Trinity Chapel South

Including the Corona

The Corona Chapel by Jules & Jenny from Lincoln, UK, CC BY 2.0 Wikimedia Commons

Western Nave

<q>Fire Watchers Memorial</q><br><q>Font</q><q>Great West Window</q>

Eastern Nave

<q>Pulpit</q> <q>Altar</q><br><q>Compass Rose</q>

Western Crypt (South Aisle)

<q>Huguenot Chapel</q><br><q>Our Lady Undercroft</q><br><q>St Gabriel Chapel</q>

Eastern Crypt

<q>Watching Chamber</q><br><q>"Transport"</q><br><q>Jesus Chapel</q>

Western Crypt (North Aisle)

<q>Ch. of Holy Innocents</q><br><q>St Nicholas Ch.</q><br><q>St Mary Magdalene Ch.</q>

Martyrdom

<q>Altar of the Sword Point</q><br><q>The Deans' Chapel</q>

Pulpitum Steps

<q>Royal Window </q><q>Bell Harry</q><q>Great South Window</q>

Choir

<q>Parclose Screen</q><br><q>Archbishop's Throne</q><br><q>St Augustine's Chair</q>

North Choir Aisle

<q>Chichele Tomb</q><br><q>Bible Windows</q><br><q>Northeast Transept</q>

Trinity Chapel North

<q>Opus Alexandrinum</q><br><q>Miracle Windows</q><br><q>Henry IV Tomb</q><br><q>Becket Shrine</q>

Trinity Chapel South

<q>Corona Chapel</q><br><q>Black Prince</q><br><q>Miracle Windows</q>

South Choir Aisle

<q>St Anselm's Chapel</q><br><q>Bossanyi Windows</q><br><q>Southeast Transept</q>

Southwest Transept

<q>St Michael's Chapel</q><br><q>Whall Window</q><br><q> Crypt access & Exit</q>

Great Cloister

<q>Heraldic shields</q><br><q>South, East, North & West panes</q><br><q>Cloister Garth</q>

Chapter House

<q>Wagon Vault</q><br><q>Victorian stained glass</q>

 Hint. View the map ‘landscape’ on small screens.

MapRounding the ambulatory from the north aisle to the south aisle of the Trinity Chapel, we reach the Corona Chapel – the easternmost point of the  Cathedral. Continuing into the south aisle, we find the remaining Miracle Windows and several noteworthy tombs, including that of the Black Prince.

What's here?

The Corona, completed by William the Englishman in 1184, is unique in English Cathedral architecture and was built specifically to house the ‘corona’ (the crown, or top part of the skull) of St Thomas Becket.

The clerk Edward Grim’s graphic, first-hand account of Becket’s murder in December 1170 describes how Richard le Breton’s final sword blow severed the crown of Becket’s scalp and snapped the point of le Breton’s sword. The crown was recovered from the crime scene by the monks and preserved in a silver reliquary. Pilgrims visiting the Corona chapel were able to view and, if of sufficient status, also kiss the reliquary.

In recent times, the Chapel has been re-dedicated to the Saints and Martyrs of Our Own Time. A Book of Remembrance, naming 21 priests, men and women murdered for their Christian faith since 1916, is maintained here.

Stained glass in the Corona (c.1200-1220)

Monuments in the Corona

Besides the tomb of the Black Prince (see below) there are three other  noteworthy tombs in this corner of the Trinity Chapel:

The Tomb of Cardinal of Châtillon, Odet de Coligy (1571)

Tomb of Archbishop William Courtenay (1396)

Tomb of Archbishop Hubert Walter (c.1205)

Edward of Woodstock (1330-1376), Prince of Wales and elder son of King Edward III was the most celebrated and the most feared warrior of his time. His tomb here in the Trinity Chapel (attributed to Master Mason Henry Yevele) is made of Purbeck marble, and his magnificent brass-overgilt effigy shows him in full armour, spurred and helmeted, with a small bulldog at his feet. Shields around the base of the tomb feature the fleur de lys (signifying the Plantagenet claim to the French throne) and the Prince’s coat of arms – a plume of three ostrich feathers and the motto “Ich diene – “I serve” – a motto which has been adopted by all subsequent Princes of Wales.

The life, marriage and death of the Black Prince

The Black Prince’s ‘Achievement’

As with the windows in the north aisle, the original purpose of the six windows in the south aisle was to depict some of the miracles that were observed at the tomb of Thomas Becket by the monks Benedict and William between 1180 and 1220. The windows here in the south aisle suffered much greater damage at the hands of Puritans in 1643 during the English Civil War, as they were more accessible from the outside. As a result of this, the second and fourth windows and most of the third, contain only plain glass.

The first Miracle Window

The third Miracle Window

The fifth Miracle Window

The sixth Miracle Window

As we leave the south side of Trinity Chapel, via the steps down towards the South Choir Aisle, take a moment to examine the steps themselves. These are the Pilgrim’s Steps. For over 300 years from 1220 (until the Reformation of Henry VIII swept it all away in 1538) pilgrims were expected to climb this last flight of steps to reach the Shrine of Thomas Becket on their knees.  The groove worn into the stone steps by the knees of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims is clearly visible.

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Where next?

 Take the Pilgrims’ Steps down to the X South Choir Aisle