The extensive Close at Norwich Cathedral contains numerous historic buildings. Some of these preserve remains of medieval buildings from the period when the Close was the monastic precinct of the Benedictine cathedral-priory, while others are post-medieval houses built for secular canons of the post-Dissolution cathedral, and other residents. Almost all the buildings in the Close are of interest, but here are a few examples.
The Carnary Chapel
The Carnary Chapel was built following the foundation of a chantry college by Bishop Salmon in 1316, and comprised a chapel with a charnel house (i.e. store for human bones) in the undercroft below.
The Deanery and Prior’s Hall
In the 1280s the prior established his private lodgings immediately east of the monks’ dormitory. At the Dissolution this became the Deanery. The hall of the late 13th-century building survives, but the building was continually modified and extended, until in 1829 the main entrance of the building was swapped from the west to the east (as it is today).
71 The Close
71 The Close was built in 1626-8, or soon thereafter, as a prebendary house. It replaced an earlier house and incorporates the remains of a medieval free-standing bell tower (originating in the 12th or 13th century, rebuilt c.1300 and largely demolished by 1580). The house is typical of many of this period in the Close, in that it is built of flint-rubble and brick.
66-8 The Close
This long, thin row of houses and school rooms is formed out of an earlier building that was probably the medieval master of the cellar’s range. As such it would have been used mainly for storage. 15th-century arched-brace roofs survive at both ends of the building.
Ferry Lane stables/garages
This brick building in Ferry Lane shows the more workaday aspect of historic buildings in the Close. The two-storey block was built c.1790 to provide stabling for six tenants with a coach and three horses, and one with two coaches and six horses. Each stable had an associated tack room, and a hayloft above.