The Mausolea & Monuments Trust

Bedford Chapel

The chapel is built in flint and takes the form of an aisle attached to the north side of the church. Inside, the chapel is divided off from the rest of the church by an iron grille through which the monuments can be seen. It has a fine hammerbeam roof and stained glass by Kempe (1895-8).

Architect

Original architect not known; 1861-2, Henry Clutton; 1886-7, A Macpherson; 1906-7, G F Bodley and C G Hare.

Listing

Grade I (England and Wales)

Year Built

1556

History

This funerary chapel, built for the Russell earls of Bedford, contains a great sequence of tombs described by Pevsner as the richest collection of funerary monuments in any parish church in England. The earliest six are tomb chests with effigies: John Russell, 1st Earl of Bedford (d.1555) and his wife (d.1559); Lady Bridget (d.1600); Ann, Countess of Warwick (d.1604); Elizabeth, Lady Russell (d.1611); Lady Frances Bourchier (d.1612); and the 2nd Earl of Bedford (d.1565). Then comes Lady Chandos (d.1623), a semi-reclining figure on a base, and the 4th Earl (d.1641) and his wife (d.1653) also a tomb chest with effigies. The later, and more varied, monuments are those of the 5th Earl and 1st Duke of Bedford (1700); the 2nd Duke and Duchess (made in 1769, designed by Sir William Chambers); Georgiana (d.1858, by Richard Westmacott the Younger); the 1st Earl Russell (d.1878); Odo, Baron Ampthill (d.1884, by Boehm); 9th Earl (d.1891, by G E Fox); Lord Arthur Russell (d.1892, by Alfred Gilbert). Also in the chapel is a 14th century table tomb with effigies of a member of the Cheyne family and his wife.

Condition

Not known

Sources

BoE: Bucks (1994), 228-31;

H Colvin, Architecture and the After-Life (1991), 258;

VCH: Bucks (1925), 3, 201-2.

PDF

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Location

Church of St Michael,
Chenies,
Buckinghamshire.

WD3 6ER

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