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The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
 
 
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Worcester Cathedral Priory

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Wygorn; Edgar Tower

In the civil parish of Worcester.
In the historic county of Worcestershire.
Modern Authority of Worcestershire.
1974 county of Hereford and Worcester.
Medieval County of Worcestershire.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO849545
Latitude 52.18806° Longitude -2.21971°

Worcester Cathedral Priory has been described as a probable Fortified Ecclesiastical site.

There are masonry ruins/remnants remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.

Description

Gatehouse. Begun c1300-35 and completed after licence to crenellate had been obtained in 1368-9. Restored C19. Probably originally the entrance to the castle. Coursed red sandstone with concealed roof. Single storey over arched gateway of 2 bays and with embattled octagonal tower set into each corner. West front: central wide, 4-centred arch with continuous double chamfers and ogeed hoodmould surmounted by renewed canopied niches between two 2-light trefoil-headed windows with crocketed hoodmoulds. Further small trefoil light at left. Towers are off-set to each stage and have first and second stage chamfered bands and moulded cornice; slits to upper stage and blocked 2-light window and blocked lancet to north-west. To south-west a semi-circular window in lower stage. East facade: similar, with triple-chamfered arch and renewed hoodmould with renewed canopied niches and tabernacle work with renewed figures of kings, queens and bishops. Towers have paired ogeed lights. Outer walls have paired lights to upper stage with Y-tracery at left and slits at right. INTERIOR: divided into 2 bays by a cross wall with carriage and pedestrian arches: round-arched gateway with triple chamfer to head and battened timber double doors; then smaller arch with double chamfer to head and similar single door. The inner vault has diagonal and ridge-ribs, the outer has liernes; vaults on slender columns. Pointed-arched plank doors lead to upper stages, that to north renewed. The upper floor noted as having rib-vault to landing and two turret rooms with small rib-vaults. To main upper room a small doorway with shouldered lintel, the shoulders being double-curved. Abuts the monastic precinct wall (Scheduled Ancient Monument). Sections of the Monastery Wall running to the N. and S. of the Water Gate (qv) are also listed. All the listed buildings in College Green are part of a significant group forming the setting for Worcester Cathedral (qv) to the north side. (Listed Building Report)

Cathedral Close and Priory precinct walls (WCM 96354-96358).
In 1236-7 the bishop was instructed to crenellate his section of the riverside wall; in 1271 he was licenced to crenellate the cathedral close; in 1369 the prior was licenced to crenellate the priory {19}. The relationship of these events to the physical remains is not clear. A section of the sandstone precinct wall (WCM 96355) survives south of the Edgar Tower and its line to the west is well defined, though no fabric survives above ground (WCM 96356). Parts of the riverside retaining walls are of medieval character (WCM 96357, 96358). A substantial sandstone wall (WCM 96354) also separates the east end of the cathedral church from College Precincts but there is no evidence that it completely enclosed the church to separate it from the lay cemetery. (Worcestershire and Worcester City HER)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1369 Feb 20 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).
A Royal licence to crenellate was confirmed in 1378 March 20.

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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The bibliography owes much to various bibliographies produced by John Kenyon for the Council for British Archaeology, the Castle Studies Group and others.
Suggestions for finding online and/or hard copies of bibliographical sources can be seen at this link.
Minor archaeological investigations, such as watching brief reports, and some other 'grey' literature is most likely to be held by H.E.R.s but is often poorly referenced and is unlikely to be recorded here, or elsewhere, but some suggestions can be found here.
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 19/04/2017 07:54:33

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