London Unveiled

great places to visit off the beaten path.

Gray’s Inn Chapel ~ a quiet sanctuary in Central London

Exterior - Gray's Inn Chapel

Exterior – Gray’s Inn Chapel

Located on the south side of Gray’s Inn Square, this Chapel provides a quiet place to escape to.  While the Chapel was essentially rebuilt after the Blitz, it’s uniqueness and location make it well worth a visit.  In addition, a visit here draws you into the heart of Gray’s Inn – an area bypassed by many visitors and locals alike.

Grays Inn Chapel interior

Grays Inn Chapel interior

History:  Originally the chapel was housed in the Manor house for John Le Grey located here and dates back to 1315.  The records of the Inn, which run continuously from the 16th century, document that the chapel has been continuously operated on this site, though rebuilt and expanded several times.  In 1893 the building was restored in a late gothic style and remained that way until it was bombed in 1941.

A stained glass window

A stained glass window

Today:  The present chapel was built in the years following the Second World War to the designs of the late Master Sir Edward Maufe, the architect of Guildford Cathedral.  It was larger than before, and the original stained glass windows, which had been removed for safety, were replaced.  The east window, originally erected in 1895, commemorates four Archbishops who were either members or preachers of Gray’s Inn: they are Whitgift, Juxon, Wake and Laud, and the centre panel depicts Thomas a Becket.  The chapel also contains, by the north door, the incomplete remains of a mediaeval holy water stoup.

Approach to Gray's Inn Square

Approach to Gray’s Inn Square

Visiting:  The Chapel is generally open daily during the week, and on certain Sundays for services.  Visit their website for more details.  There are occasional weekday services, and in June 2014 a series of four concerts will be held on Tuesday evenings at 6:30pm.

Located at:  Gray’s Inn Square, off Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1R

Closest Tube:  Chancery Lane

4 comments on “Gray’s Inn Chapel ~ a quiet sanctuary in Central London

  1. Puppetman
    May 11, 2014

    Loved your post today. Interestingly, I wrote not about the chapel but the water pump just out front:

    http://puppetmanblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/secret-london-an-old-bit-of-metal/

    • LondonUnveiled.com
      May 11, 2014

      That pump (mid-19th C ‘gothic style) is actually a Grade II listed item! Thanks for reading, Ian.

  2. jennypellett
    May 11, 2014

    Very interesting – have been missing your posts!

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This entry was posted on May 11, 2014 by in Camden, Central London Boroughs, Churches, Historic Buildings and tagged , , .
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