The first of any importance, in this period, was the completion of the Cloisters, hitherto extending round but two or three sides. They were finished and glazed in 1380-81, and paved with marble in 1389 (Oliver, p. 386): and the fifty-seven bosses of the "south ambulatory" were painted fifty years later (1435, Ibid.) partly at the expense of the Priest's Vicars. Somewhere between 1377 and 1399, probably in Brantyng-ham's time, the Western Screen was, it seems, completed: if we except some portion of the northern entrance, which seems to be of the period of Henry VI. For the arms of Richard II. are the latest that appear upon it. The only intimation we have of a more exact date, is that six feet of stained glass, at 1s. per foot, were inserted "in the vestibule of the Church" in 1377-8, Richard II.'s first year. This indicates that some care and cost were now bestowed on the western facade.
The rest of the works of this and the following century are little else than petty restorations; of course in a later and inferior style, and generally to the detriment of the building. Such was the unhappy insertion of the present "great window at the head of the Church," i.e., the east-end in Brantyngham's time (1390, Oliver p. 386). It is probable that Bitton's window here, no doubt of great beauty, had become much decayed: as we have notices in 1374-77 of repairs about "the front of the Church;" which always in those days meant the east-end. The Choir was paved with marble at this same time, and by the same liberal donor, Henry Blakborne, a Canon of the Cathedral (84). The upper part of both the towers was also altered in this and the next century. The Chapter House, having through some accident become ruinous by 1412, in Bishop Lacey's time, received its additional walling and windows: but the arms of Bishop Bothe, painted on the roof, indicate that it was not finished before .1465 (Oliver, pp. 108, 388). Stafford erected (c 1408) the canopies in the Lady Chapel (ibid p. 97).
And one work there was, by which, early in the fifteenth century, the Cathedral received a crowning feature, in a style not unworthy of it; viz., the gluing of the Nave. In 1429, occurs a single and singular payment to "Henry, an Exeter man, for glazing a new window in the western tower of the Church." ("occidental! turri"). As no "western tower" in the ordinary sense can possibly have existed at this time, we can only suppose that the word is used with the same latitude by which S. M. Magdalene's chapel is called a "tower" (Note 21), meaning any part of the building rising much above the rest. All that we find recorded besides this is, twelve years before, an order for 102 feet of glass at 10d. a foot; no doubt for some part of the Nave. That the whole was done, however, we have remains enough to satisfy us. The general tint was golden, while that of the choir glass was silvery; a variation which must have had a charming effect: and the workmanship was excellent. The work would appear to have been accomplished in the days of Bishops Stafford and Lacey, the successors of Brantyng-ham.
And our Cathedral Church was happy, too, in the final touches imparted to it in the latest age of Gothic Architecture. Either to Richard Fox, the founder of Corpus Christi, Oxford (1487-91), or to Oliver King (1492-95) the founder of the present Bath Abbey, (after his translation hence,) we probably owe the northern entrance and other late portions of the western screen. And Oldham (1504-1619), Fox's friend and co-founder, must be credited not only with the exquisite Chapel which contains his effigy (St. Saviour's), but with the equally beautiful one of St. George (or Speke's Chantry) opposite to it, and with the delicate and elegant screening which imparts distance and veiling to all the nine chapels, and to Prior Sylke's Chantry (1508) in the North transept. This is proved by the identity of style throughout these chapels and screens, and by the occurrence of Bishop Voysey's arms in the St. George's Chapel, as Precentor (1508-9).
In 1520, then, closed this long roll of architectural achievement, extending in an unbroken series, I do not doubt (though the very earliest links of the chain are difficult of verification), from the days of Canute (1020) downwards: a period of exactly 500 years.