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Walter Skirlaugh
(Died 1406)

Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield
Bishop of Bath & Wells
Bishop of Durham
Died: 24th March 1406


Walter Skirlaugh is said (and Leland quotes the tradition) to have been the son of a sieve-maker; but it seems highly probable that the tradition arose from the bearing on the man's shield of arms - six ozier-wands interlaced. Skirlaugh was educated at Durham House in Oxford, became Bishop of Coventry & Lichfield in 1385, was translated to Bath & Wells in 1386 and finally removed to Durham, two years later.

He is best remembered by his many works of piety and munificence. He built bridges over the Tees and Wear; built the great tower of Howden Collegiate Church, the beautiful chapter-house there and the manor house. He contributed towards building the central tower of York Minster and built and endowed a beautiful chapel, still remaining, at his birth place, South Skirlaugh, in the parish of Swine in Holderness. At Durham, he built much of the cloisters. In University College, Oxford, he founded three scholarships. Bishop Skirlaugh was buried in the north choir-aisle of his cathedral at Durham.

Edited from Richard John King's "Handbook to the Cathedrals of England: Southern Division" (1903).

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