A GUIDE TO THE CHAPEL RUINS

Picture credit and copyright: The British Library, courtesy of the Basingstoke Heritage Society.

INTRODUCTION TO THE CHAPEL RUINS

This guide will include both of the Chapel ruins with recommended stopping points. The tour is intended to take about thirty minutes and starts at the car park at the Cemetery Lodge Entrance to the Cemetery.

THE CHAPEL OF THE HOLY GHOST: WHY IT WAS BUILT?

When the Archbishop of Canterbury, Hubert Walter, died in 1205, King John became involved in a dispute with Pope Innocent III that would lead to the king’s excommunication. The Norman kings had traditionally exercised a great deal of power over the church within their territories. From the 1040s onwards, however, successive popes wanted the church to be governed from Rome. King John wanted John de Gray, the Bishop of Norwich and one of his own supporters, to be appointed Archbishop of Canterbury after the death of Archbishop Walter, but the cathedral chapter for Canterbury Cathedral favoured Reginald, the chapter’s sub-prior. The chapter secretly elected Reginald and he travelled to Rome to be confirmed. John forced the Canterbury chapter to change their support to John de Gray, and a messenger was sent to Rome to inform the papacy of the new decision.

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