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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A Medieval Gem


It was nearing the end of the weekend of open house when we were handed an information sheet of late entries to the weekend.  Only one was close enough for us to get there to make it for last entry time.  We were not disappointed.

The Maughan Library is the main research library for Kings College on the Strand Campus.  The 19th century neo-Gothic building was acquired by the university in 2001.  Previously it had been the Public Records Office, a place where many precious public documents had been stored in fire proof cells, especially during the war years when documents as valuable as the Magna Carta where saved by virtue of the protection offered here.

The earliest building known to stand on this site was the Domus Conversorum (the House of Converts).  The house was established in 1232 to provide a sanctury for Jews who converted to Christianity  following  the 1290 Edict of Expulsion of Edward 1.  The following year work began on the attached chapel.

In 1317 Edward 111 assigned the House and chapel to be used to store the rolls and records of the  Court of Chancery.

The chapel underwent major renovations during the 17th and 18th centuries and demolition in 1895. All that remains is an arch which now resides in the garden, three funerary monuments and a beautiful mosaic tiled floor that fem part of the lib ray known as the Weston Room.

5 comments:

Bill Nicholls said...

That is a beautiful memorial

Adullamite said...

Interesting History.
Still not quite sure what is going on with the exhibit.

Lowell said...

Very impressive. It doth look more like a church altar than anything else.

William Kendall said...

Well worth saving!

Jack said...

Wonderful post and wonderful photo of a wonderful monument!

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