The Collegiate Church of St Mary, Southwell
Engraver: Reeve, R
This large medieval church dominates the small town of Southwell. It was established in Saxon times as a collegiate church - that is, a church where the priests were secular canons rather than members of a monastic order. It was the most important church in the southern section of the Diocese of York; archbishops of York often stayed there. The building itself was constructed in three rough stages: the facade, nave, crossing tower and transepts were built after 1108, with further periods of construction and elaboration beginning in 1234 and 1288. Daniel Defoe noted in the 1720s that "the fabrick of the church is at present in good and decent order" and that it was a "plain fabrick, free from all superstitious ornaments; that there were no painted figures in the glass-work, nor images, nor so much as a nitch capable of placing an image in".