Ely, Reginald

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Ely, Reginald or Ely, Reynold of (fl.1438–d.1471). English master-mason. As one of the masons working at King's College Chapel, Cambridge, from its commencement, he is a likely candidate as its architect, and must be regarded as one of the greatest English architects of C15. His name is first associated with Peterhouse, Cambridge, in 1438, where he built the stair to the library at the west side of the medieval court and may have worked on the kitchen-wing at the west end of the Hall. In 1444 he was commissioned to find craftsmen for the building of works at King's College, and in 1446 work began on the Chapel, King Henry VI (1422–71) laying the foundation-stone. Reginald Ely seems to have been the man on the spot, and was involved at the Chapel until work stopped in 1461. He was probably the designer of the elevations, but it is doubtful if he was responsible for the tracery patterns except for the east window of the easternmost chapel on the north side, unusual for its Curvilinear design differing from the tracery of the rest of the chapels which is all firmly Perpendicular. King's Chapel was designed to have a lierne rather than a fanvaulted ceiling, as is clear from the design of the piers in the choir. He may have designed Burwell Church, Cambs. (1454–64), and Queen's College, Cambridge (from 1446).


J. Harvey (1987)