Designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, Chapel dominates life at Haileybury, both architecturally and spiritually.
Completed in 1877 and modified in the 1930s, it is a wonderful building designed to support entire school services yet equally capable of hosting intimate blessings and baptisms. Chapel contains a number of interesting architectural features which require much closer inspection.
A magnificent building
Haileybury is fortunate to have the magnificent Chapel at its centre, designed to be large enough to hold triumphant gatherings of over 700 staff and pupils.
Built in 1877 and dedicated in the same year, it can truly be said to dominate the campus and is, today, at the heart of Haileybury life.
Chapel was designed by the architect Arthur Blomfield and constructed in the Lombardic Romanesque style, topped by a dome and cupola which make a striking landmark that is visible from many miles away.
Cruciform in shape, Chapel was extensively modified in the 1930s with a variety of internal alterations and, in particular, by the extension of the apse by 15 feet out into the Quadrangle.
This work, to the design of Sir Herbert Baker, not only transformed Chapel as a place of worship but also created a greater architectural harmony with the Quad and, especially, with Baker’s scheme for new Memorial Dining Hall, completed in 1932.
Features of the Chapel
Chapel is well worth a visit. Inside, the visitor is uplifted by the sense of light and space offered by the remodelled apse, the dome and by the stained glass windows.
While certainly grand, the space also has a quiet intimacy, able to house congregational gatherings and discreet services with equal measure.
It also includes a number of notable features, which will repay close inspection. These include some remarkable stained glass, the Chapel organ and a range of sculpted medallions and memorial plaques.
These two windows, kindly donated by the Haileybury Society, were installed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the School in 2012. Situated in the western transept, they flank an earlier window dedicated to the memory of Sir Thompson Capper to form a triptych.
Drawing on themes associated with the history of the College, all three windows together form a coherent narrative theme: Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ shall come again.
First World War centenary windows
Produced by Petri Anderson to a design by Toby Parker, these two lights contain allusions to the seven Christian virtues of faith, hope, charity, wisdom, temperence, justice and courage – values which are mirrored in the College’s Haileybury Habits.
Situated in the eastern transept, the theme of the windows is again designed to fit with Sir Herbert Baker’s theme of creating an architectural interaction between Memorial Dining Hall and the Chapel.
The quotation, “all service is equal under God” from Browning’s Pippa Passes, is an overt reference to this scheme and is used as a stimulus for the allegorical plaster medallions, executed by the sculptor Sir Charles Wheeler, which were placed in the pendentives of the Chapel dome.
The Johannes Klais organ, which was installed in 1989, is the fourth in a long line of organs in Chapel. This dramatic structure was described by Derek Longman, a former music teacher at the College, as “a magnificent instrument that enhances both the architecture, music and worship in the Chapel to great effect“.
Anyone attending Chapel while the organ is being played, and with pupils in full song, will readily agree with his summary.