The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft was completed by King Edward I in 1297, further developed under Edward II, and finally completed by Edward III in around 1365.
The restoration work has preserved the Grade II listed chapel’s unique features, some of which date back to 1870, when it first opened.
The painting Madonna and Child by British artist Jason Brooks has been a focal point of the Chapel since 2005. It was kept safely in storage while the works took place, and it is now available to enjoy in its restored surroundings. Tucked away in a corner for quiet reflection, Brooks contemporary painting is a take on the classic representation of Mary and baby Jesus. It was modelled on an unknown woman and Brooks own daughter, who was born at St Thomas. Brooks spoke to many users of the chapel as he approached the task and took several months to complete the ‘hyperrealistic’ portrait.
The painting was commissioned by Guy’s and St Thomas Charity and is part of its large fine arts collection which is used to enhance our hospitals and community sites.
Memorials in the chapel remember people who have played important roles in the hospital’s history, including: the terracotta triptych above the altar, a memorial to Sir Henry Doulton; the ‘Good Samaritan’ relief by George Tinworth from the Doulton factory in Lambeth, which was created in memory of Sarah Wardroper, matron of St Thomas’ for 33 years; a statue of St Thomas Becket, after whom the original hospital at London Bridge was named; a memorial to the nurses and junior medical officers who ‘died in the discharge of their duties’; and a memorial to Florence Nightingale who established the Nightingale Training School at St Thomas’.