Taking leave now of our Norman-Transition Cathedral and its builders, we come upon a period of comparative repose. One noble accession was indeed made to the building at this time, viz., the Chapter House: and two Chapels, St. Mary Magdalene's and St. Gabriel's, adjuncts to the Lady Chapel, were partially reconstructed. But the Cathedral proper seems to have been left untouched for little short of a century. It had taken about 90 years to build, from 1112 to c. 1200; it was left alone for about 90 more - viz., from c. 1200 to 1280.
The Chapter House, our sole specimen of Early English is, as a deed of gift, lately discovered, shews, Bishop Bruere's (1224-1244).(15) And there is another work of importance, which proceeded, as the correspondence of style shows, from the same hand. I mean the fitting up of the Choir with stalls: of which the "misereres," or seats with carving under them, still remain; the earliest probably, and among the finest, in England. It was natural that Bruere should take this work in hand, since he it was that gave to the Cathedral body its present constitution, by placing a Dean at the head of it, and elevating the Precentor Chancellor, and Treasurer to the rank of dignitaries (Oliver, p. 34). Their places, and those of the whole body, were no doubt duly assigned to them in the newly-built Chapter House: and to regulate and adorn their seats or stalls in the Choir was only to complete his work. It should be well understood, that the Choir of that day extended under the Transepts. And in the middle of it, as was most fitting, Bruere was buried. I shall give curious proofs of this, and enter somewhat into the subject of the "miserere" carvings, in the course of this History.
A little later than this (c. 1250) must be placed the unique pair of windows north and south of the retro-choir. The lights are lancet and uncusped: the circles in the head, in the south, as well as the north, were cusped originally. The roll-moulding, used on every part of our window-tracery ever after, appears here on the principal curves only. Later still, as the tracery shows., is the next pair of side windows; belonging to the Chapel of St. Gabriel on the south, and of St. Mary Magdalene on the north. These two windows are all that remains, apparently, of the more extensive restoration made by Bishop Brone3-combe (1257-1280), of those two Chapels.(16) The Gabriel Chapel was destined by him for his burial place, and still contains his tomb; and the opposite Chapel was evidently restored at the same time, (judging by the remaining window), and in a perfectly corresponding manner.