Astoft


Southwark Cathedral, London

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Notes in italics are from London 2: South by Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner (1983)
Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
         
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Tower and south transept - Nave - West end of nave

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Choir and Retrochoir

St Saviour and St Mary Overie, London Bridge. An Anglican cathedral since 1905, but in the Middle Ages the Augustinian priory of St Mary Overie. The priory founded in the early C12 had been preceded by a pre-Conquest foundation. The C12 church was damaged by fire c.1212 ...
Rebuilding and reconstruction during C13-C15. ... What one sees today, however, owes much to the C19 restorers.
Work began in 1818-23 with the choir and tower, conscientiously restored by by George Gwilt Jun., and continued in a less satisfactory way with the transepts, much altered in 1830 by Robert Wallace. ... the proposed demolition of the retrochoir itself was halted, and Gwilt restored it 'gratuitously' in 1833. Meanwhile the nave had become ruinous ... Its replacement in 1839-40 by Henry Rose (in a feeble Gothic caricatured by Pugin) was itself swept away for Sir A. Blomfield's nave of 1890-7. ...
The exterior surfaces are all visually and unappealingly C19, mostly of knapped flint with stone dressings, with the exception of the tower and transepts, which are ashlar. The two upper stages of the tower (the lower one attributed to Henry Yevele by John Harvey) are late C14-C15, each with two two-light transomed windows on each face.
...
It is for the existing C13 choir and retrochoir that Southwark is famous. ... In the choir aisles and N and S retrochoir walls windows with bar tracery appear in alternation with lancets. The tracery windows are of three lights, the central one taller, with three unfoiled circles above, a motif that can hardly be earlier than the mid C13. These windows were restored by Gwilt, but apparently faithfully. ...
The S transept is entirely Dec. ... The three-light clerestory windows (renewed but original in their design) have as the main motif of their upper lights a concave-sided hexagon, i.e. Dec with Perp leanings ...
(suggesting early C14).


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In the churchyard, a monument of 2006 to a chief of the Mohegan tribe of New England called Mahomet Wyonomon. He came to England in 1735 to petition for the return of stolen lands, but died of smallpox while awaiting an audience with the king. More details on the plaque above.  


Southwark Cathedral Nave Interior 1               Southwark Cathedral Nave Interior 2
         
  NAVE looking east into the choir, and looking west. Except for very few C12 remains, the nave is wholly of 1890-7 ... Blomfield's design (...) was inspired by the choir (C13), but is a little more ornate. ... (The following is Pevsner's description of the choir, which applies equally to the nave which is more clearly seen above).  The triple shafts facing the nave run right up to the springing of the vaults, although the imposts of the arcade capitals and the sill course of the triforium are carried round them. This taking down of the vaulting shafts right to the ground instead of resting them on corbels above the piers recall French rather than English practice ... Equally untypical of English Gothic is the neat way in which the vault springs from the clerestory sill level, instead of from just above or below it. Between arcade and clerestory there is not a gallery or tribune (as e.g. at Lincoln, or later at Westminster Abbey), but an arcaded wall passage of four even arches (not a continuous passage, as it is interrupted by solid wall over the piers). ... The clerestory has single lancet windows and a wall passage behind a stepped triplet arch, i.e. a wholly English design. ...  
         
 Southwark Cathedral Retrochoir Interior               Southwark Cathedral Transept Interior
         
  The RETROCHOIR (C13) has four aisles. Triple lancets at the east end of each aisle. The six piers have four shafts en délit in the cardinal directions and four hollows in the diagonals - not a characteristic early C13 type (the use of diagonal hollows is difficult to parallel until the C14). ...
NORTH TRANSEPT, east wall. Blank pointed C13 arches on Purbeck marble shafts above much restored C12 round arches. The vaulting shafts are also of Purbeck marble. The transept is two-storeyed, with no triforium and a clerestory with wall passage and windows of one or two lights. The arch to the N choir aisle, next to the crossing  pier, is awkwardly stilted, probably a C14 modification when the crossing piers were strengthened. ...
 
         
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