Lovekyn Chapel

The Chantry Chapel of St Mary Magdalene at Norbiton was founded by Edward Lovekyn in 1309 and is known locally as the Lovekyn Chapel.

It is the oldest complete building in Kingston Upon Thames and is Grade 2 listed.  It underwent numerous renovations before it received listed status in 1927.

It is also the one remaining free-standing chantry chapel in England.

The Chapel is small, 37′ 9″ by 18′ 3″, and remains the original 14th century size, never having been extended in all its years of use. The church furnishings were removed during the Dissolution of the Chantry Chapels in 1547. The Chapel is home to a small bracket in the shape of the head of Edward III – believed to have been placed there in 1352 when the Chapel was restored by Lovekyn’s son John.

In medieval times there were several buildings that surrounded the Chapel and these appear to have been lost by the 1580s, most likely due to the Dissolution.

Lovekyn Chapel, Kingston Upon Thames

The Chapel is situated on the Kingston one-way system, so it’s always been somewhere I’ve known about and wanted to visit. As it’s a school building, it has belonged to Kingston Grammar School since Elizabethan times, I’ve never had the opportunity. Today, I took advantage of the Heritage Open Days events that are going on around the country and took a peek inside.

Honestly? I was expecting a chapel with pews and an altar, so to find it bare was a little surprising. Now I know it was once used as a school gym in the past and was also known as the ‘big school room’ before the school outgrew the premises. However, there is still enough of the chapel framework to make it an exciting place to visit.

Lovekyn Chapel, Kingston Upon Thames

At 700 years old, it is the oldest building that I have been inside in Kingston.



A History of the Lovekyn Chapel, Kingston Grammar School

Images author’s own

4 thoughts on “Lovekyn Chapel

  1. Absolutely incredible. While I lived in Europe, I was always taken aback at the architecture and the skill it took. Absolutely breathtaking! The heart of civilization and the heart of every city, town and village, until recently. Now churches are replaced with accessibility to restaurants and shopping!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chantry chapels were private foundations. The founder endowed money to pay for a preist who was dedicated to saying massess and praying for the founding family. No other univited celebrants could worship at a chantry chapel.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s