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St John's Chapel (White Tower, Tower of London)
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The White Tower is the oldest part of William the Conqueror's fortress. It was built between about 1077 and 1097 as the keep or citadel. St John's Chapel on the second floor is an impressive and complete survival from early in the Norman period, unlike many other Norman churches in England which date from the mid-12th century.

St John's Chapel (White Tower, Tower of London)

An ambulatory runs round the chapel, affording changing vistas of arches and columns.


It consists of a tunnel-vaulted nave, with an east apse, and groin-vaulted aisles with a tunnel-vaulted gallery above, which curve round the apse, as at St Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield. Thick, round piers support unmoulded arches. The only adornment is the carving of the capitals which consists largely of simple scallop and leaf designs and, in one case, volutes. The piers of the gallery are square and stand directly above those of the lower arcade. The whole impresses by its proportions and its strength. It certainly deserves to be better known among London's historic churches.

St John's Chapel (White Tower, Tower of London)

A gaunt solemnity is imparted by the ponderous features of the chapel in William the Conqueror's 11th-century keep.




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