Peterhouse Chapel was consecrated in 1632 and is the brainchild of Matthew Wren, then master, the architect or builder not being recorded. It is an extraordinary piece of planning, inserted into the existing Old Court at right angles facing the street and in design, very interesting. It is has a wonderful and successful use of both Gothic and Classical elements. Yet coming ten years after the Banqueting House in Whitehall, and two hundred years after Brunelleschis Foundling Hospital, it reflects deep forces of conservatism. Did Wren, a leading figure in the church of Archbishop Laud, not quite have the confidence or authority to insist on a Roman Renaissance building in the middle of Puritan Cambridge? Maybe at Pembroke, after a Civil War spent in the Tower, he built there the chapel he wanted to build here.
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