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North East view of Rev. Prosser's House (formerly medieval guest hall)

The Reverend Prosser was appointed as a prebend at Durham Cathedral in 1804. As such he was provided with ample accommodation in the College, the group of buildings that had originally formed the outer court of the medieval monastery. His home had been the monastery’s guest hall, where the prior entertained the rich and influential.

As time went by, the ancient buildings were modernised or re-fronted to conceal the jumble of their medieval fabric and its later accretions beneath more fashionable facades. Not long before Bulman painted the Reverend Prosser’s house at the beginning of the 19th century, it had been cemented over with a Gothic Revival veneer to disguise the patchwork of centuries beneath. The 12th-century undercroft survives alongside the ‘dark entry’, a public passageway giving access from the College to the riverbanks on the west.

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