St. Catherine's Oratory is a medieval lighthouse on St. Catherine's Down, above the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. It was built by Lord of Chale Walter de Godeton (sometimes spelled 'Goditon') as an act of penance for plundering wine from the wreck of St. Marie of Bayonne in Chale Bay on 20 April 1313. The tower is known locally as the 'Pepperpot' because of its likeness.
It is Britain's only surviving medieval lighthouse, and the second oldest (only the Roman lighthouse at Dover being older). It is a stone structure four stories high, octagonal on the outside and four-sided on the inside, originally attached to the west side of a building; remnants of three other walls are visible.
de Godeton was tried for theft in Southampton, before a jury from the island, and fined 287 and half marks on 27 February 1314. However, he was also later tried by the Church courts, since the wine had been destined for the monastery of Livers in Picardy. The Church threatened to excommunicate him unless he built a lighthouse near Chale Bay.
There was already an oratory on the top of the hill, dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria. This was augmented by the construction of the lighthouse, with a chantry to accommodate the priest who tended the light, and also gave Mass for those at peril on the sea.
Although de Godeton died in 1327, the lighthouse was nevertheless completed in 1328. It remained in active use until the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1538 and 1541.
In the 18th century Sir Richard Worsley of Appuldurcombe House bolstered the structure by adding four large buttresses to prevent its collapse.
Nearby there are the footings of a replacement lighthouse begun in 1785, but never completed, because the hill is prone to dense fog. Its remnants are known locally as the 'salt cellar'. A nearby Bronze Age barrow was excavated in 1925.
The current St. Catherine's Lighthouse, constructed after the 1837 wreck of the Clarendon, was built much closer to sea level on St. Catherine's Point.
Spišskà Kapitula, a unique fortified ecclesiastical ensemble, began as a small fortified settlement overlooking Spišské Podhradie in the 12th century. It was the site of the residence of the Provost of the castle, in the no longer extant St Martin"s monastery, and later became a capitulary. This was destroyed in by Tatars in 1241-1243, but the pilgrim"s chapel, in rotunda form and dedicated to the Virgin, survived until the 18th century and the monastery until the 15th century.
The complex of buildings there is based on the Cathedral of St Martin, where building began in 1285 as a three-aisled Romanesque basilica with a chancel at the west end and a double spire. It owes its present form to successive remodellings and additions in the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
The Provost's residence was completed in 1281 and further religious buildings were added. Frequent raids by marauding Bulgars and others led to its being fortified in the 14th century. The cathedral was rebuilt in the later 14th century. In 1776 it became the residence of the Bishop and four years later a seminary was established. In 1819 the first teacher training centre in Hungary was founded there.
The Bishop's Palace is largely Baroque, with some excellent interior decorations, like many of the religious buildings in the group. The oval ground plan of the centre of the town is due to its having been fortified in the 14th century. The various religious buildings had defensive functions in this early period. New monastery buildings were erected when the provost"s residence was rebuilt and the whole area fortified. The earlier central fortifications were removed in the 18th century.
Spišské Kapitula is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Levoča, Spiš Castle and the associated cultural monuments.