The Lady Chapel

Beyond the Library lies the Lady Chapel. Dedicated to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, this chapel underwent extensive reconstruction in 1972 under the sponsorship of the Girl's Friendly Society and the Cathedral Men's Bible Class, when the concrete ceiling was installed. A special feature of Gothic architecture, rib vaulting channels the weight of the roof and ceiling efficiently into the piers and walls, thus enabling larger window openings without endangering the roof's stability.


Just before you enter the Chapel from the Library, displayed in a wall case on the right is the work of the two Browser (or Bowsor) sisters: the splendid gold-embroidered Altar Frontal, now used only on the greatest feast days.


The needlepoint kneelers and chair cushions, in the blue traditional for the Blessed Virgin, are owed to the labour and kindness of the Cathedral Altar Guild in 1975; each piece is dated and signed on the back by its maker.


To the left of the altar, which was given in memory of Bishop White, stands a banner of St. John the Baptist.


The Chapel's predominantly yellow and green-toned main windows, representing Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) (1907) and Our Lady and St. John at the Foot of the Cross (1904) are also by C.E. Kempe. The remaining windows on the north side, depicting the Agony in Gethsemane (1972, Wippell Mowbray, Exeter) and Pilate and the Judgement Hall (1953), are of more recent date, showing more modern tastes in representation. The Pilate window was executed by James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars), a firm also responsible for four other windows in the Cathedral. Its handiwork is distinguished by the trademark figure of a small white hooded monk, usually in the lower right-hand part of each window.


The Lady Chapel is normally used for private prayer and for weekday services at the Cathedral. 


Next on the Tour: The Chancel and Sanctuary