St George’s Chapel, 1348-1975

A.K.B Evans recounts the story behind the centre for the Knights of the Garter at Windsor, which was built by Edward IV in 1475.

This year, St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle celebrates its Quincentenary. But the present splendid structure, begun in June 1475 under Edward IV, superseded in name and status an older chapel, originally built by Henry III, which Edward III had adopted in 1348 as the centre of his newly-founded Order of the Garter and rededicated to St George as the special patron of the English race.

The first St George’s Chapel adjoined the present one, which was built immediately to the west of it and utilized its west front as the new chapel’s eastern wall. Apart from this, little remains of the thirteenth-century chapel but its site; it was rebuilt by Henry VII, and since 1863 has been known as the Albert Memorial Chapel, its nineteenth-century decorations obscuring its sixteenth-century frame.

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