Watergate at Worcester Cathedral

  • 26 Oct 2021
  • Church Curiosities
  • Back

The Watergate was built in 1378 in the reign of Henry V, 'Frater William Power, cellerer made ye gate'. The boatman was paid a salary of 16s. 8d. a year.

Circa 1575.

John Wall and son were appointed to the office of boatman and lived at the boat house there. He was instructed:                                                                                                                                                                   'Not to open before 5 am, nor after 9 pm, unless for necessary business of the Dean and Chapter. On Sundays, the wicket gate to be opened only, except for watering of the prebends's horses. No one to enter or exit by wicket, nor to be ferried over the river but such as belonged to the church, or the milk women, or such husbandsmen as had occasion to look after the cattle, except also the inhabitant's of the college and the vicar of St. John's and the company that he should bring with him'.             

The ferry was used frequently by the prior and his officers for their manor at Henwick. The arms of the college were carved and painted on the boat.

1650 - Thomas Reades was boatman. He had two rooms below and above, valued at 10 shilling per year

1660 -The1 boatman Darke was paid £2 ' to depart from ye boatman's house'. John Parkman took his place. This was the year of the Restoration.

1713 - The boatman ordered to impose 10p. on every cart drawing coals along the Severn bank. The ground having been damaged by the practice. The porter to have three months suspension if he allowed persons to drag coals without permission. 

1722 - No wage paid to boatman but he paid £2 to the Dean and Chapter for the lucrative office.

1750 - Elizabeth Wise became tenant for 43 years, which is why all the boats were called 'Betty' or Betty's Boat..

Info on The College Green

The site of the monastic bake house became Miss Kilvert's House, and in 1990, the Dean's House. No 15 College Green was built on the site of the Almoner, built in 18th century by Dr. Byrch. The house of the 10th prebend.

Two houses west of College Hall, site of the Pittaner and the Celleer became house of the 6th and 7th prebends. They were destroyed in 1845 and rebuilt 1847. The remains of the Priory Kitchen was brought to light before the entrance of the college Hall.

In 1680, the Green had rails round it and a globe lantern. Lime trees planted from Shrawley were deligently watered and the grass mown, but by 1723, the limes had perished, and later, elm trees were planted. On public occasions bonfires were lit, and a mention is made of an alcove and wilderness, and a maze like Hampton Court.