Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

East Riding of Yorkshire (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SE 74803 28251


HOWDEN CHURCHSIDE SE 7428 (south side)

12/98 Minster Church of St Peter and St Paul and 16.12.66 Chapter House

GV I Collegiate church including the Grammar School and attached chapter house. Begun c1270-1275 with transepts. Nave finished c1300 with west front completed between 1306 and 1311. Choir, also often referred to as chancel, completed between 1320-1340. Chapter house begun 1340-49, and recommenced after a long intermission in 1380, with the addition in the early C15 of a ground-floor chapel or vestry and its vestibule, 2 chambers above and an access stair. Tower begun late C14, with upper stage of late C15. Grammar school c1500. Restored 1840's and 1850's. Restoration of chapter house underway at time of resurvey (1987). Endowments: by John de Howden (d1272); of £10 by Henry de Snaith, Canon of Howden, Lincoln and Beverley for Chapter House in 1380; of £40 by Walter Skirlaugh, Bishop of Durham for tower in 1406. Magnesian limestone ashlar, copper and timber roofs. 6-bay aisled nave with grammar school to two westernmost bays on south side and porch to third bay; central tower with north and south transepts, both with east chapels; 6-bay aisled choir with chapter house, linking passage and chapel or vestry to south. West front: pointed doorway with thin shafts, leaf capitals and thin filleted rolls flanked by 2 panels of blind arcading with quatrefoils to spandrels. Above is a tall 4-light window, with lights grouped in pairs and an inserted Perpendicular transom; tracery of pointed trefoils and quatrefoils, with a large cusped quatrefoil enclosed in a square with convex sides to the apex. Above the window is a crocketed gable with cusped statue niche, and flanking it are 2 panels of blind arcading with 3 trefoils to their apexes and crocketed gables. The nave is flanked by gableted buttresses with 2-light blind arcading with figures under canopies. Surmounting the buttresses are hexagonal pierced turrets with crocketed spirelets. The aisles each have 3-light windows with tracery circles divided into pointed and rounded trefoils. Blind parapets flanked by buttresses surmounted by turrets similar to those of nave but differently aligned. To extreme right is the west window of the Grammar School with an inserted pointed C19 three-light window, an outer buttress and a low pediment above the parapet. Aisles: 3-light windows throughout. The westernmost bays alternate between Y tracery infilled with quatrefoils and pointed trefoils, and pointed lights with a group of 3 pointed trefoils above. The easternmost bay has tracery of 3 encircled quatrefoils. The bays are divided by stepped, gabled buttresses. Above is a corbel table of heads and foliage, in alternate bays beneath a plain parapet. Paired 2- light clerestory windows with quatrefoil tracery. South porch: 2 storeys, south doorway of 2 orders with narrow shafts, leaf capitals and filleted rolls beneath a crocketed gable with beast stops. Above is a square-headed 2-light window with trefoils above each light. Porch flanked by buttresses with crocketed finials. To the left are the 2 bays of the grammar school with low small trefoiled windows and above them large 4-light basket-arched windows with Perpendicular tracery cut by 4-centred arches. To extreme left: a narrow door beneath a 4-centred arch. South transept: south doorway of 2 orders with shafts, stiff leaf capitals and roll-mouldings. Above a 4- light window with lights grouped in pairs, inserted Perpendicular transom, and encircled quatrefoils and a large encircled sexfoil to head. Small quatrefoil above. Flanking stepped gabled buttresses. West side: two 2- light windows with encircled quatrefoils and stepped gabled buttresses. East side: chapel, whose south front has 2-light windows with encircled quatrefoils, but whose east front has inserted 3-light Perpendicular windows. North transept: north front similar to south transept south front except that shafts and capitals are absent from the doorway which has continuous roll mouldings. The west side is the same as that to the south transept. The windows on the east side are blocked and the polygonal east chapel is ruinous. Tower: octagonal stair turret to north-west angle. Lower stage has very tall 3-light double-transomed windows with flanking stepped and gabled buttresses. Upper stage: 3-light single-transomed windows. String courses between stages. Embattled parapet. Choir now ruinous: 3-light windows with 3 quatrefoils where tracery survives. East end: tall central window with no surviving tracery has gable above breaking into upper 4-centred-arched window, flanked by climbing statue niches. The whole is flanked by stepped buttresses with statue niches to each stage. Aisles: pointed windows with no surviving tracery with crocketed gables above, and outer stepped buttresses. Chapter house: 3-light windows with Perpendicular tracery where surviving, with crocketed ogee gables above. Stepped buttresses to angles with shields to upper sections. Foliage frieze with moulded cornice above. C20 timber roof. Interior: west end of nave has blind arcading with shafts and leaf capitals to paired trefoiled arches with quatrefoils in the spandrels. Very tall arcade on quadripartite filleted piers with octagonal capitals. Part of Norman corbel table reset in north-west wall of arcade. Very plain clerestory with inner passage. Decorated octagonal font with ogee gables and finials. 2 medieval parish chests to north aisle. Fine C20 pulpit with richly carved sounding board by Elwell of Beverley. Compound crossing piers have round capitals and octagonal abaci. Very fine Decorated pulpitum with basket-arched central opening with open work quatrefoils to jambs and arch, crocketed ogee-arched gable with finial and quatrefoil to tympanum. Flanking pairs of statue niches containing contemporary figures and balustrade above with open trefoiled lights above doorway and blind trefoiled lights above niches. Screens in transepts are part of original pulpitum with 4-centred-arched doors flanked by statue niches containing figures originally in east wall of choir. South transept: C14 statue of the Virgin; brass to a knight of 1480; chest tomb with shields and beasts heads, now supporting late C13 statue. North transept: royal arms of 1718. Saltmarshe Chapel: decorated tomb recess with ogee arch and finial flanked by statue niches with nodding ogees, containing recumbent figures of a knight, possibly Sir John Metham (d1311) and his lady, not original to the recess. Chest tomb in centre has trefoiled panels to sides containing figures, and supports recumbent knight in chain mail, possibly Sir Peter Saltmarshe (d1338). Choir interior: anomaly to west end where there are early round capitals to responds which have later been raised and given leaf capitals. The lower capitals may represent the arcade of the earlier choir. Niches to jambs of main east window. Cusped ogee-arched doorway with dogtooth to hollow-moulded jambs leads to passage to chapter house which has quadripartite vaulting. Chapter house: stalls have cusped ogee arches with crockets and finials and quatrefoil diaperwork to their backs. Perpendicular screen across north window. Alex Gordon Partnership, Howden Minster Chapter House - Analysis, 1986; Keeton, Revd B, A Guide Book to Howden Minster, 1982, Pevsner N, Yorkshire: York and The East Riding, 1972, Sharland J S, The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Howden, 1967.

Listing NGR: SE7478128253


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Howden Minster Chapter House Analysis, (1986)
Keeton, Reverend B, A Guide to Howden Minster, (1982)
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: Yorkshire - York and the East Riding, (1972)
Sharland, J S , The Collegiate Church of St Peter Howden, (1967)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 17 Jan 2001
Reference: IOE01/03328/01
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr John Turner. Source Historic England Archive
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