452 Route 52. DURHAM. From London
256 M. Durham. — Hotels. -County, Old Elvet, R. 4s., D. 4*.;
"Three Tons, New Elvet, an old-fashioned but comfortable house, R. 4s.,
D. 3s.; "Rose & Crown, in the market-place, R. 3s. 6d., D. from 2s. 6d. —
Waterloo, unpretending. — Rail. Rfmt. Rooms.
Durham, the county-town of the shire of that name, and the see
of a bishop, is an ancient town with 14,641 inhab., finely situated
on the Wear. The older and more important part of the town, in¬
cluding the cathedral and castle, occupies an elevated tongue of land
almost entirely surrounded by a horseshoe loop of the river, but
the moTe modern quarters lie on the flatter banks to the E. and W.
Little is known of the history of Durham before 995, when the relics of
St. Cuthhert were brought hither by Bishop Ealdhun, who also removed
his see from Chester-le-Street to Durham (comp. pp. 455, 459). Walcher,
the first bishop after the Conquest, was created Earl of Northumberland;
and he and his successors for the next four centuries exercised an almost
entirely independent sway over the Palatinate of Durham. _he Prelate
of Durham became one, and the more important, of the only two English
prelates whose worldly franchises invested them with some faint shadow
of the sovereign powers enjoyed by the princely churchmen of the Empire.
The Bishop of Ely in his island, the Bishop of Durham in his hill-fortress,
possessed powers which no other English ecclesiastic was allowed to
share' (Freeman). At a later period Durham suffered severely from the
inroads of the Scottish borderers.
The pleasantest way to reach the cathedral from the hotels is
to follow the New Elvet and Church St. to (5 min.) St. Oswald's
Church, cross the churchyard to the right of the church, and follow
the pretty wooded walk called the 'Banks' to (8 min.) the Prebend's
Bridge. After crossing the bridge we turn to theleft,and either ascend
the direct path by the ancient Guest Hall to the S. front of the cathe¬
dral, or follow the stream for 5 min. more, then ascend the stepped
path to the right to the Palace Green and the N. side of the cathedral.
*Durham Cathedral, dedicated to Our Lord and St. Mary the
Virgin, and locally known as the Abbey, is one of the most impor¬
tant and most grandly situated of English cathedrals. The general
effect, however, has been impaired by the chipping away of the stone
during Wyatt's restoration (see below). The distant views are the
best. The cathedral is 610 ft. long, 80 ft. wide, 170 ft. across the
transepts, and 70 ft. high. The Central Tower, the top of which com¬
mands a most extensive view, is 214 ft. high; the W. Towers, 138ft.
When the monks of Lindisfarne, attracted probably by its capability of
defence, fixed upon Durham as a resting-place for St. Cuthbert's remains
(see above), they built a church here for tbe reception of the relics, and
this edifice was consecrated in 999. To replace this, Bishop William of St.
Calais, the second bishop after the Norman Conquest, began a new and
larger church, and seems to have completed the Choir (1093-96). The
Transepts, Nave, and Chapter House, also in tbe Norman style, were all
finished by 1140; the Galilee, sometimes called the Lady Chapel, about
1175; the E. Transepts or lNine Altars' (E.E.), replacing the Norman apse,
in 1242-80. The Cloisters, Library, and the upper part of the Central Tower
are Perp. (1400-90). A destructive restoration was carried out by Wyatt
(comp. pp. 102, 186) in 1778-1800, sweeping away many ancient details,
and spoiling the exterior by scraping. More recently extensive alterations
in doubtful taste were carried out by Scott.
•Interior (adm. to Choir and Galilee 6d., to the Tower 3d.). We enter
the cathedral by the N. Portal, consisting of five recessed arches in the late-