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Photograph: Charlotte Manley

The Dean and Canons of Windsor are committed to the protection and conservation of the significant sculpture that is an integral part of St George’s Chapel.

Yorkist Beasts awaiting restoration on the north pinnacles of the quire roof

Photograph: David Clare

To this end, we have established a fund to enable us both to create and conserve, and thereby to ensure that St George’s Chapel proves to be a wonderful legacy to future generations. As a Royal Peculiar, St George’s is financially independent of Church and State, and has responsibility for its own upkeep. We invite you, and all who share our passion for this very special place, to support us in our purpose.

Restored West Front

Photograph: David Clare

William Vertue was a skilled master mason, and was responsible for much of the construction of the Chapel in the 15th century. To him is attributed the creation of the largest vaulted ceiling in Europe at the time; an astonishing feat of engineering. He is celebrated in the West Window of the Chapel, his image being among those of many noble and religious figures. We are pleased to think of the angels that support his remarkable vault as “Vertue’s Angels”. We name this sculpture initiative in his honour, and we dedicate our endeavours, as he dedicated all his work, to the glory of God.

Dean of Windsor


The Quire of St George’s Chapel

Throughout the Middle Ages architecture was considered to reflect God’s act of creation. As all creatures originated in creation so did all arts depend on and complement architecture. The sculptures in St George’s Chapel are integral to its architecture, growing out of the building in abundance:-


St George’s Chapel, acknowledged as a masterpiece of medieval architecture, ambitiously reflects its location, its role as the Chapel of the Order of the Garter and the College of St George.

Religious sculptures: An exceptional quality of surviving elements of an originally more extensive devotional scheme of sculpture in stone, wood and precious metals enhance the setting for worship. Shining examples are The Holy Trinity keystone above the High Altar and hundreds of exquisitely carved angels in a continuous frieze around the inside of the Chapel. Heraldic sculptures: The numerous badges, beasts, and emblems are intended to advertise the patrons of the building, notably through the superb ceiling vault bosses of Sovereigns and Garter Knights, and the King’s Beasts surmounting the 76 external buttress pinnacles1. Secular sculptures: The internal foliage friezes celebrate the natural order, and the hundreds of sculptural images of the sacred, monstrous, and absurd on corbel2 tables around the exterior of the Chapel celebrate the protecting presence of a secular world. The Dean and Canons see it as their responsibility to conserve and restore for the future this unique gallery of sculpture, which forms an essential part of their extensive refurbishment of the Chapel and the College.

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buttress pinnacle Decorative turret on top of a wall projection strengthening the building corbel table Row of sculptures on a projecting cornice

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The devotional carvings in Edward IV’s new chapel are of unsurpassed quality

Carvings in the Ambulatory4 have the delicacy of ivories, the work of high calibre sculptors, difficult to visualise in stone. They link religious and heraldic imagery of the Sovereign’s ambitious piety. That these details can barely be seen from ground level demonstrates the devotion of the carvers to their art and suggests an offering of their skill to God. In the presence of this work there can be no doubt of the importance of the cleaning, conservation and restoration of this remarkable sculptural legacy.


Damaged brattishing5 to be cleaned and conserved, with missing pieces reinstated

Cement staining from previous restorations to be removed

Angels to be cleaned and conserved, without any restoration

Delicate scroll to be carefully conserved, without replacement of missing parts

Below are three photographs showing the condition of typical angels and the damaged brattishing behind them Photographs: Martin Ashley Architects

Photograph: David Clare

and intricacy. In the angel frieze running continuously under the clerestory3, every angel is different, with individual serene facial expressions. From exquisitely carved tunics, their hands carry a scroll with the lightest of touches.

3 clerestory Upper storey or row of windows 4 ambulatory Processional walkway running behind the Altar 5 brattishing Ornamental cresting on top of a screen or cornice 6 perpendicular gothic Medieval architectural style characterised by an emphasis on vertical lines 7 vault Arched stone ceiling structure 8 pier Solid masonry structure on which an arch rests 9 elevation The vertical face of a building 10 Cross Gneth A much venerated relic said to be of the True Cross

Photograph: David Clare

the architectural context St George’s Chapel is an outstanding example of the distinctive national style of perpendicular gothic6. Supervised by Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury (d.1481) and directed by master masons Henry Janyns and (later) William Vertue, the sculptural elaboration was meant to be decorative and subservient to the finely wrought balance of vertical and horizontal architectural elements within the vaults7, piers8, and elevations9. Here every line and every moulding was impeccably resolved, and within and upon which the sculptures hung almost as delicate jewels. This was a peculiar feature of the perpendicular where apparent restraint led to a taught linear vibrancy.



ÂŁ397,000 is required to complete this extensive conservation. 232 Angels are to be conserved and 90 metres of Brattishing to be replaced.

Photograph: Angelo Hornak

A service being held in the Rutland Chantry

Hundreds of intersecting ribs in the ceiling vaults are punctuated by heraldic bosses - that depicting the Cross Gneth10 is over the site of its former reliquary. The high clerestory windows are supported by an angel choir backed by a frieze of fleur-de-lys brattishing, which culminates above the High Altar where a legion of the heavenly host ascends to the Holy Trinity keystone. The ambulatory vault is supported on tiny jewel-like corbel sculptures, and contains sacred, heraldic and secular imagery woven into the traceried panels. The aisle windows are underlined by a frieze of foliage, animals and birds. Delicate rose-ensoleil consecration crosses punctuate each section of Chapel walling.

Photograph: David Clare

A cleaned and conserved Consecration Cross

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Pennants to be gilded



Encrusted pollution deposits to be removed and stonework generally cleaned

£135,000 is required to complete the repair,

Kings Beasts cleaning & conservation.

Disfiguring copper staining to be removed

Seventy-six ‘King’s Beasts’ surmount the buttress pinnacles carrying pennants or heraldic shields, comprising of fourteen heraldic animals associated with the Plantagenet and Tudor Royal Families. The Yorkist beasts are arranged along the northern flank of the Chapel, and the Lancastrian


Beast photograph: David Clare

King’s Beasts to be cleaned and conserved

Photograph: David Clare Photograph: Angelo Hornak

Photograph: Martin Ashley Architects

beasts along the southern flank, in recognition of the tombs of Edward IV, and Henry VI, which lie on either side of the high altar below. The building of the Chapel was furthered in the reign of Henry VII whose arms with dragon and greyhound supporters are prominent in the tracery of the great west window. The Chapel was completed in the reign of his son, Henry VIII, whose arms with lion and dragon supporters appear on the great ceiling boss in the central crossing vault. The Royal arms with those of princes are carried in a colourful display on heraldic bosses throughout the remarkable stone ceiling vaults.

Photograph: Steve Wakeham

An example of the Lancaster Beasts, Corbel Table Grotesques and Pinnacle Grotesques on the south flank of the Chapel

King Henry VII’s arms on the West Front undergoing repair and restoration Restoration completed 2008 Cost was £ 25,000

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To be restored

Completed 2008

chivalrous SCULPTURE

The lierne11 ceiling vaults are filled with a fireworks display of hundreds of coloured heraldic bosses including 90 larger bosses, 8 quire pendant bosses, and 477 medium or smaller sized bosses. They constitute a remarkable late 15th/early 16th century gallery of images, figures, badges, dynastic emblems and heraldic beasts of Royal families and Garter Knights. The founding Knight Companions present a signal role call of the chivalry of the time. In the ceiling bosses their heraldic shields or devices are carried within the Garter containing its legend honi soit qui mal y pense12. All rest on a cushion of acanthus or other carved foliage. The greater bosses carry Royal arms, many of them with wonderful heraldic beasts and figures in high relief. The lesser bosses carry crowned monograms, badges, and the roses of Lancaster and York combined under the house of Tudor. Middle sized bosses carry Garter Knights insignias incorporating their heraldic devices, for example shields, feathers, knots, stars, and frequently heraldic beasts. Images of real and mythical beasts along with other emblems were used as family badges or



Ceiling Vault Bosses

ÂŁ200,000 is required to complete the conserving of polychromy, cleaning and conservation.

Photograph: David Clare

Photograph: David Clare

Cleaning and conservation of polychrome to the heraldic bosses

Cleaning pollution deposits from the stone vaulting

heraldic supporters throughout the middle ages, and became part of the symbolic identification of an individual companion of the Order of the Garter a feature shared with other similar chivalric orders. The remarkable menagerie of fabulous beasts on the wooden roof of the oriel window13 of the Royal closet overlooking the high altar gives a wonderful example. Lions, greyhounds, dragons, yales, harts, hinds, unicorns, antelopes, and swans proliferate elsewhere amongst the heraldic sculpture in the Chapel, and constitute a remarkable gallery of late gothic imagery and of the sculptors’ art.

Heraldic bosses over the Nave Photograph: David Clare

Checking vaulting for structural security

Heraldic beast on a ceiling vault boss

Re-pointing all mortar jointing

lierne ceiling vaults Vaulted ceiling containing secondary ribs spanning between other ribs 12 honi soit qui mal y pense... Evil to him that thinks evil of it 13 oriel window A projecting upper floor window 11

St George ’s ch a p e l Sculp ture Fund


Photograph: Martin Ashley Architects

SHAPING THE FUTURE Wherever one looks in St George’s Chapel there is imagery speaking of God’s act of creation in the natural world. Inside, there are beautifully executed stylised foliage panels, and friezes inhabited by tiny animals, birds, and insects. Outside, there are hundreds of sacred, monstrous, and absurd grotesques peering out from corbel tables reflecting the secular world. The conservation of this extraordinary gallery of art is a priority in the restoration programme. However, the original grotesques14 have previously been replaced A severely decayed corbel table grotesque


The Arcade emblems with 600 fine sculptural pieces

Arcade Emblems Frieze -

600 emblems £168,000 is required to complete the cleaning & conservation work.

CONSERVATION The internal stonework and integral sculptures are covered in years of dust, grime, and pollution deposits that are prejudicial to the fabric and detract from visual appreciation of the intended dramatic architectural concept. The external stonework



Friezes inhabited by tiny people,

and sculptures need repair and conservation to halt the accelerating decay processes that have taken hold since the last repairs programme in the early 20th century. Highly skilled specialist stonemasons and conservators are undertaking the works, and areas completed to date

Grotesque Fanciful sculptures used for the decoration of external walls in gothic ecclesiastical architecture

often in a manner that conflicts with the architectural genius of the Chapel. Where these sculptures have irredeemably decayed, the Dean and Canons are sponsoring imaginative replacements made to correct scale and form. This adventurous programme seeks to re-establish the original sculptural standards, by encouraging young carvers to follow medieval principles in working together and using the imagination. This will shape the way in which St George’s Chapel will be seen by future generations. Imaginative new carvings in the spirit of the medieval masons

Aisle Vine Frieze

Photographs: David Clare

70 metres

£24,000 is required to complete the cleaning & conservation of this delicate frieze.

birds and animals

Beautifully executed stylised foliage - this example has been cleaned

show the remarkably beneficial effect that cleaning and restoration of the stonework and sculpture has upon the presentation of this outstanding building within its setting in the lower ward of Windsor Castle.

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In medieval times grotesque sculptures were intended to celebrate the diversity of the secular world and to protect a sacred space by dispelling evil spirits. Surviving medieval contracts suggest that corbel tables were specified with so many beasts per linear yard, the sculptures conceived as decorative embellishments to enrich the architecture whilst incorporating some residual symbolism. Amongst the hundreds of Victorian grotesques on St George’s Chapel there seems no clear iconography or sequence although there are occasional The creation of new grotesques. recognisable subjects To commission a single new grotesque is which may reflect medieval £11,370. The total required is £398,000. originals. The Dean and Canons determined that replacement sculptures should reinstate the scale, massing and detail of the original medieval conception, but also should be imaginative new carvings from student carvers. Students would benefit from the opportunities of training in a workshop tradition producing original carvings in the spirit of the medieval masons. Through the Dean and Canons’ courageous initiative, the City & Guilds of London Art School has established an ‘imaginative carving programme’ producing exciting new sculptures for St George’s Chapel.




The benefits of the ‘imaginative carving course’ are enormous. It offers young carvers a real client, a real project, and an active Fabric Advisory Committee giving them positive encouragement to exercise their unbounded imagination within a set of governing parameters. This provides a sympathetic and supportive collaborative environment within which the students can develop their skills and become more visually confident and expressive artists. So is recreated something of the spirit of the medieval masons as students use their own imagination to create corbel table sculptures which provide a wealth of new and unique sculptural images for St George’s Chapel that are youthful, expressive, and redolent of the society and culture of the present day. The initiative is vibrant, energetic, challenging, and exciting, has already borne fruit and is going from strength to strength.

Photograph: David Clare

A detail from a newly created grotesque

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The difference your

Photograph: David Clare

support will make

The two primary needs for this Sculpture Fund which your support can make possible, are to Conserve and Renew. We can also inspire and nurture the next generation of sculptors. To C onserve: From the late 18th century to the beginning of the 20th century, medieval grotesques were removed, having become completely degraded. The replacements themselves have been damaged by the effects of weather and increased air pollution, which have continuously eaten away at these sculptures, so that many have disintegrated. These will have to be replaced. The Chapel contains probably the largest selection of late 15th century sculpture in the UK, of exceptional quality which can, with your help, be cleaned and restored to their intricate beauty. To Renew:

May 2010 St George’s Chapel has won the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors south east region ‘Building Conservation Award’. ‘The judges’ citation highlighted the important initiative taken by St George’s in its link with the City & Guilds School to produce carved grotesques, rooted in a mix of medieval and modern imagination, as replacements for completely eroded Victorian ones, themselves replacements for medieval sculptures of unknown design.’

The funds you give will enable the Dean and Canons to commission the experts needed to redesign the sculpture. To this end they have set up a unique partnership with the City and Guilds of London Art School to design and create new grotesques to last for many generations. They will complete the remaining 35 that need to be replaced and enable the exterior of this great Chapel to be returned to its original glory. TO Transform and Inspire: Your funds will also enable the young student sculptors at the City and Guilds London Art School to learn an ancient craft, keep it alive and gain skills simultaneously. Through this encouragement, imagination and artistry can be expressed in creative sculpture. In addition, the creative process and the learning has been transformational for many students .

‘I had an image in my mind which I thought might be suitable and which would combine several distinct thoughts: a mother shielding her child from harm; stylised hair representing the ‘wings’ of sanctuary; a sheltering womb... Seeing the carving finally installed was a moving experience. Only then did I realise the fulfilment to be gained from being part of a great and continuing project.’ Gary March, Sculptor (see previous page)


Photographs: David Clare

Itemised sculptural restoration to be carried out. External SCULPTURE Corbel Table Grotesques Conserving grotesques

£ 481,000

Replacing grotesques where necessary

£ 398,000

Kings Beasts - repair & conservation

£ 135,000

Niche Statues - conservation



Consecration Crosses - conservation



INTERNAL SCULPTURE Angel Frieze Conserving the angel frieze

£ 156,000

Brattishing - conserving & replacement

£ 241,000

Arcade emblem frieze - conservation

£ 168,000

Ceiling Vault Bosses

£ 200,000

Conserving polychromy, cleaning and conservation. Henry VII Heraldic Arms - conservation



Aisle Vine Frieze - conservation



Urswick Corbel Grotesques - conservation



The amount the Fund needs to raise is £1,843,000 INFORMATION FOR DONORS

The renewal of sculpture and friezes are carried out when the area in the which they are situated is being restored. This ensures a cost-effective work programme and that all is done in sympathy with its surroundings. This will happen as we receive donated funding for each part of the Chapel. Therefore, we ask our supporters to bear with us in securing the future of the angels, beast and grotesques as our intricate web of work evolves.

The Dean and Canons of Windsor invite you to support this innovative, exciting project as part of the overall renewal of the Chapel. All donations are gratefully received and acknowledged. Your contribution will significantly enhance the restoration of this building, secure its future and encourage the development of the fine craft skills of many young people. We hope that your act of generosity will give you great satisfaction.

Thank you for your interest and valued support

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The Dean and Canons of Windsor invite you to support this innovative, exciting and nationally significant project as part of the overall renewal of the Chapel. In the first instance please contact the Development

Photograph: Steve Wakeham

office on +44 (0)1753 848846.

For updates on progress with the campaign of renewal please visit our website at

Photograph: David Clare

Recent finds The Foundation of the College of St George The Cloisters, Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ T 01753 848846 F 01753 848770 E This brochure has been made possible by the generous support of Mr Alan M. Rind, Family and Corporate Companion of the College of St George.

God The Father from the Holy Trinity discovered during the cleaning of the Ambulatory

A rare Wodewose emerging from centuries of dust and dirt

The Foundation of the College of St George, Windsor Castle, is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England and Wales. Registered office 2 The Cloisters, Windsor Castle, Windsor, SL4 1NJ. Company No 5937511. Registered Charity No 1118295. ©2010 The Dean and Canons of Windsor. All rights reserved and reproduction of any part is not allowed without written permission of the Dean and Canons of Windsor. Designed by Exposed Design Consultants

Vertue's Angels Sculpture Fund  

Fundraising Brochure for St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Sculpture Fund

Vertue's Angels Sculpture Fund  

Fundraising Brochure for St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Sculpture Fund