Preserving the Chapel

King's College Chapel is the most famous and recognisable building in Cambridge, and is of national and international significance. It is the home of one of the world's most renowned and best-loved choirs, whose distinctive sound is shaped by the Chapel’s unique acoustics and organ.

The Chapel dates back to 1446, and possesses the largest fan vaulted stone ceiling in the world, unique intricate carvings, an impressive screen and some of the most exquisite painted and stained glass windows surviving in the country. There is an ongoing programme of conservation and maintenance, as well as larger scale needs that have been identified in the latest conservation management report.

While the main structure of the Chapel is sound, current necessary works include repairs to the roof coverings, cleaning and repairs to the interior and exterior stone and woodwork, and cleaning and repair of the medieval stained glass. The organ has recently undergone a complete restoration but we are hoping to establish an endowment to provide a permanent fund for future maintenance and repair

Other Chapel needs include restoration of the two sundials, restoration of the gates, completion of the sound, audio and recording systems, and a number of other projects to enhance the visitor experience. A special committee oversees the works needed to keep the Chapel in proper condition and to fulfil the many functions and expectations placed on it day by day.

The current endowment funds for the Chapel are simply not sufficient to meet the needs of this important building.

We are in the presence of something magical, something sublime
- George Santayana (KC 1896)


Conserving the Chapel

While the main structure of the Chapel remains sound, necessary works include the cleaning and repair of the medieval stained glass, restoration of the 16th century stalls, interior cleaning of the stonework and woodwork, and exterior cleaning, restoration, and repair of the East, West, and North elevations. The organ has recently undergone a complete restoration but we are hoping to establish an endowment to provide a permanent fund for future maintenance and repair.

Other Chapel needs include restoration of the two sundials, restoration of the gates, completion of the sound, audio and recording systems, and a number of other projects to enhance the visitor experience. A special committee oversees the works needed to keep the Chapel in proper condition and to fulfil the many functions and expectations placed on it day by day.

The current endowment funds for the Chapel, even augmented with significant revenue from visitor entrance fees, are simply not sufficient to meet the needs of this important building.

Internal Improvements

In addition to cleaning and conservation, we are hoping to make a number of internal improvements which will allow people in the Antechapel to hear the spoken parts of the service, enhance our ability to record services and special performances for webcasts and recordings, and enable us to undertake a feasibility study to improve lighting for the College choirs and Ante-chapel performances.

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