Project Development

New College Chapel – Planning visit

In my mind, my intention in New College Chapel was to photograph the Great West window from the organ loft.  However, the brilliant afternoon sunshine was streaming through the west end making such work impractical, so I opted to soak up the atmosphere while the choir was rehearsing.  My short video, recorded from the south side, does provide an idea of the enormity and expanse of the stained glass within the chapel, initially showing a glimpse of some of the ante-chapel glass, before sweeping across the five windows of the north side, with each window containing eight main lights.  The south side is similarly glazed.

© The Choir of New College (Ave verum corpus by William Byrd)

New College Chapel dates back to the fourteenth century and is one of the main choral foundations of the University of Oxford, with a choir regarded as one of the leading choirs of the world, and has recorded over one hundred albums.  It hosts some stunning stained glass that spans the centuries, with windows designed by the 18th-century portraitist Sir Joshua Reynolds and contains works by Sir Jacob Epstein and El Greco.

On this visit, I was seemingly not fully focussed on the task in hand, as despite having the keys to all areas of the chapel, I failed to make observations from the organ loft and also failed to register the windows of the ante-chapel which are recently restored medieval stained glass.  In a restored state, they may be a fine choice if the lay of their surrounds proves favourable.

IMG_3566 (low res)From within the body of the chapel, it is difficult to photograph the lights as a result of their great height, so I am heavily reliant upon the organ loft providing an appropriate view of the glass at the west end, which would be best photographed in the early morning light.

I did make a point of pausing in the cloisters to capture an image – not that it is of any direct value to my Research Project. Clearly I do need another planning visit.

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