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King's College Chapel, Cambridge

1039 of 1157 nominations


King's College Chapel, Cambridge

Is this an icon?


King's College Chapel, Cambridge

One of the most stunning buildings in one of England’s most beautiful towns, King’s College Chapel was the grand project of pious King Henry VI. He envisioned a college chapel unequalled in size and beauty, but the project was left half finished during the tussle for the throne between Lancastrian Henry and Yorkist Edward. It fell to Edward’s brother Richard III to continue building, which he did with gusto, although the finishing touches were not completed until the end of Henry VIII’s reign in 1547, nearly 100 years after the foundation stone was laid. Visitors today will agree that it was worth the wait. An architectural masterpiece inside and out, the most splendid feature is possibly the fan vaulting of the ceiling which has been called “the noblest stone ceiling in existence”. The famous King’s College Chapel Choir is the official sound of Christmas in many homes around the world, with their Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols broadcast live on Christmas Eve. Since 1919 they’ve always started with the same carol – do you know which one?

Image: TopFoto.co.uk


Your comments

Because it is an instantly recognisable building to millions of people - and the broadcast of 9 lessons and carols on Christmas Eve is heard by millions via the BBC each year - for them it represents comething unique and English

Andrew Gosden

King's College Chapel is one of the most recognisable buildings in England and almost certainly the most photographed place in Cambridge by tourists from all over the globe. Built between 1446 and 1515, the most recognisable view of the chapel is from the Backs. Construction took place during the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, Richard III, Henry VII and Henry VIII, but it remained in a half-completed state during the time of Henry VII, leaving his son to complete the final stages of the building work. The chapel is also internationally renowned for the annual Christmas carol service which is broadcast live around the globe every Christmas Eve.
Tim Skepper

An international icon of England - at Christmas and all the year round
John Preston

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My nomination is the garden shed.