Monument record MYO4963 - Collegiate Chapel of St Sepulchre

Summary

Secular college founded to the North of the Cathedral between 1154-61 by Archbishop Roger. Dissolved in 1548. It was contiguous to the fabric of the cathedral at the North-West corner of the nave, and lay on a North-West to South-East axis. Two blocked doorways in the Nave of the cathedral, one above ground level, led to the chapel. Excavations by John Browne before 1847 revealed foundations, which may have been a vestibule leading to the chapel rather than the chapel itself.

Location

Grid reference SE 6026 5220 (point)
Map sheet SE65SW
Unitary Authority City of York, North Yorkshire

Map

Type and Period (4)

Full Description

The chapel was commonly known as St. Sepulchre's, perhaps because of its use as a churchyard chapel and because of its association with masses for the dead. Some part of the chapel appears to have been built against the north wall of Archbishop Thomas's nave on a north-west and southwest axis. The site was excavated before 1847 by John Browne and a plan of the foundations then said to be found was published in his History of the minster and marked on the Ordnance plan of 1852. Two blocked doorways on the north face of the nave are thought to have led into the chapel, one of them at the level of the upper floor. It is now impossible to be certain of the nature of the chapel buildings.

The foundations uncovered by Browne may have been those of a vestibule or corridor leading from the minster to the chapel; this vestibule had disappeared by Drake's time and is not marked on a large-scale plan of the area of 1782, although the lower door appears to have been still open at that time. The site and possessions of St. Sepulchre's had been leased in to George Webster 'queen's servant' who had held a lease of them since 1550 but what buildings were then standing is not known. In 1816 Hargrove observed the demolition of a building which he identified as part of St. Sepulchre's; it had by that time become a public house known as 'The Hole in the Wall' and beneath it was found a prison. The public house had been named from a cavity, apparently in the wall of the prison, which was thought to have been used for immuring prisoners, but Hargrove shows, although his account is by no means clear, that it was an entrance to the prison.

It seems most likely that the building Hargrove saw demolished is that marked on the 1782 plan as a prison and is clearly to be identified with the archbishop's prison. Whether St. Sepulchre's lay above it is another matter. The words ultra portam palatii used to describe the chapel in a 15th-century docu ment probably mean 'above' rather than 'beyond' the gateway to the archbishop's palace. At all events it seems tolerably certain that St. Sepulchre's lay close to the north-west corner of the nave and that both the foundations uncovered by Browne and the building mentioned by Hargrove formed part of it, though not necessarily, it must be remarked, contemporaneously.

'The Minster and its precincts', in A History of the County of York: the City of York, ed. P M Tillott (London, 1961), pp. 337-343

NMR Information

Name: Collegiate Chapel Of St Sepulchre
Alternate Name (Alternative): Collegiate Church Of St Mary And The Holy Angels

Secular college founded to the North of the Cathedral between 1154-61 by Archbishop Roger. Dissolved in 1548. It was contiguous to the fabric of the cathedral at the North-West corner of the nave, and lay on a North-West to South-East axis. Two blocked doorways in the Nave of the cathedral, one above gound level, led to the chapel. Excavations by John Browne before 1847 revealed foundations, which may have been a vestibule leading to the chapel rather than the chapel itself.

Sources
1 Medieval religious houses in England and Wales 1971 by David Knowles and R Neville Hadcock 445
2 A history of Yorkshire: the city of York 1961 edited by P M Tillott 338-9


NMR, NMR data (Unpublished document). SYO2214.

Victoria County History, 1961, A History of the County of York: the City of York (Bibliographic reference). SYO1174.

Sources/Archives (2)

  • --- Bibliographic reference: Victoria County History. 1961. A History of the County of York: the City of York.
  • --- Unpublished document: NMR. NMR data.

Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (1)

Record last edited

May 30 2020 5:32PM

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