About this church
The first mention of a chapel in the records of the Inn is in 1428. A model for a new chapel was submitted by Inigo Jones in 1618. The poet John Donne, who was preacher of the Inn at this time, and later became Dean of St Pauls, laid the foundation stone in 1620. The chapel was consecrated on Ascension Day 1623 by the Bishop of London, the Right Revd George Montaigne. John Donne preached 'a right rare and learned sermon'.
The chapel bell, cast in 1615, also has an association with John Donne. In addition to ringing for curfew at nine o’clock each evening, it is also tolled by ancient custom at midday on the death of a bencher of the Inn, a practice long held to be the inspiration for the quotation from Donne’s poem beginning 'No Man is an Island' which concludes 'And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee'.
In the bottom right of the window nearest the pulpit on the west side is a small memorial to John Donne. From 1882 to 1883 the chapel was reroofed and enlarged. In the 1990s further extensive repairs and refurbishment were carried out. The present Gothic revival reconstruction replaced the original barrel vaulted ceiling.