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Kings Lynn's Red Mount Chapel



King's Lynn's Red Mount Chapel, Formerly known as: Chapel of Our Lady of the Mount. Wayside Chapel on Walsingham pilgrimage route. 1483-85 by Robert Curraunt, the chapel 1505-06, attributed to Simon Clerk and John Wastell. Build with brick with ashlar dressings and ashlar core. The Red Mount is octagonal in shape, and constructed in the form of two concentric drums, the outer of brick.  Roof not visible. Basement and two storeys to outer drum, a third to inner drum. Random bond brick. two set-offs. Corners supported by stepped buttresses with ashlar dressings with an arched opening punched through each. Main entrance to west via timber studded door set under a depressed arch. One trefoil niche right and left. At intervals round the chapel are quatrefoil lights and two-light mullioned windows, but the top floor of the outer drum is lit through a four-light stone mullioned window with depressed heads beneath a straight hood mould, one such to each facet. Subsidiary door to north-east facet at ground floor, with, in the next facet clockwise, a four-light stone mullioned window with hollow, roll and fillet mouldings. Inner drum emerges over roof-line as a stone cruciform illuminated through one encircled quatrefoil oculus to each of the four main facets. INTERIOR. Arrangement is of a barrel-vaulted cellar below the twin drums, which are both octagonal below the ashlar chapel. Between the skins are two brick staircases with a roll-moulded handrail cut into inner wall. One starts at each external doorway and run counter-wise to each other, arriving at the antechamber to the chapel from opposing directions. Facing main door is a 6-light stone mullioned window with hollow and ovolo mouldings looking down into basement. two diamond pane leaded casements remain. Central core is largely brick with ashlar dressings but gives way to ashlar with brick dressings in upper storeys, emerging as all ashlar at chapel. Ample evidence of breaks in the work at top floor of outer drum, and of a change in design. At intervals are good examples of 17th century and early 18th century graffiti. As staircases emerge at the chapel an ambulatory is formed, 20th century timber steps leading into the cruciform sanctuary itself, which is attributed to Clerk and Wastell. Elaborate fan-vaulted roof with recurring motifs of encircled quatrefoils, the four limbs having panel tracery. Scheduled Ancient Monument. There is a similar chapel to the Red Mount at Amboise in France, dedicated to Saint Hubert, but the one in King's Lynn is unique. It is a small stone building, three stories high, built in the form of a cross, and the two lower stories encased within an octagonal shell of red brick. The chapel on the upper floor is 13 feet high, and measures 17 feet 7 inches by 14 feet; it is a fine specimen of the rich Perpendicular style. There are two staircases for pilgrims and apertures in the walls for them to watch the celebration of Holy Mass when the chapel itself was full. The middle storey was the priest's room. Edward IV is said to have lodged here in 1469, after his defeat by Warwick. During the Civil War it became a powder magazine, and in 1665, during the Plague, a pest house, but in 1823, it was recued from the dilapidated condition into which it had fallen. It is no longer, in use as a chapel, which is the purpose for which it was built!

Acknowledgement to Friends of the Red Mount Chapel.

Mr Carey, previous key holder, friends permission for posting.