The original Chapel was situated on Old Quad, on the first story, west of the hall, opposite the original library. In 1655 John Jackson was appointed overseer to build a new Chapel and Library at a salary of £1 per week. Though it was for a long time attributed to Sir Christopher Wren, the actual design of the Chapel has been attributed to Jackson, who was also employed as master mason at St. John’s College. The foundation stone was laid in June 1656 and the foundations were finished in August. In March 1657 the 'Little Cloyster' was begun, which still remains as the entrance to the Chapel.

The College was able to save money by using materials from another of their Oxford properties, the Chapel of the former Augustinian College of St. Mary, now Frewin Hall. The Chapel's roof is the most famous aspect of this reuse; the open hammerbeam structure was moved to Brasenose  in 1656. Although the hammerbeams can still be seen in the roof space above the Chapel the roof was not completely reconstructed. The point of the reuse was to save money on timber. It is unlikely that there was ever any intention to leave the beams exposed, and on 5th Nov 1659 John Jackson received £20 'for his Modell of the Roofe of ye New chapple'. On Tuesday 14th June 1659 the plaster fan vault we now see was begun. A month later 'goodman Drew' received payment 'for turning of eleven Pendents for ye Roofe of the chapple at 9d a’piece'. The ceiling was painted by Charles Eamer Kempe in the 1890s and refurbished in the 20th century.

Principal Ralph Cawley (1770-1777) donated painted glass for the west window (above the First World War memorial in the ante chapel) in 1776. The figures are by James Pearson, to designs by J. H. Mortimer. The east window (above the marble reredos) was installed in 1896 to the memory of Principal Richard Harrington (1842-1853) who is buried in the ante chapel. It is by C. E. Kempe. In the ante chapel are two more stained glass windows. The north window (on the right as you enter the Chapel) was installed in 1894 by Clayton and Bell, in memory of Joseph Wagstaff Barlow, a Fellow of the College. The south window on the opposite wall dates from 1887 and is by James Powell & Sons. This was placed here in memory of Principal Edward Hartopp Cradock (1853-1886). The choir side windows are by William Wailes, and date from 1844 to the 1860s.

In 1733 Sir Darcey Levir of Ackrington, Lancashire, gave £50 towards a marble altar piece. This was restored in the 1860s, by the architect J. C. Buckler, who also added the cross visible in the centre of the reredos (the crucifix was added in 1980). The brass lectern was given to the College by Thomas Lee Dummer in 1731. It is commemorated in an inscription on the globe on which the eagle stands, with Dummer’s coat of arms and motto; the lectern was sent to London in 1734 to be engraved. The two gilt chandeliers were given by William Drake of Shardeloes, in 1749. In 1865 they were replaced with gas lamps and sent to Coleshill Church, near Amersham. In 1887, at the request of the Bursar, they were returned to the Brasenose Chapel. The organ-case of 1892 was designed by Sir Thomas Graham Jackson, who was also responsible for the New Quadrangle. It houses an instrument which was renewed by Bower and Company in 2001. There are several interesting monuments to former fellows and students, notably for Walter Pater and Albert Watson, the latter an early work (1905) by Eric Gill. The World War I memorial is on the west wall of the ante chapel. This memorial was designed and executed by Mr L. A. Turner. It is made of oak, oblong in shape with a curved central top, and is divided into five panels containing in gold letters one hundred and fourteen names of Brasenose men who died in the war. The World War II memorial is situated on the wall in the entrance to the Chapel. It was designed by the English architect and designer Edward Maufe and carved by Barry Hart in 1951. On it are inscribed one hundred and twenty-three names.

The enormous portrait over the door and the paintings of hands on the north wall are of The Childe of Hale.

 

 

 

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