The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 36 Lambeth and Battersea

Lambeth Palace 2

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We leave the Library by a fine early-Renaissance doorway and proceed to the Guard Chamber, now the dining-room, with a 14th century (?) roof reconstructed by Blore. It contains a fine series of portraits of the archbishops since 1503, including Warham, by Holbein; Laud, by Van Dyck; Tillotson, by Kneller; Herring, by Hogarth; Secker, by Reynolds; Moore, by Romney; Manners-Sutton, by Lawrence; and Howley, by Shee. Portraits of Tait, by Sant, and Benson and Temple, by Herkomer, are hung in the corridor, in which is also a case of the coins of the Saxon archbishops. The beautiful Crypt beneath the chapel, which we are next shown, is the oldest part of the building, dating possibly from circa 1200; it was filled up with earth for centuries and excavated only in 1907. From the Post Room, which has a panelled oak ceiling with curious carvings (1435), we pass through a beautiful double doorway (Early English) into the small Chapel (72 by 36 feet). In the ante-chapel is the cenotaph of Archbishop Parker (died 1575). The Chapel, in the Early English style, much restored, dates from circa 1250. Laud added the screen and restored the original glass of Cardinal Morton, but the latter was destroyed by the Puritans; the present windows, representing the same subjects (from the 'Biblia Pauperum') as the original windows, were put up by Archbishops Tail and Benson. At the west end are a gallery ascribed to Laud and windows, the purpose of which is doubtful, constructed by Juxon. The roof is modern. The finely carved altar-gates date from Juxon's time. Notice, in the vestry, the window put up by Benson and the curious folding pulpit. From 1273 down to the present day many English bishops have been consecrated in this chapel, and in 1787 Bishop White of Pennsylvania and Bishop Provost of New York were consecrated here by Archbishop Moore. The chapel was the scene of the second trial of Wycliffe in 1378. The picturesque Lollards' Tower, built by Chicheley in 1434-45, perhaps as a water tower, derives its name from the belief that the Lollards, followers of Wycliffe, were imprisoned in it; and it was so called before the other Lollards' Tower, a part of old St. Paul's, was burned down in 1666. The Earl of Essex, favourite of Elizabeth (1601), the poet Lovelace (1648), and Sir Thomas Armstrong (1649) were confined here. We ascend by a narrow staircase to the top of the tower (fine view). In the stair-turret is the 'Lollards' Prison,' a small room (13 by 12 by 8 feet) with a wooden ceiling, floor, and walls, and a stone fireplace. Numerous inscriptions by prisoners and eight iron rings to which they were fastened are shown. Archbishop's Park, a portion of the palace grounds thrown open to the public in 1900, is entered from Paris St., on the south. Carlisle Street, a little to the east, marks the site of a house retained for their own use by the bishops of Rochester, which later passed into the possession of the see of Carlisle.