Heritage Category:
Listed Building
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Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of THE OLD DEANERY
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Statutory Address:

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

Mendip (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 55000 45919



ST5445 CATHEDRAL GREEN 662-1/7/38 (North side) 12/11/53 The Old Deanery


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-).

Listing NGR: ST5498945920


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

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Books and journals
Pevsner, N, The Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol, (1958), 317-319
Wood, E , The English Medieval House, (1965), 204


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

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 30 Apr 2001
Reference: IOE01/03211/32
Rights: Copyright IoE John Boothroyd. Source Historic England Archive
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