History & Heritage

Elder Lady Chapel

The exquisite Elder Lady Chapel was built in about 1220 under abbot David, whose tomb lies outside its entrance. It may have been designed by Adam Lock, master mason at Wells cathedral. Entertaining sculptures, full of animals, can be seen around the walls. In this chapel, for centuries, special honour was given to Mary, mother of Christ. It is called the 'elder' lady chapel because another Lady Chapel was added at the east end of the choir in 1298. The chapel contains many artworks, including the medieval tomb of Lady Margaret Mortimer and Lord Maurice Berkeley, and icons of Saint Augustine of Hippo and local Saint, Jordan.  It is unusual to have a chapel located off the north transept and it is possible that this was done deliberately to evoke the Holy House at Walsingham, which was a centre of Marian devotion.

The Chapel is regularly used for prayer, contemplation and the lunchtime Eucharist services (Holy Communion).

  • The Nave
  • Elder Lady Chapel
  • The Choir
  • South Transept
  • North Transept
  • Nave Altar
  • High Altar
  • Berkeley Chapel
  • Eastern Lady Chapel
  • Chapter House
  • South Choir Aisle