Worcester Cathedral Priory

Has been described as a Possible Fortified Ecclesiastical site

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains

NameWorcester Cathedral Priory
Alternative NamesWygorn; Edgar Tower
Historic CountryWorcestershire
Modern AuthorityWorcestershire
1974 AuthorityHereford and Worcester
Civil ParishWorcester

Gatehouse. Begun c1300-35 and completed after licence to crenellate had been obtained in 1368-9. Restored C19. Probably originally the entrance to the castle. Coursed red sandstone with concealed roof. Single storey over arched gateway of 2 bays and with embattled octagonal tower set into each corner. West front: central wide, 4-centred arch with continuous double chamfers and ogeed hoodmould surmounted by renewed canopied niches between two 2-light trefoil-headed windows with crocketed hoodmoulds. Further small trefoil light at left. Towers are off-set to each stage and have first and second stage chamfered bands and moulded cornice; slits to upper stage and blocked 2-light window and blocked lancet to north-west. To south-west a semi-circular window in lower stage. East facade: similar, with triple-chamfered arch and renewed hoodmould with renewed canopied niches and tabernacle work with renewed figures of kings, queens and bishops. Towers have paired ogeed lights. Outer walls have paired lights to upper stage with Y-tracery at left and slits at right. INTERIOR: divided into 2 bays by a cross wall with carriage and pedestrian arches: round-arched gateway with triple chamfer to head and battened timber double doors; then smaller arch with double chamfer to head and similar single door. The inner vault has diagonal and ridge-ribs, the outer has liernes; vaults on slender columns. Pointed-arched plank doors lead to upper stages, that to north renewed. The upper floor noted as having rib-vault to landing and two turret rooms with small rib-vaults. To main upper room a small doorway with shouldered lintel, the shoulders being double-curved. Abuts the monastic precinct wall (Scheduled Ancient Monument). Sections of the Monastery Wall running to the N. and S. of the Water Gate (qv) are also listed. All the listed buildings in College Green are part of a significant group forming the setting for Worcester Cathedral (qv) to the north side

(Listed Building Report)

Cathedral Close and Priory precinct walls (WCM 96354-96358).

In 1236-7 the bishop was instructed to crenellate his section of the riverside wall; in 1271 he was licenced to crenellate the cathedral close; in 1369 the prior was licenced to crenellate the priory {19}. The relationship of these events to the physical remains is not clear. A section of the sandstone precinct wall (WCM 96355) survives south of the Edgar Tower and its line to the west is well defined, though no fabric survives above ground (WCM 96356). Parts of the riverside retaining walls are of medieval character (WCM 96357, 96358). A substantial sandstone wall (WCM 96354) also separates the east end of the cathedral church from College Precincts but there is no evidence that it completely enclosed the church to separate it from the lay cemetery. (Worcestershire and Worcester City HER)

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSO850545
Latitude52.188060760498
Longitude-2.21971011161804
Eastings385050
Northings254500
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Photo by Philip Davis All Rights Reserved
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Books

  • Calthrop, M.C., 1906, 'Houses of Benedictine monks: Priory of St Mary, Worcester' in Page, Wm, Willis-Bund, J.W. (eds), VCH Worcestershire Vol. 2 p. 94-112 online transcription
  • Page, Wm, Willis-Bund, J.W. (eds), 1924, 'The city of Worcester: Cathedral and priory' VCH Worcestershire Vol. 4 p. 394-408 online transcription
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 253, 417 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1853, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 2 p. 257 online copy

Journals

  • Coulson, C., 1982, 'Hierarchism in Conventual Crenellation: An Essay in the Sociology and Metaphysics of Medieval Fortification' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 26 p. 69-100 see online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1913, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward III (1367-70) Vol. 14 p. 216 online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1895, Calendar of Patent Rolls Richard II (1377-81) Vol. 1 p. 165 online copy

Other

  • < >Oxford Archaeology, 2007, Worcester's city walls - conservation management plan download copy < >