Cambridge St John's College chapel marks 150 years
A university chapel once described as a "white elephant" is marking 150 years since its consecration.
The chapel replaced a "relatively modest" Tudor building in 1869 to "better reflect the size and wealth" of St John's College, Cambridge.
The 175ft (53m)-long building was designed by George Gilbert Scott.
College president Frank Salmon said the chapel was "integral to college life" and had been "the perfect space" to develop its "world-famous" choir.
"There has always been an issue about whether the chapel was a white elephant," said Dr Salmon.
"But the chapel is more integral to our academic activities than other big college chapels, with a welcome and farewell service for students every year."
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Dr Salmon added: "It was the perfect space to develop the choir from one of elderly men to one of boy choristers and choral scholars - transforming it into the world-famous one we have today.
"And while Victorian architecture was mostly despised in the 20th Century, it's a really high-quality building."
Two services were organised to be held in the chapel on Sunday to mark the anniversary.
A chapel with 'fantastic' music acoustics
- The college, which was founded by Henry VII's mother Margaret Beaufort, first raised the idea of replacing its Tudor chapel in 1687
- The chapel has a wooden ceiling, which is "a poor acoustic for the spoken word but fantastic for music", Dr Salmon said
- The choir of 15 choral scholars and 20 boy choristers sing daily services, and its concerts and services are regularly broadcast on radio
- By the 19th Century the college had more students, and a larger chapel was considered essential
- It took more than two years to build the Gothic Revival-style church which cost £78,319 - the equivalent of £9m today
- The college laid on a special train to bring St John's graduates from London for its consecration on 12 May, 1869