The aim of this paper is to discuss the surviving evidence of William of Sens's original design for the east end of Canterbury Cathedral following the fire of 1174. The few published comments are reviewed, and hitherto neglected archeological evidence (here fully illustrated) is brought forward in an attempt to define the successive stages in the building history in order to reconstruct the designs that were superseded by the executed scheme. The present form and extent of the Trinity chapel are accepted as the work of William the Englishman but the correlation of the archeological evidence with Gervase's text shows that it was William of Sens who made the decision to raise the level of the Trinity chapel. By this means the shrine of Thomas Becket, by then the object of popular pilgrimage, could be elevated to a more honorable and conspicuous position in the church.
- Copyright 1983 The Society of Architectural Historians