The Lady Chapel (c.1185 – 1539)
The Lady Chapel dedicated to ‘Our Lady’, the Blessed Virgin Mary, was the most sacred part of the medieval abbey. It owes its unusual position at the west end of the church, rather than the east, to its construction on the site of the wooden ‘Old Church’ (vetusta ecclesia), destroyed in the fire of 1184. The chapel was built quickly following the fire and was ready for use by 1186.
The Lady Chapel is one of the finest late 12th century monuments in Britain and has elements of both Romanesque and the succeeding Gothic style.
View the animated visualization below to see what the exterior of the Lady Chapel would have looked like while it was still in use. See the pages within this section for other visualizations of the Lady Chapel interior, and the Chapel of St Joseph of Arimathea.