The Cloister

The Cloister - The Chapel Royal

The cloister outside the main doors of the Chapel Royal has remained much as it was in Cardinal Wolsey's time. He had the present Chapel built on the site of the thirteenth century chapel of the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem. The traces of a doorway opposite the entrance to the Chapel suggest that there was access at one time to the courtyard on the west side. Wolsey's Chapel was taken over as a Chapel Royal with the Palace by King Henry VIII, and has been much altered since the sixteenth century, but its dimensions are still those of the Chapel which Wolsey built. The coats-of-arms flanking the doors of the Chapel Royal contain the heraldic achievements of King Henry VIII and his third Queen, Jane Seymour. The supporters are angels, and it has been suggested because of their religious subject that they may have belonged to Wolsey's coat-of-arms ; but it is more likely that they were integral to the Royal Arms of King Henry VIII and his Queen.

All photographs of the Chapel Royal or taken in the Chapel Royal are with the gracious permission of Her Majesty The Queen

Copyright © HM Chapel Royal and The Choral Foundation 2011-2015

Photography by Richard Champness
Website maintained by Charlotte Duff