Ancient Monuments

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Remains of Guesten Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Cathedral, Worcestershire

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Latitude: 52.1883 / 52°11'17"N

Longitude: -2.2203 / 2°13'13"W

OS Eastings: 385036.15279

OS Northings: 254476.605293

OS Grid: SO850544

Mapcode National: GBR 1G4.PHB

Mapcode Global: VH92T.G8L8

Entry Name: Remains of Guesten Hall

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1925

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1005307

English Heritage Legacy ID: WT 265

County: Worcestershire

Electoral Ward/Division: Cathedral

Built-Up Area: Worcester

Traditional County: Worcestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Worcestershire

Church of England Parish: Worcester St Nicholas and All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Worcester


The partial remains of Guesten Hall and chapel 50m north-west of Edgar Tower.

Source: Historic England


This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 20 May 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.

This monument includes the partial remains of a hall and chapel situated on the east side of the College Green part of Worcester Cathedral Precincts. The monument survives as the eastern wall of a guest hall and the southern wall of a chapel that were constructed from sandstone in 1320 and mainly destroyed in 1864. The hall wall is approximately 24m long and is orientated north to south with stepped buttresses situated at the northern and southern ends. The wall has four pointed double chamfered window arches with the remains of a fifth at the southern end. The two northern windows are small with tiled splays and the northern arch retains decorated stone tracery, hoodmould and angel face label stops. The two southern windows are much larger and retain parts of stone mullions and transoms and the lower sections of both windows are partially filled with large stone blocks. The fifth window is defined by the remains of mullions and voussoirs springing from the southern side of the wall. Below the two northern windows is a doorway with a pointed arch and a later blocked flat arched doorway situated to its south. A third doorway with a Tudor head is situated beneath the southernmost window.

The southern chapel wall is situated at the north eastern end of the hall wall and is considerably lower. The chapel wall is orientated east to west for approximately 5m with an arched doorway below a trefoil headed single light window and a second partially blocked window.

The hall was erected in 1320 by Prior Wulstan de Bransford for the entertainment and accommodation of guests and pilgrims. After the destruction of the hall in 1864, the wooden roof was re-erected at the Holy Trinity Church.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Early monasteries were built to house communities of monks or nuns; sometimes houses were `mixed' and included both sexes. The main buildings provided facilities for worship, accommodation and subsistence. They included a series of timber halls and perhaps a stone church, all located within some form of enclosure. The Benedictine monks, who wore dark robes, came to be known as `black monks'. These dark robes distinguished them from Cistercian monks who became known as `white monks' on account of their light coloured robes. Over 150 Benedictine monasteries were founded in England. As members of a highly successful order many Benedictine houses became extremely wealthy and influential. Their wealth can frequently be seen in the scale and flamboyance of their buildings. Benedictine monasteries made a major contribution to many facets of medieval life and all examples exhibiting significant surviving archaeological remains are worthy of protection. Despite partial demolition and alterations, the remains of Guesten Hall and chapel survive reasonably well and contain a number of architectural features of considerable interest. Guesten Hall is a part of the Worcester Cathedral precinct and forms an integral part of a nationally important abbey. Elements of the original structure will remain concealed behind later repairs and alterations and will provide important information on its construction.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Brooks, A, The Buildings of England: Worcestershire, (2007)
Pastscape Monument No:- 116219

Source: Historic England

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