Project Development

St. Peter’s-in-the-East – Planning visit

A window of opportunity enabled me to return to St. Edmund Hall today, for a preliminary visit to their library (formerly St. Peter’s-in-the-East), having secured provisional permission to take photographs, thanks to the support of James Howarth, Librarian at St. Edmund Hall.

While technically a church, as it is deconsecrated and forms part of the St. Edmund Hall campus, I am happy to include reference to it within my research project.

St. Peter-in-the-East is said to be named after the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli in Rome and is named in the Domesday Book (c.1085). It was used as the student chapel for St. Edmund Hall until the chapel was built on the College grounds in 1682.  The church was closed as a place of worship in 1965 and reopened as the College library in 1970.

Once again, aided by a 3D tour of the former church prior to the visit, I was prepared for some of the surprise that was in store… photography can be difficult enough within chapels when only having to negotiate pews, however in a building now filled with bookcases, tables and computer desks, this location will prove quite demanding.  To further confound things, I will only be allowed to photograph the site outside the Oxford University term dates.  This is likely to result in the work not forming part of my Module 3 portfolio.

Notwithstanding, I set about surveying the numerous windows – all magnificently cleaned and restored in readiness for the church becoming the library of St. Edmund Hall.  The location of furniture presents quite a headache for most lines of sight.  I am most optimistic about my chances in photographing the East Window, however, this is likely to necessitate me mounting my tripod on desk – something that may be frowned upon in a library.

Detail information about and from guide book here.

Images to follow.

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