Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: I

List Entry Number: 1120655

Date first listed: 06-May-1952



Ordnance survey map of THE DEANERY
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: County Durham (Unitary Authority)

National Grid Reference: NZ 27358 42077


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Reasons for Designation

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14/99 The Deanery 6.5.52 GV I

Prior's lodgings, incorporating undercroft of first dorter and part or reredorter, and with Prior's chapel attached. Now Dean's house and 'Northumbrian Christian Heritage' drawing office. Pre-1093 dorter undercroft add possibly Norman reredorter; C13 chapel; C14 Prior's lodgings. C15, C18 and later alterations. 1974 external stair by G. Pace. Coursed squared sandstone with ashlar dressings; some brick patching. Roofs not visible; ashlar and rendered brick chimneys. One-storey, one-bay entrance projects at left; Prior's hall and undercroft (now drawing office) one storey and basement, 2 windows. Main chamber, set back slightly, one high storey and basement, 4 windows, with stair turret between third and fourth windows; chapel projecting at right 2 storeys and basement, 5 windows. Prior's hall has C19 entrance at left; casement window inserted in low 2-centred arch at right; 2 first-floor sashes with glazing bars under thin stone lintels; gabled buttress at right. Main chamber, now drawing room above and storage rooms below, has tall 21-pane sashes with flat stone lintels and projecting stone sills; floor-level band; relieving arches over basement windows to left of turret, and low 2-centred-arched window to right. Octagonal turret has slit windows, bands and pointed roof. Chapel at right has clasping buttresses; coped buttresses define basement bays with restored windows under 2-centred arches; upper floors have sashes with glazing bars in raised surrounds; floor bands. All buildings have roll-moulded parapets and tall round chimneys conjoined in threes. Left return has raised voussoirs and alternate-block jambs to square-headed door in entrance block; undercroft wall in passage to cloister has low round relieving arches on chamfered plinth, and renewed doorway in round arch. Left return of chapel has 2-centred-arched door under 2 tall lancets; right return has blocked lancets with nookshafts.

Interior: Prior's hall undercroft has 2 tunnel vaults on short round piers; hall on 2 floors. 1690 closed-string narrow open-well stair with skittle balusters and square panelled newels with fat melon finials and pendants; high grip handrail. 2-panel doors on top floor, which has tracery-panelled roof, with carved braces and embattled frieze; stop-chamfered beams. Prior's chamber range: lower hall has C17 wood Tuscan columns supporting panelled ceiling; hollow-chamfered beams on stone corbels with shields; reredorter drain and latrine walls form passages on this and upper floor. Drawing room has chimney piece with arms of James I, and high coved ceiling by Bernasconi in C16 style. Right end bay, now a stair well, reveals C15 roof truss. To right the Prior's bedroom and study: much richly- carved woodwork, including C18 chimney pieces with caryatids and foliage, and panelled ceilings. Bedroom at rear, known as James I room, has C15 panelled oak ceiling with carved foliage on crested frieze; medieval jamb of east window revealed. Study also has panelled ceiling. Chapel now subdivided, the undercroft used as chapel, the upper floor as vestibule and offices. Undercroft has short round columns with moulded capitals supporting quadripartite vaults; chamfered 2-centred-arched doorway. Former chapel above has roll-moulded west door; shouldered-arched north door with contemporary scrolled leaf painting on east jamb. Circa 1430 wall painting along entire north wall of vestibule shows polychrome scenes from life of Virgin, with lines of a hymn in scroll beneath; and traces of previous paintings. The lower part is densely covered with medieval graffiti, discovered during 1974 restoration by D. Insall and restored by Canterbury studio. C18 6-panel doors, deep panelled window shutters and modillioned stucco cornice. Secretary's room to right has C18 decoration including chimney piece with Atlantes.

Listing NGR: NZ2731142149


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 110147

Legacy System: LBS

End of official listing