As the most senior Church court in England, the Court of Arches has exercised its jurisdiction far and wide over an 800-year history. Little is known about the foundation of the medieval court, but from the Restoration in 1660, the Court had the powers to preside over the morals of both clergy and laity, to settle testamentary disputes and disagreements over church property.

In 1857, the Court lost its jurisdiction over marriage and probate cases, but sits to this day for matters relating to clergy discipline and church property. This exhibition highlights some of the issues the court grappled with and looks at the effect on the physical records of four centuries of storage in diverse locations such as the towers of Lambeth Palace and a disused well.

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