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ANTE-CHAPEL, the term given to that portion of a chapel
which lies on the western side of the choir screen. In some of
the Colleges at Oxford and Cambridge the ante-chapel is carried
north and south across the west end of the chapel, constituting
a western transept or narthex. This model, based on Merton
College chapel (13th century), of which only chancel and transept
were built though a nave was projected, was followed at
Wadham, New and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford, in the new
chapel of St John’s College, Cambridge, and in Eton College.
In Jesus College, Cambridge, the transept and a short nave
constitute the ante-chapel; in Clare College an octagonal
vestibule serves the same purpose; and in Christ’s, Trinity and
King’s Colleges, Cambridge, the ante-chapel is a portion of the
main chapel, divided off from the chancel by the choir screen.
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