The Chapel

The original school buildings did not contain a permanent Chapel when purchased by Nathaniel Woodard in 1880. Instead worship was originally carried out in a Tin Tabernacle, cold in winter and so hot in summer that the candlesticks would droop on the altar.

In 1899 foundations for a permanent building were laid in a ceremony attended by five bishops. Despite great efforts by the school Provost Henry Meynell it took several years and much financial assistance by benefactors, in particular former Prime Minister the Marquess of Salisbury, before a shortened Chapel opened in 1908.

Further extensions in 1936 and 1986 produced the building that you see today. A building on the scale, although not to the same decorative design, as the original Chapel conceived by Meynell and his architect Walter Tower. The King’s College Chapel is unusual for a school founded by Woodard, whose High Anglican beliefs were reflected in very ornate chapel architecture. Instead as a focal point at King’s, Tower installed the large crucifix at the East End with the figure of Our Saviour sculpted in Oberammergau, Bavaria.

The school organ was the gift of Henry Richards MP. It came from the Wren Church of St Michael Bassishaw in the City of London which was demolished in 1900. The organ, originally built in 1763 by Thomas Griffin, was rebuilt by Henry South in 1860 and renovated again by J W Walker & Co in 1980 when it was moved from the back to the front of the Chapel.

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