Exeter College Chapel

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Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2016

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Exeter College is one of the oldest colleges in Oxford, dating from the early C14th with impressive buildings around grassy quads.

The main reason to visit is for the Chapel which dominates the quadrangle and its unusual spire is a landmark in the town.

In the mid C19th the chapel needed major repairs and building a new chapel would be cheaper than trying to repair the exiting building. Sir George Gilbert Scott was chosen to design a new chapel in the French Gothic style. The building cost £12,000 pounds, raised by an extensive fund raising campaign as well as significant sacrifices made by the Fellows and students. They have a chapel to be justly proud of.

At the west end is a small vestibule with the organ and the memorial to the members of the college killed in the First World War. A lovely open carved stone screen leads into the chapel.

The first impression is the colour of the stained glass windows and the vaulted ceiling with its bands of light and dark coloured stone.

Rows of carved stalls line the walls with a back row under carved canopies. Above them dark marble and pale stone pillars supported by carved stone figures, lead up to the rib vaults of the ceiling.

There is lovely carved arcading round the east end with more brown marble pillars with carved capitals. Along the top are mosaic angels holding banners on a blue mosaic background.

The arcading panels have beautiful mosaics with the Lamb of God, Christ in Majesty and a pelican pecking her breast to feed her young.

This chapel really does have the WOW factor. Entry to Exeter College is free and it is open daily from 2-5. Entry is through the wooden door onto Turl Street. The post code is OX1 3DP and the grid reference is SP 514064.

There are more pictures “here.”:http://wasleys.org.uk/eleanor/churches/england/cotswolds/oxfordshire/oxfordcity/exeter/index.html


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