The Garter Porch
From 1814 to 1815 work began to adapt the small chapel to the east of St George’s, then known as the Wolsey Chapel, to serve as a Chapter House for meetings of the Knights of the Garter. Progress on the rebuilding lapsed until the project was revived in the 1830s, under the supervision of Wyatville. On the orders of William IV, Wyatville fashioned a new entrance in the second bay from the west and constructed a large porch on the south side of the Wolsey Chapel. This porch is shown in the plan featured as the Image of the Month for November 2010 [SGC P110/83/1]. Projecting twenty-three feet southwards, it would have enabled the Knights to assemble before the processing into St George’s Chapel for Garter services and other ceremonies. In fact the Wolsey Chapel was never used as a Garter Chapter House, nor was the Garter porch employed by the Knights as a place of assembly, and in 1862 the porch was demolished to allow the rebuilding of the Wolsey Chapel as a memorial to Prince Albert.
It was not until the restoration of the Albert Memorial Chapel in the 1960s that Wyatville’s Garter entrance once more came to light. Its rediscovery was described in the Reports of the Friends of St George’s and the Descendants of the Knights of the Garter for 1965 and 1965-66. However, the modern-day observer can see no trace of it.
Clare Rider (Archivist and Chapter Librarian)