to Berwick. DURHAM. 52. Route. 453
Norman style, surmounted by incongruous (modern) pinnacles. To the
door is affixed an ancient grotesque knocker, which was sounded by male¬
factors seeking sanctuary at the shrine of St. Cuthbert. The nave is open
throughout the day, but application must be made to the verger for ad¬
mission to the choir, Galilee, etc. On entering the "Nave, we at once
realise the strength of the claim that is made for Durham as the grandest
Norman building in the country (comp. p. lx). The effect produced is
one of great solemnity; Dr. Johnson describes it as making on him an
impression of 'rocky solidity and indeterminate duration'. The full length
of the building is seen in an unbroken view. The arches of the nave are
borne alternately by massive circular piers, adorned with deep incised
lines forming zigzag and lattice-work patterns, and by square piers, with
subordinate shafts. The vaulting is late-Norman work. The various por¬
tals should also he noticed. On the pavement, between the second pair
of piers (beginning from the W. end), is a blue marble cross, marking the
limit beyond which women were not allowed to pass. Among the few
monuments in the nave the most interesting are those of the Nevilles,
now in a very dilapidated condition, on the S. side, near the E. end. —
The W. Doorway of the nave, formerly the main entrance to the cathedral,
now leads to the "Galilee f, a fine example of Transition Norman (ca.
1175), with later alterations, including the windows. Its effect, as has
often been said, is almost Saracenic (comp. p. lxi). To the S. of tbe
main entrance are traces of the Shrine of the Venerable Bede (d. 735), whose
remains lie below the slab in front, with the inscription: 'Hac sunt in
fossa Baeda? venerabilis ossa'. On the other side was an altar to 'Our
Lady of Pity', in a recess adorned with frescoes, which still remain. Bishop
Langley (1406-37) blocked up the main door and erected an Altar to the
Blessed Virgin in front of it, below which is his own tomb.
The Great Transepts were erected shortly before the nave, which
they resemble; the large windows are of later insertion. The E. aisles were
each occupied by three altars. In the S. arm is a Statue of Bp. Barrington
(d. 1826), by Chantrey. — The Central Tower is borne by four huge
clustered piers; round the interior of the lantern runs an open parapet
resting on grotesque corbels. The staircase to the top is reached from the
The "Choir is separated from the nave by a screen designed by Scott.
In general aspect it is like the nave, though there are numerous variations
in detail, such as the spiral grooves round the circular piers and the
disposition of the clerestory. The vaulting dates from about 1300. The
Altar Screen was erected in 1380, and the Stalls in 1660-72. The "Episco¬
pal Throne was erected by Bishop Hatfield (1345-81), to serve also as a
tomb for himself. Behind the reredos is the Feretory of St. Cuthbert, on
which his shrine stood. His remains still lie below it. The Norman choir
originally ended in an apse, the place of which has been taken by the so-
called 'Nine Altars', or E. Transept, a graceful erection of about 1230-80,
showing the transition from E.E. to geometrical Decorated. The way in
which this elaborate Gothic work is united with the massive Norman of
the choir is marked by great constructive ingenuity and artistic sense.
The nine altars were ranged along the E. wall. The arcade beneath the
windows, and indeed all the details, deserve careful inspection. The poor
tracery and glass of the rose-window are modern. At the N. end is a
Statue of Bishop van Mildert, the last Prince Palatine (d. 1836), by Gibson.
The modern sculpture of a cow, on the outside (N.) of this transept, com¬
memorates the legend that the monks of Lindisfarne were led to the site
of the cathedral by a dun cow.
The Chapter House (entered from the cloisters), which was un¬
doubtedly the finest Norman room (1135-40) of the kind in England, was
destroyed by Wyatt (p. 452), but has been restored in accordance with the
original design as a memorial to Bishop Lightfoot. It now forms a cham¬
ber 77ft. long and 36 ft. wide, with a semicircular apse at the E. end.
t So called from an allusion to 'Galilee of the Gentiles', as being less
sacred than the rest of the church; comp. pp. 472, 485.