (Swallowfield) in Berkshire, in answer to the following petition:—"That they, being desirous of rebuilding a portion of the fabric of the Church of Hereford, had caused much super-structure of sumptuous work to be built, to the adornment of the House of God, upon an ancient foundation; which in the judgment of masons or architects, who were considered skilful in their art, was thought to be firm and sound, at the cost of 20,000 marcs sterling and more, and that on account of the weakness of the aforesaid foundation, the building, which was placed upon it now, threatened such ruin, that by a similar judgment no other remedy could be applied short of an entire renovation of the fabric from the foundation,—which, on account of the expenses incurred in prosecution of the canonisation of Thomas de Cantilupe, Bishop of Hereford, of blessed memory, they were unable to undertake." The "sumptuous work" alluded to was evidently the central tower and the north transept; which latter had been built, as mentioned before, for the remains and shrine of Bishop Cantilupe.

When Mr. R. Biddulph Phillips, some sixty years ago, was examining the confused and unsorted mass of charters and grants in the possession of the cathedral, he found a parchment (which bore the two beautiful episcopal seals of Bishop Roger le Poer of Sarum and Bishop Adam de Orleton of Hereford) that acknowledged and confirmed this grant of tithes to the sustentation of the fabric of the cathedral, which still forms the backbone of the fabric fund. In 1328 Bishop Orleton was translated to Worcester.

During the ensuing war with France, the church walls echoed with prayers for the King's success, and, while the war-cloud still darkened the political sky, orisons louder and more heartfelt filled the cathedral. It is said that when the "Black Death" reached Hereford in 1349, to retard its progress in the city the shrine of St. Thomas de Cantilupe was carried in procession.

About this time, and possibly not unconnected with the calamity of this terrible plague, Bishop Trilleck issued a mandate prohibiting the performance of "theatrical plays and interludes" in churches as "contrary to the practice of religion." The exact character of these performances is doubtful, and the prohibition may have referred to some kind of secular mumming. The mystery play survived long after Bishop Trilleck's time in an annual pageant exhibited in the cathedral on Corpus Christi Day, to assist in which some of the city guilds were obliged by the rules of their incorporation.

The quarrels between the townspeople and the Bishop about his rights of jurisdiction continued with more or less frequency. It must certainly have been irritating to good Bishop Trilleck "gratus, prudens, pius" as the mutilated inscription on his effigy describes him, when one William Corbet forced his way into the palace, carried away the porter bodily, shut him in the city gaol, and took away the keys of the palace.

On the second visitation of the "Black Death," 1361-2, it is said that the city market was removed from Hereford to a place about a mile on the west of the town, still marked by a cross called the "White Cross" bearing the arms of Bishop Charleton.

If Bishop Orleton was deeply concerned in the deposition of King Edward II., a later Bishop of Hereford, Thomas Trevenant, who was appointed in 1389 by papal provision, was no less active in the deposition of King Richard II., and was sent to the Pope with the Archbishop of York by Henry IV. to explain his title to the Crown and announce his accession.

In 1396, during the episcopate of Bishop Gilbert, the priest vicars of the cathedral were formed into a college by Royal Charter, and the first warden or "custos" was appointed by the King to show that the right of appointment was vested in the Crown. The college was to have a common seal, and to exercise the right of acquiring and holding property, but to be subject to the Dean and Chapter of the cathedral. Its members were the priests of the chantry chapels in the cathedral, at this time apparently twenty-seven in number.

In 1475 the college was moved from Castle Street to its present site, so that the vicars should be able more comfortably to attend the night services. An order was also made about this time concerning the celebration of mass at the altar of St. John Baptist in the cathedral, an arrangement which shows that then as now the parish of St. John had no church of its own outside the cathedral walls.

About 1418, the cloister connecting the Bishop's palace with the cathedral was begun by Bishop Lacy, who took great interest in the cathedral although he never visited his diocese. It was upon this work of the cloisters that 2800 marks were expended by Bishop Spofford, 1421-1448, in whose time the great west window was erected by William Lochard, the precentor. The richly panelled and vaulted chapel of Bishop Stanbury, approached from the north aisle of the presbytery, was added between 1453 and 1474.

In 1492 Edmund Audley, the Bishop of Rochester, was translated to Hereford, and during his episcopate founded the two-storied chantry chapel south of the Lady Chapel and near the shrine of St. Thomas of Cantilupe. The upper story was probably intended as a private oratory for the Bishop himself. Bishop Audley also presented to the cathedral a silver shrine.


The next important alteration was the lengthening of the great north porch which bears the date 1519 and the shields of Bishop Booth and his predecessor, Bishop Mayo. It is a very fine piece of Perpendicular work, somewhat similar in design to the porch in the middle of the west front of Peterborough Cathedral. At his death Bishop Booth left various books to the cathedral library and some tapestry for the high altar, together with silver and gold ornaments for the Cantilupe Shrine. The tapestry displayed the story of David and Nabal. He also bequeathed, amongst other things to his successor, the gold ring with which he was consecrated, but notwithstanding his forethought in specifying that these articles were not to be taken away with such successor in case of his translation, they have disappeared. Little could Bishop Booth have imagined, in the enthusiasm of his building operations, the changes to follow so closely upon his death. Yet the papal supremacy had been abolished in this country in 1534, and though the church services remained unaltered, the amended Primer had been published. On September 26th, 1535, was consecrated at Winchester, to the See of Hereford, one of the most "excellent instruments" of the Reformation, Edward Foxe, and in the following year the suppression of the monasteries began in serious earnest. Still the chantry chapels were to be spared for some time. Of these chantries and chapels there were then no less than twenty-one in the cathedral.

In 1553, commissioners were appointed to visit the churches, chapels, guilds, and fraternities all over the kingdom and take inventories of their treasures, leaving to each parish church or chapel "one or two chalices according to the multitude of people." In Hereford Cathedral, amongst other valuable ornaments, was a chalice of gold weighing 22 lbs. 9-1/2 oz., two basins weighing 102 oz., and an enamelled pastoral staff in five pieces of silver gilt weighing 11 lbs. 7 oz. 3 dwts. troy. It is not possible to learn the value of the goods appropriated in the cathedral alone, but the jewels and plate of the whole country were estimated at 4860-1/4 ounces, in value about L1213, 1s. 3d.

On August 22nd or 25th, 1642, the Royal Standard was set up at Nottingham, and the clouds of the Great Rebellion burst over the country. Bishop Coke of Hereford had been one of the twelve churchmen most active against the Bill for excluding the bishops from Parliament, passed in the Commons in May 1641, and was one of the ten bishops committed to the Tower by the joint sentence of the Lords and Commons on charge of treason.

The "popishly inclined" county of Hereford was at one with its Bishop, but so unprepared for war that Lord Stamford, with two troops of cavalry and a single infantry regiment, entered Hereford under the orders of the Earl of Essex and quartered himself in the Bishop's palace. Here he remained till December 14th without, however, any serious plundering in the town itself. In April 1643, Waller took the city for the second time, and again without much resistance, a condition of the surrender being the immunity of the Bishop and cathedral clergy from personal violence and plunder. On his leaving Hereford the place was retaken by the Royalists, and became an asylum for fugitive Roman Catholics. So it went on, being held first by one side and then by the other. In the autumn of 1645 Hereford was besieged by Lord Leven with the Scottish army, who were driven off by Colonel Barnabas Scudamore with heavy loss.

The cathedral at this time suffered considerable injury during the siege. The defenders used the lead from the chapter-house roof to cover the keep of the castle, and possibly also to make bullets. Finally, on December 18th, through the treachery of Colonel Birch, the governor of the city, Hereford was once more taken, and this time the whole place was overrun by a rabble of plundering soldiery.

No doubt much damage had been done in the cathedral during the Reformation, but despite the protests of an antiquarian captain, one Silas Taylor, far greater mischief was perpetrated in this military loot. "The storied windows richly dight" were smashed to bits, monumental brasses torn up, the library plundered of most valuable MSS., and rich ornaments stolen.

Some while after the Restoration, an appeal was made by the cathedral clergy to the nobility, baronets, knights, esquires, and gentry of the county for help towards restoring the cathedral, though it is not known with what welcome the appeal was received.

Towards the beginning of the eighteenth century much harm was done to the cathedral by the zeal of Bishop Bisse, one of those irritating people who mean well but act abominably. He spent much, both on the palace and the cathedral, employing in the alterations of the former the stones of the chapter-house, which had been doubtless much injured but not irreparably so. In the cathedral itself he erected a mass of masonry intended to support the central tower, which was, however, nothing but a hideous architectural blunder. In itself it was ugly to behold, and actually weakened by lateral pressure that which it was intended to support. He also presented an elaborate altar-piece and Grecian oak screen with scenic decoration above, boards painted to represent curtains, and wooden imitations of tassels which hung immediately over the heads of the ministering priests as they stood at the altar. These were found later on to be hung on rusty nails by twine "little better than pack thread."


During the episcopate of the Hon. Henry Egerton, 1723-1746, an ancient building of early Norman date used as a chapel for the palace was pulled down. It consisted of an upper and a lower portion, the lower a chapel dedicated to St. Katherine and the upper one to St. Mary Magdalene. Part of one wall still remains. It was during the next episcopate, on Easter Monday 1786, that a terrible calamity occurred,—the fall of the great western tower. Directly and indirectly this was the worst accident that has happened to Hereford Cathedral. The west front was utterly destroyed, and a great part of the nave seriously injured, while the injudicious restoration begun in 1788 by the Dean and Chapter, with James Wyatt for architect, did nearly as much to ruin the cathedral as the fall of the tower.


From a drawing by T. Hearne, 1806.

Already, at Salisbury, Wyatt had been busy with irreparable deeds of vandalism, but at Hereford he surpassed his previous efforts in this direction. He altered the whole proportion of the building, shortening the nave by a bay of 15 feet, erected a new west front on a "neat Gothic pattern," and availed himself of the chance of removing all the Norman work in the nave, above the nave arcade substituting a design of his own.

One of the strangest items in his scheme was a plaster hod moulding round each of the arches above the arcade. These eccentricities were removed not long since, but the roughened lines for adhesion of the plaster still remain. Inside the west front may also still be seen large spaces of wall painted to represent blocks of stone, but no more so in reality than the wall of any stucco residence.

It should not be forgotten, while condemning the meaningless insipidity of Wyatt's work, that it was enthusiastically approved in his own day, and that the public generally were as much to blame as himself.

The old spire was taken down from the central tower, and in order to give it apparent height the roofs of both nave and choir were lowered in pitch, its parapet was raised, and some pinnacles were added.

At the same time the churchyard was levelled and new burying-grounds provided for the city elsewhere.

In 1837, Dr. Thomas Musgrave was promoted to the See of Hereford. He was a man of sound judgment and of much practical ability, and it was during his episcopacy that a serious competent and thorough repair of the cathedral was at last undertaken at a cost of L27,000, to which no one devoted more loving care or more untiring energy than Dean Merewether.

"Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses and this house lie waste?" he quotes in the beginning of his exhaustive "Statement of the condition and circumstances of the Cathedral Church of Hereford in the year 1841." In this statement he shows the lamentable state of decay in the eastern end of the Lady Chapel, the bulging of its walls and the dangerous fissures, which, on the removal of whitewash and plaster, became visible in the soffit of each of the window arches.

In early times the walls were very much thicker, composed of hewn stone, making a kind of casing at each side, called ashlar, the interval being filled with rubble masonry cemented with lime and loam. This stuffing having deteriorated the weight above had split the outer wall, though most fortunately the interior face was perfectly sound and upright.

To trace the cracks thoroughly, it was necessary to remove the oak panelling fitted to the wall below the windows, and the heavy bookcases filling up a great part of the area were taken away with the lath and plaster partition from the sides of the pillar at the west end of the chapel.


By this clearing the beauty of the chapel so long obscured became again manifest: its symmetrical proportions, the remains of its ancient painting, the disclosure of two most interesting monuments, two aumbries, a double piscina, the chapel of Bishop Audley, but more important than all, two of the most beautiful specimens of transition arches to be found anywhere, Early English in form, but ornamented in their soffits with the Norman moulding and the zigzag decoration, corresponding with the remarkable union of the Norman intersecting arches on the exterior of the building, with its pointed characteristics.

The further examination by Dean Merewether and Mr. Cottingham, the architect, showed that the great central tower of the cathedral was in imminent danger of falling, and might at any moment entirely collapse.

Above the Grecian altar screen of Bishop Bisse they were struck by the traces of Norman mouldings, whilst on traversing the clerestory gallery the remains of Norman ornaments were everywhere to be found, the gallery itself being still existent at each side, returned behind the wooden coverings, up to the splays of the eastern windows.

The whole incongruous covering of the east end of the choir shown on p. 77 was then removed, and the change effected was most striking. It was evident that long before the introduction of the Grecian screen in 1717, the original arrangement had been disturbed by the insertion of a Perpendicular window, to support which the low circular arch in the centre had been constructed; on either side of this window were now to be seen the mouldings and featherings of the original early decorated lights, on a level with the lateral clerestory range; below these the Norman arcade, based upon a string course of nebule ornaments.

"But below," says Dean Merewether, "the beauty of beauties was to be traced,—the thickness of that part of the wall is 8 feet; on either side of the arch, 24 feet in span, were portions of shafts, corresponding with the pair of Norman shafts exposed to view seven years ago. The bases of these (standing on a sort of plinth, which was continued through those already referred to), as well as the capitals, of most curious detail, were perfect, and upon them were visible as far as the level of the window above, the remaining stones which formed the architecture of the exterior arch, from which it was evident that its crown must have risen to the height of 30 feet. By cautious examination of the parts walled up, it was discovered that the capitals were all perfect, and that this exquisite and grand construction, the mutilation and concealment of which it is utterly impossible to account for, was, in fact, made up of five arches, the interior and smallest supported by the two semi-columns already described, and each of the others increasing in span as it approached the front upon square and circular shafts alternately, the faces of each arch being beautifully decorated with the choicest Norman ornaments. Of the four lateral arches, the two first had been not only hidden by the oak panelling of the screen, but were also, like the two others, closed up with lath and plaster, as the central arch; and when these incumbrances and desecrations were taken away, it is impossible to describe adequately the glorious effect produced, rendered more solemn and impressive by the appearance of the ancient monuments of Bishops Reynelm, Mayew, Stanbury, and Benet, whose ashes rest beneath these massive arches, of which, together with the noble triforium above, before the Conquest, Athelstan had probably been the founder, and the former of those just mentioned, the completer and restorer after that era."

Under Mr. Cottingham many improvements were made, though it cannot be said that all the work he did was good either in design or execution. The beautiful lantern of the central tower, with its fifty-six shafts, was satisfactorily strengthened and thrown open to view. At the time of Dean Merewether's death in 1850 much still remained to be done, and in 1857 a further scheme was set going under the financial management of Dean Richard Dawes, and the architectural direction of Mr., afterwards Sir Gilbert, Scott, who restored the north transepts, the north porch, the choir, and Lady Chapel. He also erected the large metal screen and fitted up the Lady Chapel as a church for the parish of St. John the Baptist.

Altogether in these two works of repair about L45,000 was expended, and the cathedral was opened for service on June 30th, 1863.


Artistic unity is certainly not the chief characteristic of Hereford Cathedral, but it is doubtful whether the absence of that quality dear to a purist is not more than compensated for by the fine examples of different periods, which make the massive pile as a whole a valuable record of historical progress. And surely it is more fitting that a great ecclesiastical edifice should grow with the successive ages it outlasts, and bear about it architectural evidence of every epoch through which it has passed.

Almost in the midst of the city the sturdy mass of the cathedral building reposes in a secluded close, from which the best general view is obtained. The close is entered either from Broad Street, near the west window, or from Castle Street; the whole of the building lying on the south side of the close between the path and the river. The space between the Wye and the cathedral is filled by the Bishop's Palace and the college of the Vicars Choral.

On the east are the foundations of the castle, which was formerly one of the strongest on the Welsh marches.

The cathedral is especially rich in architecture of the Norman, Early English, and Early Decorated periods.

The work of the Norman builders, found chiefly in the interior, survives in the exterior aspect rather in the "sturdy" quality remaining through the subsequent building being imposed upon the old foundations. The side apses of the original triple eastern termination were converted into the present eastern transept; an operation, the result of which helps to produce an intricate outline already irregular through the projections of the porch of Bishop Booth.

The *Central Tower*, a splendid example of Decorated work, is of two stages above the roofs, with buttresses at the angles. It is covered with a profusion of ball-flower ornament, which, except in the south nave aisle of Gloucester Cathedral, is nowhere else so freely used.


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Pershore Abbey is not far from Hereford, and from the disposition of the upper windows of the central tower and the style and position of the dividing pilasters and bands of ornament, it seems likely that the earlier lantern of Pershore is partly responsible for its design.

In old prints of the cathedral the great central spire which formerly existed is shown. It was a timber erection, covered with lead. When this was taken down at the time of the great repairs and rebuilding of the west end, a stunted, squat appearance was given to the building. In the year 1830 Canon Russell presented a sum of money to the Dean and Chapter to build four appropriate pinnacles at the angles.

The tower which formerly stood at the west end was similar in design to the central one, but rose only one stage above the leads of the nave. This seems to have been used as a belfry; whereas the central tower was a lantern.

The large projecting *North Porch*, completed in 1530 by Bishop Booth, is Perpendicular, and somewhat resembles, though it is later in date, the porch in the centre of the west front at Peterborough. The front entrance archway has highly enriched spandrels and two lateral octagonal staircase buttress turrets at the angles. These have glazed windows in the upper portions, forming a picturesque lantern to each. This outer porch consists of two stories, the lower of which is formed by three wide, open arches, springing from four piers at the extreme angles, two of which are united with the staircase turrets, the others with the ends of the old porch. The upper story, containing an apartment, is sustained on a vaulted and groined roof, and has three large windows, with elaborate tracery.

In the north transept the massive buttresses with bevelled angles, of which those at the angles are turreted, with spiral cappings, the remarkable windows, tall without transoms, and rising nearly the whole height of the building, show to great advantage. The clerestory windows, like those in the outer wall of the triforium in the nave of Westminster, are triangular on the exterior.

On the eastern side of this transept, which has an aisle, is an unusual architectural feature. The windows of the triforium have semi-circular arched mouldings, enclosing a window of three lights of lancet-shaped arches. Beneath the aisle window is a pointed arched doorway, which was probably an original approach to the shrine of Cantilupe.

In the angle is a staircase turret, which is circular at the bottom and polygonal above; and this probably was an access to a private apartment for a monk over the aisle of the transept containing the sacred shrine.

Continuing an examination of the north side of the cathedral one notices the buttresses of the north-east transept, the Stanbury Chapel, the windows, parapet, and roof of the aisle, the clerestory windows with arcade dressings to the walls, and the modern parapet above the whole.


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The style of the arcade and window, and also the blank window or double arch, with two smaller arches within the clerestory wall, claims especial attention, as well as the ribbed roof rising above the Norman triforium.

We now come to the Early English work of the *Lady Chapel*, the east end of which is especially noticeable, with its bold angular buttresses rising from immense bases. The numerous and large base mouldings running round the wall of this building, its tall lancet-shaped windows, arcades, and ovolar and lozenge-shaped panels, are so many interesting peculiarities of design.

The Audley Chapel projects on the south side. The angular, embattled parapet at the end is a modern addition.

The south side of the cathedral is not easily examined by the public, being shut within the walls of a garden between the Bishop's and the Vicars' Cloisters.

The *Bishop's Cloisters* consist of two walks only, or covered corridors, though that on the west, which was pulled down in the reign of Edward VI. to make room for a pile of brick building appropriated to the Grammar School, and in its turn demolished in 1836, is now in course of restoration.

It does not appear that the cloisters ever had a walk on the north side against the cathedral.

These cloisters are of Perpendicular date, and between a continued series of buttresses are windows of large dimensions, with mullions and tracery.

The vaulting of the roof is adorned with numerous ribbed mouldings, at the intersections of which are shields charged with sculptured figures, foliage, arms, etc. These ribs spring from slender pillars between the windows and corbels heads on the other side: over the exterior of the windows are carved grotesque heads, of which we give some illustrations. The south walk of the cloisters is the more richly groined. At the south-east corner is a square turreted tower containing a small chamber, which has been carefully and completely restored. It has always been called the "Ladye Arbour," although no one has been able to discover the origin of this name or the use to which the chamber was put; many antiquarians suggest a possible reference to the Virgin.


The entrance doorway to the *Chapter-house* from the east walk still remains, but is walled up. It consists of a pointed arch under a lofty, richly ornamented pedimental moulding, having clustered shafts on the sides, with foliated capitals. The archway is divided by a slender pillar into two smaller openings. The once elegant chapter-room to which this doorway communicated, whether or not they fell, as Britton asserts, "beneath the fanatic frenzy of the Cromwellian soldiers," was certainly neglected; and then, as long as any material could be got from it, treated as a stone quarry by Bishop Bisse and his successors. This chapter-house appears to have been a beautiful piece of design of the rich Decorated period. It was decagonal in plan, with a projecting buttress at each angle. Each side, except the one occupied by the entrance, was sub-divided into five panels or seats. Remains of three sides only are left, and these only as far as the window-sills.

Against the south wall of the cloisters, towards its east end, are some remains of two Norman chapels, one above the other. The lower was dedicated to St. Katherine and the upper to St. Mary Magdalene.

"The form, excepting a portico and choir (i.e. chancel) was an exact square; four pillars in the middle, with arches every way, supported the roof; the portico was composed of a succession of arches retiring inwards, and had a grandeur in imitation of Roman works; two pillars on each side consisted of single stones. There was a descent of a few steps to the lower chapel, which had several pillars against the walls made of single stones, and an octagonal cupola on the four middle pillars. The walls were much painted, and the arched roof was turned with great skill, and resembled the architecture which prevailed during the declension of the Roman Empire (see Stukeley, Havergal, etc.).

Mentioning the existence of the doorway and two small windows in the remaining north wall, the author of The Picturesque Antiquities of Hereford proceeds to say: "These are extremely interesting, as they pertained to an edifice which once stood on the south side of this wall, and is believed to have been the original church of St. Mary, the patron saint of the cathedral before the translation of the body of St. Ethelbert. It was the parish church of St. Mary, to which the residences in the cathedral close belonged. Transcripts of registers of marriages there solemnised so late as the year 1730 are existent in the Dean's archives."

A second cloister, known as the *Vicars' Cloister*, connects the Vicars' College with the south-east transept. The arrangement here may be compared with that of Chichester, as showing the most probable plan of the latter before the destruction of the south walk and its connection with the cloister of the Vicars Choral.

In the area of the Bishop's Cloister was formerly a preaching cross, which fell into a decayed state during the latter part of the last century. Beneath it was a dome of masonry which closed the aperture to a well of considerable depth, which had been formed with great exactness. This well still exists beneath a plain square stone. Another well was (according to Stukeley) situated between the College and the Castle Green, with a handsome stone arch over it.


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Building operations are still in progress at Hereford, and it was proposed to mark the year of Her Majesty's Jubilee by a special restoration, dealing principally with the west end and central tower.


The Cathedral is usually entered from the north-west through the beautiful parvise porch of Bishop Booth. The lower stage of this porch is formed by three arches with octagonal turrets at their outer angles. These turrets are each capped by a lantern. The second stage has three fine Perpendicular windows. The doorway, which actually opens into the church, belongs to a smaller porch within this outer one. The inner porch is of the Decorated period. There is some particularly good iron-work on the doors, made by Messrs Potter from designs by Mr. Cottingham, junior.

Hereford has a smaller area than either of the other two sister cathedrals, being only 26,850 feet in extent.


The *Nave*, which is separated from the aisles by eight massive Norman piers (part of the original church), of which the capitals are worthy of notice, has somewhat suffered by restorations at the hand of Wyatt. The triforium, the clerestory, the vaulting of the roof and the western wall and doorway are all his work; and it must not be forgotten that he shortened the original nave by one entire bay. Walking to the west end, from which the best general view is to be obtained, one is impressed by the striking effect of the great Norman piers and arches and the gloom of the choir beyond. Through the noble circular arches, which support the central tower and the modern screen on the eastern side of it, we see the eastern wall of the choir, pierced above by three lancet windows and below by a wide circular arch receding in many orders. A central pillar divides this lower arch, two pointed arches springing from its capital and leaving a spandrel between them, which is covered with modern sculpture. In the far distance may be distinguished the east wall of the Lady Chapel and its brilliant lancet lights.

Throughout the Cathedral the Norman work is remarkable for the richness of its ornament as compared with other buildings of the same date, such as Peterborough or Ely.

The main arches of the nave are ornamented with the billet and other beautiful mouldings, and the capitals of both piers and shafts are also elaborately decorated. The double half shafts set against the north and south fronts of the huge circular piers are in the greater part restorations.

Over each pier arch there are two triforium arches imitated from the Early English of Salisbury. They are divided by slender pillars, but there is no triforium passage.

During the Late Decorated period the nave-aisles were practically rebuilt, the existing walls and windows being erected upon the bases of the Norman walls, which were retained for a few feet above the foundations. The vaulting of the roofs of the nave-aisles and the roof of the nave itself were coloured under the direction of Mr. Cottingham.

*The Font*, of late Norman design, probably twelfth century, is in the second bay of the south aisle beginning from the west.

The circular basin is 32 inches in diameter, large enough for the total immersion of children. Beneath arches round the basin are figures of the twelve Apostles. These, however, with one exception, have been much broken. The most curious feature of this interesting font is the base with four demi-griffins or lions projecting therefrom. The whole is protected by a mosaic platform.

*Monuments in the Nave.*—The first monument on the south side as we walk from the western end is the fine effigy in alabaster of Sir Richard Pembridge in plate and mail armour with his greyhound. This monument was formerly at the Black Friars Monastery, but was removed here at the Suppression. Sir Richard Pembridge was a Knight of the Garter (53rd of that order) at the time of Edward III., and was present at Poitiers. He died in 1375. There are still traces of colour on this monument and gold remains on the points of the cap to which the camail is fastened, as also on the jewelled sword-belt. A sheaf of green coloured leathers is separated from the tilting helmet, on which the head rests, by a coronet of open roses. When the effigy was brought here it had but one leg left, and that the gartered one. A wooden limb was carved, and the workman showed such accuracy in duplicating the stone leg that the Knight was adorned with a pair of garters for many years until Lord Saye and Sele, Canon Residentiary, presented the Cathedral with a new alabaster leg, and the wooden one was banished to a shelf in the library.


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Under a foliated Decorated arch in the wall in the fifth bay is the carved figure of an unknown ecclesiastic. The effigy is headless and otherwise much mutilated.

In the sixth bay is another mutilated and headless figure, under a foliated arch, which is crowned by a bearded head wearing a cap. It is thought to be the monument of a former treasurer.

In the fifth bay a quaint door leads from the aisle to the Bishop's Cloister. This has a square heading which rises above the sill of the window over it. There is an interesting series of heads in the hollow moulding, which are said to be copies of earlier work in the same position. The iron-work of the door itself is modern by Potter. A lofty Norman arch leads from this aisle into the south transept.

The north aisle of the nave is similar in style to the south. It contains six memorial windows to Canon Clutton and his wife, with subjects by Warrenton from the life of St. John the Baptist.

In the sixth bay from the west of the north wall of the nave is the effigy and tomb under which is buried Bishop Booth (1535), the builder of the large projecting porch which bears his name. The recumbent figure of the Bishop is fully vested with a mitra pretiosa with pendent fillets. He wears a cassock, amice, alb, stole, fringed tunic and dalmatic, and chasuble with orfrays in front. On his feet are broad-toed sandals; his hands are gloved; a crozier (the head of which has been broken) is veiled on the right. At this side is a feathered angel. The original inscription, cut into stone and fixed above the effigy, remains uninjured:

"Carolus Booth, episcopus Herefordensis cum 18 annos, 5 menses et totidem dies Ecclesiae huic cum laude prefuisset, quinto die Maii 1535 defunctus sub hoc tumulo sepultus jacet."

The iron-work in front of this tomb is the only specimen in the Cathedral which has not been disturbed, although Mr. Havergal says "most of our large ancient monuments were protected by iron railings." It is divided into six square panels, having shields and heraldic ornaments.

The beautiful wrought iron *Screen*, an elaborate example of artistic metal-work, painted and gilt, executed by Messrs Skidmore of Coventry, from designs by Sir Gilbert Scott, stands between the eastern piers of the central tower, a little towards the nave. The first great piece of metal-work of this kind executed in England in modern times was the choir screen at Lichfield, designed and carried out by the same artists as the Hereford screen; though the latter and subsequent production transcends that of Lichfield, both in craftsmanship and beauty.

It has five main arches, each subdivided into two sub-arches by a slender shaft. The central arch is larger and higher than the others, is gabled and surmounted by a richly jewelled cross. This forms the entrance, and on either side, to a height of 4 feet, the lower part of the arches are filled with tracery in panels. The spandrels between the heads of the arches are enriched with elaborate ornament in flowing outline.


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A variety of foliage and flowers has been worked in thin plates of copper and hammered iron, in imitation of natural specimens, and throughout the screen the passion flower is prominent in the decoration. It is composed of 11,200 lbs. of iron, 5000 lbs. of copper and brass, 50,000 pieces of vitreous and other mineral substances in the mosaic panels, and about 300 cut and polished stones. There are also seven bronze figures, three single figures, and two groups. Of these the Times, May 29, 1862, well said: "These figures are perfect studies in themselves. Every one can understand them at a glance, and from the centre figure of Our Saviour to those of the praying Angels, the fulness of their meaning may be felt without the aid of any inscriptions beneath the feet to set forth who or what they are."


The eastern side of the screen, though without statuary, is no less worthy of inspection. Over the gates the large oval space is filled with the sacred monogram I.H.C. The base consists of polished Devonshire marble. The diversity of tint of the metals used is in itself a source of colour, but the whole of the hammered iron-work of the foliage has been painted with oxides of iron and copper, while the colour scheme is further carried out in the mosaics.

The whole effect is certainly beautiful, and the screen is perhaps the best example of this kind of work produced in modern times. The cost of the screen was L3000, though the sum paid by the Chapter in accordance with their agreement was only L1500. The same firm, the Skidmore Art Company, who made it, also supplied the large corona and gasfittings.

A brass eagle presented by the Misses Rushort to the Cathedral, is placed near the south-west corner of the screen; it was designed by Cottingham.

*The Central Tower.*—Immediately above the four great arches of the central tower, the interior walls are, says Professor Willis in his report on the Cathedral, "Of a very singular construction; twelve piers of compact masonry on each side, beside angle piers, are carried up to the height of 26 ft., and connected half-way up by a horizontal course of stone, in long pieces, and by an iron bar, which runs all round immediately under this bonding course. Upon these gigantic stone gratings, if I may be allowed the expression, the interior wall of the tower rests, and they also carry the entire weight of the bell-chamber and bells.

The whole space is now completely open from the floor of the Cathedral to the wooden floor of the bell-chamber, which is painted underneath in blue and gold. From this floor hangs, the handsome corona of wrought iron.

Before Mr. Cottingham's restoration was commenced in 1843, however, the whole appearance of the central tower was different, and the beautiful lantern with its many shafts was hidden from view by a vault of the fifteenth century, which rose above the great arches and completely concealed the upper portion of the tower.

In his specific report of the condition of the central tower in particular, which he was instructed to deliver in writing, Mr. Cottingham said:

"To enable me to form the opinion which I have now the honour of reporting, I have carefully examined the construction of the four great piers which support the tower; they are of Norman workmanship, and sufficient in bulk to carry a much greater weight than the present tower, had the masonry been more carefully constructed; they consist of a series of semi-circular columns attached to a thin ashlar casing, which surrounds the piers, and the chambers or cavities within are filled with a rubble core, composed of broken stones, loam and lime grouting; this was undoubtedly sufficient to carry a low Norman tower, but when the great Early English shaft was added on the top of this work the pressure became too great for such kind of masonry to bear. The ashlar and semi-columns, not being well bonded and deeply headed into the rubble cores, split and bulged, and the cores, for want of a proper proportion of lime, diminished and crushed to pieces. To remedy these defects, a second facing of ashlar has been attached to the piers, in some places by cutting out a part of the old ashlar, and in others by merely fixing long slips of stone round the pier with iron plugs, run in with lead,—these most unsightly excrescences have destroyed the beauty of the original design, without adding any strength to the masonry. The same unskilful hands blocked up all the original Norman arches, except one, connected with the tower piers and communicating with the aisles, choir, and transepts, leaving only a small passage-way in each.

"The first triforium arches in the choir and east side of the south transept, abutting against the tower, have also been closed up with masonry, so as to leave scarcely a trace of the rich work which lies concealed behind it. These injudicious performances have tended to weaken instead of strengthen the tower. The interior walls above the main arches of the tower, up to the bases of the fifty-two pillars, which surround the bellringers' chamber, are in a very ruinous state, particularly at the four angles, where rude cavities, running in a diagonal direction, have been made large enough for a man to creep in,—these unaccountable holes have tended very much to increase the danger, as all the masonry connected with them is drawn off its bond, and many of the stones shivered to pieces by the enormous pressure above. The stone-work, also, above the pillars, is drawn off at the angles just below the timber-work of the bell floor. On the whole, I never witnessed a more awful monument of the fallibility of human skill than the tower of Hereford Cathedral at this moment presents."

In addition to the report of the architect the Chapter availed themselves, on recommendation of the Bishop, of the opinion of Professor Willis, of Cambridge. This gentleman, after the most minute scrutiny and indefatigable labour, produced his elaborate and well-known report. He essentially corroborated the architect, especially as to the general state of the tower; and, under the strenuous exertions of Dean Merewether, the great work of restoration was commenced. The tower contains a fine peal of ten bells in the key of C. A new clock was erected in 1861, which strikes the hours and quarter-hours.

*The North Transept.*—Passing through the north arch of the tower we come into some of the most interesting parts of the Cathedral. The transept beyond was entirely rebuilt for the reception of the shrine of Bishop Cantilupe, when his body was removed from the Lady Chapel in 1287, after the miracles reported at his tomb had already largely increased the revenues of the Cathedral. The unusual shape of the arches and the fine and effective windows of this transept render it one of the most distinguished English specimens of the style.


On the north is a window with triple lights on each side of a group of banded shafts, the tracery above being formed of circles enclosing trefoils. The heads of the lights are sharply pointed.

The west side has two lofty windows recessed inside triangular-headed arches, which completely fill the two bays. They have three lights each, and are exactly similar to the windows on the north side of the transept.

Surrounded by alternate shafts of sandstone and dark marble, a clustered pier divides the eastern aisle of the transept into two bays. These shafts have foliated capitals, and the bases have knots of foliage between them.

With the exception of one string of dog-tooth ornament the mouldings of the main arches are plain.

Above is the interesting triforium stretching across the Norman arch opening to the choir-aisle beyond the transept itself. There are in each bay two pointed arches, each containing three smaller arches with foiled headings surmounted by three open quatrefoils. The spandrels between the arches are diapered in low relief with leaf ornament. Above, far back in the clerestory arches, are octofoil windows with sills of over-lapping courses, which incline forward to the string course above the triforium.

The shafts of all the windows are ringed at the angles, and the triangular arches are of an unusual stilted shape, similar to those in the clerestory of Worcester Cathedral on the south side of the nave. These are, however, of later date, and may have been imitated by the Worcester architect.

The restoration of the north transept by Sir G. G. Scott was satisfactorily carried out, and certainly improves the general effect.

*Monuments in the North Transept.*—The great north stained-glass window by Hardman was placed there as a memorial to Archdeacon Lane-Freer who died in 1863. Underneath this window, which is described later on in the section devoted to stained glass, is the stone effigy of Bishop Westfayling (died 1602). The canopy was removed by Wyatt, and the effigy is now leaning on its side against the wall. There is an undoubted original half-length portrait of this bishop in the Hall of Jesus College, Oxford. There are monuments to other members of the family in the church at Ross.

In the pavement near the choir-aisle is a brass to John Philips, the author of The Splendid Shilling and of Cyder, a poem endearing him to Herefordshire. His family belonged to this county, although he himself was born in Oxfordshire. There is also a monument to Philips in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. He died in 1708, at the early age of 32.


Photochrom Co., Ld., Photo.

The next monument in the north transept is the effigy of Bishop Thomas Charlton, treasurer of England, 1329. This effigy and its richly decorated alcove or canopy was most luckily not touched by Wyatt.

Here are stained-glass windows to Captain Arkwright, lost in an avalanche; Captain Kempson, and Rev. S. Clark, Headmaster of Battersea College.

In a line with the central pier of the eastern aisle is the most important monument in the north transept, viz.:—the pedestal of the celebrated shrine of St. Thomas de Cantilupe, 1282, who died at Civita Vecchia, near Florence, on his way to Rome, August 25th, 1282. His heart was sent to Ashridge in Buckinghamshire, part of the body was buried near Orvieto; and the bones were brought to Hereford and deposited in the Lady Chapel.

The pedestal is in shape a long parallelogram, narrower at the lower end. It is of Purbeck marble, and consists of two stages, the lower having a series of cinquefoiled niches and fourteen figures of Templars in chain armour in different attitudes, for Bishop Cantilupe was Provincial Grand Master of the Knights Templars in England.

All the figures are seated with various monsters under their feet. The filling of the spandrels between these niches and that of the spandrels between the arches of the upper stage is especially noteworthy. It belongs to the first Decorated period, and while the arrangement is still somewhat stiff or formal, the forms are evidently directly copied from nature.

The slab inside the open arcade, which forms the upper stage, still bears the matrix of the brass of an episcopal figure having traces of the arms of the See (i.e., the arms of Cantilupe).

By the dedication of the north transept especially to Bishop Cantilupe was avoided the secondary part which his shrine must have played if it had been placed in the usual post of honour at the back of the high altar. The shrine of St. Ethelbert was probably already there, and wisely enough a distinguished position was specially created by rebuilding the north transept for the purpose. There is a similar state of affairs at Oxford Cathedral with the shrine of St. Frideswide, and in the south transept of Chichester Cathedral with that of St. Richard de la Wych.

We note also a brass to Dean Frowcester, 1529; and another to Richard Delamare and his wife Isabella (1435).

Near the Cantilupe shrine is a bust of Bishop Field (died 1636), and on the floor is an effigy of John D'Acquablanca, a Dean of Hereford (died 1320), and nephew of Bishop D'Acquablanca, whose beautiful monument is close to it, between the north choir-aisle and the eastern aisle of the transept. Beholding the exquisite grace of this tomb we are reminded of the more elaborate and equally beautiful chantry of the same period (1262) in the south choir transept of Salisbury to Bishop Giles de Bridport.

Over the effigy, which is a most interesting example of minute ecclesiastical costume, delicate shafts of Purbeck marble support a gabled canopy, each gable of which is surmounted by a finial in the form of a floriated cross.

This monument once glowed with rich colour, and in 1861 a feeble attempt was made to restore it, which was, however, not carried out. Bishop Aquablanca, Peter of Savoy, had been steward of the household to his relative, William of Savoy, the Queen's uncle. His preferment was one of the noteworthy instances of Henry III.'s love of foreigners, and as Bishop of Hereford he was especially unpopular. The King made him his treasurer and consulted him on all matters of state. At his death, says the Rev. H. W. Phillott,(2) "He was probably little regretted in his cathedral city, whose citizens he had defeated in an attempt to encroach on his episcopal rights. But he used his victory with moderation, for he forgave them one half of their fine and devoted the other half to the fabric of the cathedral, probably that noble and graceful portion of it, the north-west transept, which contains the exquisitely beautiful shrine, probably erected by himself, under which repose the remains of his nephew, John, Dean of Hereford, as well as his own, his heart excepted, which, with a pathetic yearning of home-sickness, he desired should be carried to the church which he had founded in his own sunny land at Aigue-Belle, in Savoy. Yet, though his memory has received no mercy at the hands of historians and song-writers of his day, though his example did much to swell the tide of ill-repute in which many of the clergy of all ranks were held (for the laity, says the song-writer, are apt to pay less attention to the doctrine than to the life of their teachers), we ought not to leave out of sight that he did much to improve the fabric of the Cathedral, and bequeathed liberal gifts to its foundation in money, books, ornaments, and land, and also a handsome legacy to the poor of the diocese."


In the north transept is a doorway leading to the tower.

*South Transept.*—Crossing the Cathedral in front of the Skidmore screen it is a relief to turn from the nave with its sham triforium to the south transept with its fine three stage Norman east side. The groining, although incongruous, is still beautiful, and does not irritate in the same way as Wyatt's abominations in the nave. This transept contains several disputed architectural points, and opinions are divided as to whether it may not be the oldest existing portion of the Cathedral. "At any rate," says G. Phillips Bevan,(3) "this transept seems to have been the happy hunting-ground of successive races of builders, who have left the side-walls in admired confusion."

Though it underwent great alteration in the Perpendicular period much of the Norman work remains. The east wall is in the best preservation, and is certainly entirely Norman with the exception of the groining. It is covered with five series of arcades, which may be divided into three stages. In the middle stage is a notably good triforium passage of very short Norman arches. All the other ranges of arcades, except those at the level of the clerestory, are blocked. On this side the transept is lighted from the clerestory by two Norman windows.

In both east and west walls there is a very fine Norman moulded double arch.

In the west wall Perpendicular windows have cut into the Norman work, and a large Perpendicular window nearly fills the south wall with panelling round it of the same period.

*Monuments in the South Transept.*—There is an interesting altar-tomb of Sir Alexander Denton, 1576, of Hillesden, Co. Bucks, Esq., and his lady and a child in swaddling clothes, toward the south-east angle of the transept. The effigies are in alabaster, and retain considerable traces of colour. They are in full proportion, and the knight wears a double chain and holds a cross in his hands. The Dentons were ancestors of the Coke family, now Earls of Leicester. The swaddled body of the child lies to the left of its mother, its head resting on a little double pillow by her knee, and a part of the red cloth on which she lies wraps over the lower part of the babe.

To the right of the knight, balancing the child in the composition, lie his two gauntlets or mail gloves, which have been much scratched with names.

The head of the knight rests upon his helmet.

Round the verge of the tomb is this inscription:

"Here lieth Alexander Denton, of Hillesden, in the County of Buckingham, and Anne his wife, Dowghter and Heyr of Richard Willyson of Suggerwesh in the Countie of Hereford; which Anne deceased the 29th of October, A.D. 1566 the 18th yere of her Age, the 23rd of his Age."

"But," says Browne Willis, "this was but a caenotaph, for Alexander Denton, the husband, who lived some years after, and marry'd another lady, was bury'd with her at Hillesden, Co. Bucks; where he died January the 18th, 1576."

Under the south window is an effigy of Bishop Trevenant (1389-1404), the builder of the Perpendicular alterations in this transept. The effigy is unfortunately headless and has lost its hands. The feet are resting on a lion.

There is a brass to T. Smith, organist of the Cathedral (1877).

The remains of an ancient fireplace may be noticed on the west side of the south transept.

They consist of a rectangular recess with chimney vault behind. This was doubtless cut away when the Perpendicular window was placed above on this side.

From this transept a beautiful side view is obtained of the lantern arches.


Photochrom Co., Ld., Photo.

The *Organ*, which occupies the first archway on the south side of the choir, contains work by Renatus Harris. Mr. Phillips Bevan(4) writes of it, "It was the gift of Charles II., and was very nearly destroyed by the fall of the central tower. It has twice been enlarged since, once by Gray and Davidson, and lastly by Willis. It has 16 great organ stops, 11 swell, 7 choir, 7 solo, 8 pedals, with 2672 pipes. A great feature in Willis's improvements is the tubular pneumatic action, which does away with trackers and other troublesome internals. Sir F. Gore Ouseley having been precentor of the Cathedral, it goes without saying that he made everything about the organ as nearly perfect as possible, and, for the matter of that, no lover of music should omit to hear the Unaccompanied service usually held on Friday morning."

In the south wall of the south choir-aisle are four Decorated arched recesses containing four effigies of bishops, belonging to the Perpendicular period. These effigies have been attributed, beginning from the west, to R. de Melun, 1167; Robert De Bethune (died 1148), the last Norman builder; Hugh Foliot (died 1234) or Robert Foliot (died 1186); and William De Vere (died 1199).

On the north wall under an arch opening to the choir is the tomb of Bishop De Lorraine or Losinga (died 1095), who superintended the building of the fine west front of the cathedral so unfortunately destroyed. This effigy also belongs to the Perpendicular period. The large size of the ball flower and fine wood-carving of the Decorated period on these tombs is noticeable.

Between the two eastern piers of the choir is the fine effigy and brass to Bishop Mayhew, of Magdalen College (1504-1516). The effigy is wearing a mitre, and is fully vested. In front of the monument are panels filled with figures of saints, and over the effigy is an elaborate canopy, which has been restored.

In the last bay to west of the south choir aisle a door gives access to two Norman rooms, used as vestries or robing rooms, to enter which you pass beneath the bellows of the organ. Exhibited in cases in one of these rooms are some of the treasures of the cathedral, ancient copies of the Scriptures, chalices, rings, etc., described in detail towards the close of this section. A two-storied eastern chamber was added to the Norman work in the Perpendicular period, and was used as the cathedral treasury.

Before leaving the south choir aisle the old stained glass windows with figures restored by Warrington should be noticed, and the celebrated *Map of the World* is well worth some study. It was discovered under the floor of Bishop Audley's Chapel during the last century, and appears from internal evidence to have been probably designed about 1314 by a certain Richard of Haldingham and of Lafford (Holdingham and Sleaford in Lincolnshire).

"Tuz ki cest estorie ont Ou oyront, oy luront, ou veront, Prient a Jhesu en deyte De Richard de Haldingham e de Lafford eyt pite Ki l'at fet e compasse Ke joie en cel li seit done."

Prebendary Havergal says: "It is believed to be one of the very oldest maps in the world, if not the oldest, and it is full of the deepest interest. It is founded on the cosmographical treatises of the time, which generally commence by stating that Augustus Caesar sent out three philosophers, Nichodoxus, Theodotus, and Polictitus, to measure and survey the world, and that all geographical knowledge was the result. In the left-hand corner of the map the Emperor is delivering to the philosophers written orders, confirmed by a handsome mediaeval seal. The world is here represented as round, surrounded by the ocean. At the top of the map is represented Paradise, with its rivers and trees; also the eating of the forbidden fruit and the expulsion of our first parents. Above is a remarkable representation of the Day of Judgment, with the Virgin Mary interceding for the faithful, who are seen rising from their graves and being led within the walls of heaven.

"The map is chiefly filled with ideas taken from Herodotus, Solinus, Isidore, Pliny, and other ancient historians. There are numerous figures of towns, animals, birds, and fish, with grotesque customs, such as the mediaeval geographers believed to exist in different parts of the world; Babylon with its famous tower; Rome, the capital of the world, bearing the inscription—'Roma, caput mundi, tenet orbis frena rotundi'; and Troy as 'civitas bellicosissima.' In Great Britain most of the cathedrals are mentioned; but of Ireland the author seems to have known very little.

"Amongst the many points of interest are the columns of Hercules, the Labyrinth of Crete, the pyramids in Egypt, the house of bondage, the journeys of the Children of Israel, the Red Sea, Mount Sinai, with a figure of Moses and his supposed place of burial, the Phoenician Jews worshipping the molten image, Lot's wife," etc.

*Bishop's Cloisters.*—At the eastern end of the south nave aisle a door opens to the cloisters connecting the cathedral with the episcopal palace. In the cloister is placed a monument and inscription to Colonel John Matthews of Belmont, near Hereford, who died 1826. The subject, "Grief consoled by an Angel," is carved in Caen stone.

Other monuments are:—one to the Hon. Edward Grey, D.D., formerly Bishop of Hereford, 1832 to 1837. He died July 1837, and is buried beneath the bishop's throne. A monument to Bishop George Isaac Huntingford, D.D., 1815 to 1832. He died in his eighty-fourth year, April 1832, and was buried at Compton, near Winchester. Also a monument to Dr. Clarke Whitfield, an organist of the cathedral.

The following inscription, on an ancient brass, affixed to a gravestone near the west part of the cathedral, which, being taken off, was kept in the city tolsey or hall for some time until it was finally fastened to a freestone on the west side of the Bishop's Cloisters:—

"Good Christeyn People of your Charite That here abide in this transitorye life, For the souls of Richard Philips pray ye, And also of Anne his dere beloved wife, Which here togeder continued without stryfe In this Worshipful City called Hereford by Name, He being 7 times Mayer and Ruler of the same: Further, to declare of his port and fame, His pitie and compassion of them that were in woe, To do works of charitie his hands were nothing lame, Throughe him all people here may freely come and goe Without paying of Custom, Toll, or other Woe. The which Things to redeme he left both House and Land For that intent perpetually to remain and stand. Anne also that Godlye woman hath put to her Hand, Approving her Husband's Acte, and enlarging the same, Whyche Benefits considered all this Contry is band Entirely to pray for them or ellis it were to blame. Now Christe that suffered for us all Passion, Payne, and Shame, Grant them their Reward in Hevyn among that gloriouse Company. There to reigne in Joy and Blyss with them eternally! Amen."

*The South-east Transept*, lying between the retro-choir and the chapter-house, into which it opens, is in the main Decorated, though its window tracery is perhaps somewhat later, being almost flamboyant in character. It was altered from the original Norman apse, and in the walls bases of the earlier work remain. It has an eastern aisle, separated from it by a single octagonal pillar.

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