Brackley, Northamptonshire

Chapel of St. John and St. James, Brackley, Northamptonshire

One of the landmark buildings of Brackley, this Chapel is today the chapel of Magdalen College.

The Chapel dates to the time of Henry I and was founded as the Chapel for St. John’s Hospital which was built on the instructions of Robert le Bossu, Earl of Leicester before 1168 (the year he died). Some of this earliest work still survives despite several later rounds of restoration.

The Chapel passed to Magdalen College, Oxford and was used by members of that college as a retreat when plague hit Oxford during the reign of Henry VIII. The Chapel was restored around 1746, although it isn’t clear how extensive that restoration was but two separate rounds of restoration occurred in the 19th Century, the latter in 1870 at the instruction of the vicar of St. Peter’s Church – Brackley’s parish church – Francis Thicknesse. He employed one Mr Buckeridge to undertake the upgrade and the church was reopened for public service that year.

Although occasionally open to the public, the Chapel today serves Magdalen College, Brackley – still associated with the college in Oxford.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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