Illustrated Dictionary of British Churches

History and Architecture

Chantry

A Chantry, also known as a chantry chapel, is a memorial or even a complete building dedicated to the memory of a person or family. In the medieval period it was common for wealthy patrons of a church to give a grant of money to pay for a priest to say prayers for themselves and their family. The patron would erect a monument, and there the priest would say daily prayers for his or her soul. In large churches, chantries were entire side chapels accessed from the aisle, transepts, or ambulatory. Smaller chantries weee like glorified enclosed tombs, erected between the aisle and chancel or nave. Such chantries were often highly decorated and richly carved and painted, with finely vaulted ceilings in the later medieval period.

Related: Aisle   Ambulatory   Chancel   Chapel   Nave  

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