S choir aisle wall (interior), bay 3 wall arcade

Image of the feature "Blind arcades: S choir aisle wall." at Chester.

by Ron Baxter.

Two bays survive, and part of a third; the first bay inside the building and the remainder outside, to the E of the 16thc. E wall of the aisle. Each bay had three round arches carried on en-delit shafts of which only the W nook shaft of bay 1 survives.

Bay 1: This is dominated by the spectacular tomb of Diana Warburton (d.1693) by Edward Pearce. To install it the central arch of the blind arcading with its shafts and capitals and parts of the arches to either side have been removed. The monument also rides well above the sill of the 12thc. window above, blocking out most of the light from this part of the church. What remains of the blind arcade are the E part of the W arch and the W part of the E, together with their nook-shaft capitals and the W shaft on a worn roll hollow base. The W capital is worn but has two rows of volutes, the upper in low relief, the lower projecting. Its impost block is tall and chamfered, decorated overall with three or four rows of billet. The E capital has four hooked leaves on each face, all curving towards the main angle of the capital which is scooped out and decorated with a large boss. Again the impost is tall and chamfered, but this one is decorated with a worn beast, walking R with its head turned back. The arches where they survive have an angle roll quirked at the extrados, and a low roll on the face.

Bay 2: The wall has been pierced for the treasury undercroft doorway, and the W nook-shaft and its capital removed for the building of the E aisle wall, so what remains are the two west arches, lacking the springer, capital and shaft between them, and the capitals between arches 1 and 2 and at the E end of the bay. The arches are badly worn owing to exposure, but the same arch design as in bay 1 can be seen in the two western arches. The W capital is a simple volute design with a tall chamfered impost block decorated with a rhythmic design of foliage interlace, much eroded. The entire carved surface of the E capital has been broken away, apparently recently, and the impost is too worn now to describe.

Bay 3: What survives is most of the W arch, its profile eroded away, and the W nook-shaft capital, worn and broken at the top but with signs of scalloping above the necking. The impost has been cut back on both faces, removing any decoration.