Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Charterhouse School Chapel, Godalming

The original school was founded in 1611 in London by Thomas Sutton, but a Royal Commission decided to transfer it to the countryside in 1864. The first few buildings in Godalming including the chapel were designed by Philip Charles Hardwick after the boarding school moved there in 1872. Construction was carried out by Lucas Brothers.

The chapel and memorial cloister around 1900 (below). The building was not as Hardwick had originally designed it since the school's governing body decided to make it smaller, which ended up being the reason it was replaced some sixty-four years later.

The Caen marble reredos was installed in 1874 in the east end of the chapel. Salviati enamel mosaics alternated in panels with geometric shaped marble mosaics. The upper section contained a large central mosaic of the Last Supper - a gift of Carthusian G.T. Clarke, Esq. - that was the exact length of the altar. Two Evangelists on gold backgrounds flanked each side. The lower portion contained each of the Evangelists' corresponding emblems, while the central panel depicted the Sacraments - a grape vine, a dove over water, and a trefoil - and a pink cross with a white border.

In 1937, the reredos was removed and the entire east wall was blocked up, leaving just the stained glass windows visible only from the outside. The chapel was subsequently converted into the music school in 1940. The mosaic of the Last Supper came into the possession of an old Carthusian in 1942, who six years later had it restored and placed in the Memorial Chapel of Clayton Parish (St. John's) Church some 230 miles away. The reredos was rededicated in 1949. It is unknown what happened to the other parts of the original mosaic composition.

The new chapel at Charterhouse still in use was designed by G.G. Scott and built in 1927.

Barr, Sheldon. Venetian Glass Mosaics: 1860-1917. London: Antique Collectors' Club, 2008. 125.
The Carthusian - Godalming. No. 14. The Charterhouse School, March 1874. 102.
Charterhouse, The Heritage Tour, 2.
Tod, Alexander Hay. Charterhouse. London: G. Bell, 1905. 29-31.
British History Online
Jacqueline Banerjee on Victorian Web
Hothouse Media
This is Bradford
Alexander P. Kapp on Geograph

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