A smaller church, dedicated to St. Peter, stood near the principal one, with which it was connected by means of a corridor of pointed arches. There are other instances of two churches being erected within the precincts of one abbey, as at Bury St. Edmund’s. St. Peter’s was a building at least of equal antiquity with the great church. But it had undergone such alterations in the year 1334, during the prelacy of the twenty-seventh abbot, William Gemblet, that little of the original structure remained. He demolished nearly the whole of the nave, for the sake of adding uniformity to the cloisters of the monastery.—M. Le Prevost, however, is of opinion, that the ruins of Jumieges contain nothing more interesting to an antiquary than the west end of the portion of building, which subsequently served as the nave. It is a mass of flint-work; and he considers it as having belonged to the church that existed before the incursion of the Normans.
The cloisters, which stood to the south-west of St. Peter’s, are now almost wholly destroyed.—To the west of them is a large hall or gallery, known by the name of la Salle des Chevaliers. It is entered by two porches, one towards the north-west, the other towards the south-west, both full of architectural beauty and curiosity. I know of no authority for their date; but, from the great variety and richness of their ornaments, and the elegant taste displayed in the arrangement of these, I should suppose them to have been erected during the latter half of the twelfth century: one of the arches is unquestionably pointed, though the cusp of the arch is very obtuse. The slight sketch which accompanies this letter, represents a fragment of the inner door-way of the south-west porch, and may enable you to form your own judgment upon the subject.
[Illustration: Sketch of fragment of inner door-way]
The stones immediately over the entrance are joggled into each other, the key-stone having a joggle on either side.—I have not observed this peculiarity in any other specimen of Norman masonry.—Between these porches apartments, along the interior of which runs a cornice, supported by grotesque corbels, and under it a row of windows, now principally blocked up, disposed in triplets, a trefoil-headed window being placed between two that are semi-circular, as seen in the accompanying drawing. The date of the origin of the trefoil-headed arch has been much disputed: these perhaps are some of the earliest, and they are unquestionably coeval with the building.
[Illustration: Ancient trefoil-headed Arches in Abbey of Jumieges]