Page:The Saxon Cathedral at Canterbury and The Saxon Saints Buried Therein.djvu/139
however, another piece of early walling that probably escaped the fire, the presence of which goes far to prove that the present domestic buildings and great cloister are built on the site of the Saxon ones. It is that forming die west wall of the west alley of the great cloister, which also formed the east wall of the cellarer's lodging in Lanfranc's day.
Professor Willis believed that this wall was rebuilt by Prior Chillenden (1390141 1), but this is clearly a mistake on his part, as the masonry of this particular wall is of an earlier and ruder character than that of Lanfranc's day, and would seem to be undoubtedly a portion of the Saxon buildings* It can be studied from the interior of the cloister, but better from the garden of the Archbishop's Palace, where the wall is exposed for its entire length.
After examining carefully the historical statements concerning the result of this disastrous fire already brought forward, we are compelled to admit that with the above exception, nothing of the Saxon Cathedral or of the domestic buildings remain above ground.
It is now necessary to call attention to the details of the Saxon Cathedral Church as described by Edmer early in the twelfth century, bearing in mind that he drew his recollection of it from the days when he was a boy at the monastery school and what he remembered of it when he was of mature age; also a few words must be said in explanation of the method of entry into the crypt of the Saxon Cathedral which has been adopted in the text, and which has been a matter of controversy since the problem was first attempted to be solved by Professor Willis in 1845.
"The venerable Odo had translated the body of the blessed Wilfrid, archbishop of York (sic), from Ripon to Canterbury, and had worthily pkced it in a more lofty receptacle, to use his own words, that is to say, in the great Altar which was constructed of rough stones and mortar, close to the wall at the eastern part of the presbytery. Afterwards another altar was placed at a convenient distance before the aforesaid altar, and dedicated in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ, at which the Divine mysteries were daily celebrated. In this altar the blessed Alphege had solemnly deposited the head of St. Swithin, which he had brought with him when he was translated from Winchester to Canterbury, and also many relics of other saints. To reach these altars, a certain crypt which the Romans call a Confessionary, had to be ascended by means of several steps from the choir of the singers. This crypt was fabricated beneath in the likeness of the confessionary of St. Peter, the vault of which was raised so high, that the part above could only be reached by many steps.
- Willis, Arch. Hist. Cath. p. 9. Extracted from "De Reliquiis S. Audoeni, etc., in Opuscula Edmeri Cantoris." Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.