Chapel University College OxfordWork started on our Chapel in 1639, as part of the building of our south range. We commissioned for it a set of painted windows from Abraham van Linge, a Dutch artist who had produced splendid windows in various places in Oxford, including Lincoln, Queen’s, and Christ Church. A contract was drawn up with van Linge to produce eight side windows and one grand east window.

The side windows were finished in 1641, but before van Linge could begin the east window, the English Civil War broke out, and all work had to be suspended, so that his project remained unfinished. The windows which van Linge had managed to complete were all put into storage, and nothing more happened for twenty years. All we know is that in 1651/2 the College bought a new lock “to lock up the new Chappell glasse in the storehouse”.

Chapel University College OxfordIn the 1660s, after the Restoration of the Monarchy, work resumed on the Chapel: the windows were now brought out of storage, and a roof and furnishings built. The Chapel was consecrated on 20 March 1666. Find out more about the Chapel windows below.

A few changes were made in the Chapel shortly after its completion: an east window was installed in the 1680s, and in 1694 a splendid screen separating the Chapel from the Antechapel was installed. It was designed by Robert Barker, a London joiner.

It was the Victorians, however, who changed the Chapel the most. In the early 1860s, Sir George Gilbert Scott, fresh from having designed our Library, was commissioned to refurbish the Chapel. He installed a new roof and east window (both still in place), as well as a new window at the east end of the south side, but he also installed a stone reredos at the east end, totally out of character with the rest of the Chapel. Fortunately, in 1843, just before Scott set to work, the pioneering photographer William Fox Talbot took a photograph of the east end of the Chapel from the Master’s Garden which shows the original seventeenth-century window with its rather curious tracery. It can be seen at

Chapel University College OxfordScott’s east end was covered up by the original wooden reredos, and some red curtains, in the 1920s, and remains an object lesson in how one generation can completely misunderstand an earlier one.

The Chapel was originally built without an organ; it was not until 1863 that one was installed. The current organ was created in 1955.

Chapel Windows

The Organs of Univ

College Buildings AntechapelMonuments in the Antechapel

Univ’s Chapel is typical of Oxford and Cambridge in having several memorials to its former members in its Antechapel. Some memorials relate to people who are buried here (at least four Masters lie under the High Altar, for example), but others are memorials to people buried elsewhere.

The north, south and west walls all feature monuments, find out more below:

South Wall

West Wall

North Wall

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