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©  John Boothroyd ARPS

IoE Number: 483309
Location: THE OLD DEANERY, CATHEDRAL GREEN (north side)
  WELLS, MENDIP, SOMERSET
Photographer: John Boothroyd ARPS
Date Photographed: 30 April 2001
Date listed: 12 November 1952
Date of last amendment: 12 November 1953
Grade I

The Images of England website consists of images of listed buildings based on the statutory list as it was in 2001 and does not incorporate subsequent amendments to the list. For the statutory list and information on the current listed status of individual buildings please go to The National Heritage List for England.

WELLS ST5445 CATHEDRAL GREEN 662-1/7/38 (North side) 12/11/53 The Old Deanery GV I Former Deanery, now Diocesan Offices. C12 origins, largely rebuilt by Dean Gunthorpe in later C15 (in office 1472-98), remodelled and south range refenestrated by Dean Bathurst in late C17. Ashlar stonework with some rendering on east flank, Welsh slate roof behind parapets, ashlar chimney stacks. PLAN: gateway from north side of close enters outer court, with on the west side a square building of 4 ranges overlooking an inner court, now built over. Eastern hall range with porch and screens, subdivided into separate rooms in mid C17. Southern block overlooking close had important suite of rooms to first floor, defined by larger windows, with at each end a newel staircase housed in a turret. Dean Gunthorpe's personal suite was on the north side, on the first floor enclosed by a straight staircase enclosed at the western end (see Wood for further details). EXTERIOR: south front facing Cathedral Green of 2 storeys, 6 bays, mostly C15 with late C17 sash windows (very significant early surviving examples of their type) inserted. Plinth, parapet string with gargoyles and crenellated parapet with shields and Tudor Rose carvings on merlons, buttresses with 2 offsets between bays, and octagonal corner turrets on square bases, with panelled upper part and panelled conical roofs with finials, the sash windows large, with 15 panes and thick glazing bars, set in moulded architraves. East elevation to courtyard similar in character, but without buttresses, two storeys of 4 bays, with the rampart to the south end and a further 3-storey bay to north end, mostly set back. Ground-floor bays 1, 2 and 3 have ovolo-mould mullioned and transomd 3-light windows with varied leaded glazing, and above these are 15-pane sash windows with thick glazing bars and moulded stone architraves; bay 4 is a slightly projecting porch, with moulded 4 centred arch housing a C17 door, above which is a square recessed panel with an iron light bracket, then a transomd mullioned 2-light window, with an oculus set in the parapet gable; two 2-light windows in the south return; bay 5 to north end is a taller end gable, set back, with a 2-light mullioned window at second floor level set in an older opening, and a similar window set low at first floor level, projecting flat-roofed extension at ground floor level, with a 5-light mullioned and transomd window and an ornamented crenellated parapet. The west elevation continues the c1700 treatment of the south front, the north elevation almost entirely a selection of medieval work, with a tower to the north-west corner, in 5 bays. Bay 1 to NE elevation has a single 2-light transomd 4-centre-arched window to first floor, and a pair of sash windows set below and later doorways etc at lower ground floor level, then a massive projecting chimney breast, carried back into bay 1 at lower level; bay 2 has a 2-light window above and then a medieval style oriel window below, which may be c1750; bay 3 has two large 4-light windows, with a small 2-light to lower ground floor; bay 5 has another 2-light window at upper ground level. INTERIOR: the main hall is at first-floor level on the north side (now known as the Bradfield Room), and has a fine late C15 fireplace, its original screen, and an oriel on the south side with fan vault ceiling, now internal as the inner courtyard has been filled with rooms. Above is another major chamber, reputed to have been used by Henry VII on a 1497 visit. The major room on the south range first floor (now the main committee room) was panelled in the late C17 by Dean Bathurst (who had Oxford connections with Sir Christopher Wren), with broad coupled Ionic pilasters. Fine staircase to both of these major rooms, and many moulded beams and other features of medieval and late C17 date throughout the building. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N: North Somerset and Bristol: London: 1958-: 317-319; Wood M: The English Medieval House: London: 1965-: 204-).

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