Fan vaulted ceiling of the Golden Chapel
The roof is of Golden Chapel or Vernon Chantry is spectacular and rare. It marks a highpoint in the status of Tong when Henry Vernon was Lord of the Manor. He was a stalwart supporter of King Henry VII ➚.
This Chapel was built in 1510 by Sir Henry Vernon as the Chapel of the Salutation to Our Lady, with its own separate endowment, to be his Chantry Chapel. It is entered by an ogee arched doorway and is called the ‘Golden Chapel’ from the gilding applied to the ceiling. The Chapel has a fine fan vaulted ceiling with three hanging pendants.
In the eighteenth century the chapel was converted to a panelled and curtained family pew for the owners of the Castle. In 1892, when the Church was restored, much of interest was revealed, including the unbroken pre-Reformation stone altar top, six feet long with five consecration crosses. The four consecration marks on the wall, from the consecration of the Chapel in 1510, and the piscina were also revealed.
On the east wall above the altar is a faintly visible painted rood, with a text below it which invites prayers for the repose of the souls of Sir Henry Vernon, his wife and his youngest son, Sir Arthur Vernon.
The Golden Chapel contains two memorials to Sir Arthur, who was rector of Whitchurch.
By his will, dated the 30th September 1515, he desired his body ‘to be buried in the same parish where I dye and to have a stone what myn executors thinke best for me, and my picture drawen therupon and for making of my stone I bequeth XXX’s. ’ [30 shillings].
Sir Henry Vernon (1445-1515), Bust of Sir Arthur Vernon 1482-1517, Brass of Sir Arthur Vernon 1482-1517
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