South Side of St. George's Chapel within Windsor Castle, based on a sketch made by​ Sandhurst Military Academy drawing-master W. Alfred Delamotte​ for the tenth instalment of W. Harrison Ainsworth's Windsor Castle. An Historical Romance for the May 1843 number in Ainsworth's Magazine. Book the Third, "The History of the Castle," Chapter III, "Comprising the Fourth Epoch in the History of the Castle;​and showing how Saint George's Chapel was rebuilt by King​Edward the Fourth," p. 150:​8.6 cm high by 9.8 cm wide, vignetted. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]

Passage Illustrated

Finding the foundation and walls of Saint George's Chapel much dilapidated and decayed, Edward the Fourth resolved to pull down the pile, and build a larger and statelier structure in its place. With this view, he constituted Richard Beauchamp, Bishop of Salisbury, surveyor of the works, from whose designs arose the present beautiful edifice. To enable the bishop to accomplish the work, power was given him to remove all obstructions, and to enlarge the space by the demolition of the three buildings then commonly called Clure's Tower, Berner's Tower, and the Almoner's Tower.

The zeal and assiduity with which Beauchamp prosecuted his task is adverted to in the patent of his appointment to the office of chancellor of the Garter, the preamble whereof recites, "that out of mere love towards the Order, he had given himself the leisure daily to attend the advancement and progress of this goodly fabric."

The chapel, however, was not completed in one reign, or by one architect. Sir Reginald Bray, prime minister of Henry the Seventh, succeeded Bishop Beauchamp as surveyor of the works, and it was by him that the matchless roof of the choir and other parts of the fabric were built. Indeed, the frequent appearance of Bray's arms, sometimes single, sometimes impaling his alliances, in many parts of the ceiling and windows, has led to the supposition that he himself contributed largely to the expense of the work. The groined ceiling of the chapel was not commenced till the twenty-seventh year of the reign of Henry the Seventh, when the pinnacles of the roof were decorated with vanes, supported by gilt figures of lions, antelopes, greyhounds, and dragons, the want of which is still a detriment to the external beauty of the structure.​ ​ [Chapter III. "Comprising the Fourth Epoch in the History of the Castle;​and showing how Saint George's Chapel was rebuilt by King​Edward the Fourth,"​pp. 150-151]


Although the wood-engraving appears well into the novel, in the non-fiction antiquarian section on the history of Windsor Castle, Delamotte in all likelihood made the sketch upon which it is based in the summer of 1842. Thus, it is not technically an "illustration" since it is unlikely that Delamotte had read what would turn out to be the accompanying text when he visited the castle.

The antiquarian commentary now deals with the foundation of St. George's Chapel, which has already figured prominently in the action, both for the mass held for members of the Order of the Garter and for the romantic meeting of Surrey and the Fair Geraldine in Book the First, Chapter IV, and again in Chapter VI.

Other Views of St. George's Chapel

Other Views and Related Material on Windsor Castle


Ainsworth, William Harrison. Windsor Castle. An Historical Romance. Illustrated by George Cruikshank and Tony Johannot. With designs on wood by W. Alfred Delamotte. London: Routledge, 1880. Based on the Henry Colburn edition of 1844.

Patten, Robert L. Chapter 30, "The 'Hoc' Goes Down." George Cruikshank's Life, Times, and Art, vol. 2: 1835-1878. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers U. P., 1991; London: The Lutterworth Press, 1996. Pp. 153-186.

Worth, George J. William Harrison Ainsworth. New York: Twayne, 1972.

Last modified 27 December 2017