Memorial Brasses in the Ante-Chapel


The walls of the Ante-Chapel are lined with memorial brasses commemorating Fellows of the College, representing a galaxy of highly distinguished men. 

Since 1952 the brasses have been designed by David Kindersley MBE and his famous workshop in Cambridge.  Earlier twentieth-century brasses were designed by Rattee and Kett of Cambridge, Barkentin & Krall, Ernest George Gillick ARA and P.F. Alexander (who often signed his work), all of London.  Suppliers of some late nineteenth-century brasses are Cox and Buckley, W.E.G. Gawthorp, and, most frequently, Hart, Son and Peard; they all worked in London and signed their brasses.  The suppliers of other brasses are unknown.

Since 1945 the College Council has considered annually whether any additions should be made to the memorials.  Before that date procedures were less systematic.  Until the late nineteenth century it is probable that many memorials were placed in the Chapel by friends of the deceased at their own expence, after obtaining the permission of the College.  Since then almost all the memorials have been commissioned by the College Council.

From time to time the Council has set out the criteria for selecting those to be commemorated in this way.  As suitable space has diminished and the number of Fellows who might qualify has increased the critera have become more stringent.  In 1900 the categories who might qualify were members of the College on the Foundation (principally the Master, Fellows and Scholars), other members of exceptional distinction, and benefactors.  The rules were revised In 1925 and 1957, and most recently in 1990, when further limitations were agreed.  "The persons to be commemorated by brasses shall in general be (a) members of the Foundation qualified by exceptional service to the College or by exceptional intellectual eminence, and (b) other members of the College whose connection with the College or whose intellectual eminence is considered to justify such commemoration, provided that no decision shall be taken on the provision of a brass for any person until five years have elapsed since his or her death" (Ordinance XXVII.9).  Inscriptions continue to be in Latin.

Click on the links or images below to see a gallery of the brasses, ordered by surname, or use the interactive index.  Most of the gallery pictures lead to further information about the Fellows commemorated.


Burnaby brass Cunningham brass Hammond brass
Brasses A-B
Brasses C-G
Brasses H-K
Martin brass Sedgwick brass Wittgenstein brass
Brasses L-P
Brasses R-S
Brasses T-W
Wordsworth E. Smith Wooden head in Ante-Chapel
Sculptures Interments & tombstones Memorial index