Ancient Monuments

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Law Library, Cathedral Yard

A Scheduled Monument in St David's, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7231 / 50°43'23"N

Longitude: -3.529 / 3°31'44"W

OS Eastings: 292165.242721

OS Northings: 92607.330134

OS Grid: SX921926

Mapcode National: GBR P1.8SJK

Mapcode Global: FRA 37H5.GYW

Entry Name: Law Library, Cathedral Yard

Scheduled Date: 10 August 1923

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1003867

English Heritage Legacy ID: DV 83

County: Devon

Electoral Ward/Division: St David's

Built-Up Area: Exeter

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Exeter Cathedral

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


Medieval ecclesiastical court called the Law Library, Cathedral Close, Exeter.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 22 October 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.

This monument includes the 15th century hall of a medieval courtyard house situated to the north east of Exeter Cathedral on Cathedral Close. The hall survives as a two storied room with mullioned windows, part of an early 16th century wall painting and a small timber doorway with elaborately cusped head. Internally there is a rebuilt gallery over screens and a three bay hammerbeam roof with louver, moulded timbers supported by carved stone corbels with angels and lions and ornamented with bosses. The building was connected with the Chancellor of the cathedral since the entrance arch bears his coat of arms. It may once have been an ecclesiastical court. It is in use as a local law library.

It is Listed Grade I.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Law Library was connected with the Cathedral, is located on Cathedral Close and survives to an incredibly high standard with an intact 15th century roof complete with ornate carvings. Pevsner describes this as one of the most elaborate in Devon. Its previous use as an ecclesiastical court emphasises its importance within the context of legal and administrative activities connected with the Cathedral. It was constructed to the highest standard and retains many of its original features. The standard of survival given its age is incredibly high. It is of considerable importance.

Source: Historic England

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