Lincolns Inn Chapel

The present building was consecrated in 1623 having been built to the designs of Inigo Jones.

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.

Key Features

  • Captivating architecture
  • Spectacular stained glass
  • Magnificent memorials
  • Glorious furnishings
  • Enchanting atmosphere
  • Social heritage stories
  • National heritage here
  • Famous connections

Visitors information

  • Bus stop within 100m
  • Train station within 250m
  • On street parking at church
  • Parking within 250m
  • Accessible toilets in church
  • Non-accessible toilets in church
  • Accessible toilets nearby
  • Café in church
  • Café within 500m
  • Dog friendly
  • Walkers & cyclists welcome
  • Space to secure your bike
  • Church shop or souvenirs

Other nearby churches

Grays Inn Chapel

This is the chapel of one of the four Inns of Court. It is on the site of the chapel built in 1315, and rebuilt in the 1960s following destruction in the Second World War.

St Clement Danes

This is the 'Oranges and Lemons' church, rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in 1682, burnt out during World War II and reconsecrated as the Central Church of the Royal Air Force in 1958 with antique and modern silver, RAF Books of Remembrance, Squadron Standards and Badges.

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