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Chapel, Magdalene College

Chapel Accessibility

Chapel accessibility information

Location & Access Path

Where is the facility located in College?

  • The Chapel is located within the Chapel Staircase of First Court.
  • To access the Chapel you will need to follow the path from Magdalene Street Main Entrance/Porters’ Lodge Gate. Gate measures 82cm wide when only one gate is in use, the full opening of the gate is 226cm.
  • Access may be restricted due to closure of the College- please ring the bell of the Porters’ Lodge if you require access when the gate is closed. There is a bell linked to the Porters’ Lodge approx. 1.71m high or a salto card reader measuring 1.71m high. Entrance gate at Porters’ Lodge/Magdalene Street is very heavy if closed, this pushes inwards.
  • There is a step down into First Court adjacent to the Porters’ Lodge measuring 15cm or the step can be covered by a ramp measuring 1m wide & 1.05m long.
  • Following one of two paths all of which are paved with slabs – The first route will take you under the archway into First Court & turning right, past the Porters’ Lodge, towards First Court A staircase and along the path outside the Parlour.
  • The second & more direct route will take you under the archway into the middle of First Court, where the path measures at approx. 1.44m wide. In the middle of First Court you will turn left so First Court E is behind you, continue following the path (path measures at approx. 1m wide) & the Chapel is straight ahead. This route will take you over a textured paving slab at the entrance to Chapel Staircase.

What is the path or pavement condition?

Path is paved, some paving slabs are cracked & loose making them uneven. Cobbles border the path, some of these are loose. One textured paving slab on entrance to the Chapel opposite First Court E.

Is the path flat or sloped? Is there a ramp?

Path is mostly flat with a slight slope/camber.

What does this path give access to?

  • Path gives access to facilities in First Court & through to Second Court - mainly consisting of Fellows & Student accommodation.
  • Chapel Staircase within First Court gives access to the Chapel, the Old Library, the Organ Loft & several Fellows offices as well as linking with First Court A staircase; access is restricted.

Is the access path well-lit?  

External access path is not well lit, lighting level is low.

Is the outdoor path sufficiently wide enough to allow wheelchair users to pass (150cm+)? Are there any tight turns?

Path paving slabs do have some tight turns; path is bordered by cobbles.

Outside Access to Main Entrance off First Court

What does the staircase entrance consist of?

  • Entrance consists of an open doorway into the Chapel staircase measuring at 1.18m wide; these doors are fixed open.
  • Chapel is on the ground floor.

How do you access the Chapel from the Chapel Staircase?

  • The Chapel entrance door from the Staircase gives entrance to the Antechapel; continue through the Antechapel to access the Chapel.

What is the clear width of the door opening? If manual, is the door heavy?

  • 1.73m or 86.5cm dependant on what door is open.
  • The door pushes inwards & is quite heavy, there is always a gate catch to open if door is fully closed.
  • A further door into the Antechapel measure at 1.73m max if both doors are fixed open – typically, one is always closed reducing the access width by half.

Are there any stairs to the main entrance, or is it level access?

  • The Antechapel is level access on the ground floor; however, there is one step into the Chapel from the Antechapel measuring at 15cm high. A wooden ramp is available to be used from the Antechapel taking you into the main chapel. The ramp measures approx. at 1m in length & 1.10m in width – this ramp is not fixed in place.
  • The main aisle/walkway of the Chapel is then level.

Is a key card required for access?

Card access is not required for the Chapel.

If the entrance is outdoors, is there any weather protection?

Entrance into Chapel Staircase is external with no weather protection. Entrance into the Chapel from Chapel Staircase is enclosed.


What are the dimensions of the room?

The anteroom measures at 15.66m², the main chapel measures at 87.84m². Please note fixed furniture in the room reduces actual manoeuvrable space.

Is the facility well-lit?

The internal access path is well lit – antechapel is low.

Is there step-free access within the room?

  • There is one step into the Chapel from the Antechapel measuring at 15cm high. A wooden ramp is available to be used from the Antechapel taking you into the main chapel. The ramp measures approx. at 1m in length & 1.10m in width – this ramp is not fixed in place.
  • The aisle measures 1.45m at the narrowest point.
  • Steps into each level of pew seating measure at under 10cm for the first level of seating & 31cm into the second/top level of seating.
  • There are two further steps at the altar end of the Chapel measuring 22cm high for each step – both steps have a landing area of approx. 10.4m².

Are the pew steps clearly marked?

Steps are wooden & can be hard to see in the dark: there are no handrails, although the neighbouring pews may be used as handrails.

Is there ample room for a wheelchair user to manoeuvre?

Due to the layout & nature of the building there may not be ample room to manoeuvre once inside the Chapel.

Is there a hearing assistance system available?

Induction Loop available.

Are there light controls accessible for visitors? What is the height of any light control switches in the room?

Light switches are to the right as you enter the Antechapel; these are approx. 1.78m high.

Does this area play background music?

Dependant on service.

Where are the nearest public toilets?

First Court A & C – accessible toilet is located in First Court C staircase – further information available on First Court Toilet guide.

Communal Seating & Equipment

If there is seating available for the visitor, how is this seating used?

  • Fixed pew seating is available or single chairs can be provided, single chairs are kept in Antechapel for required use.
  • Fixed pew-seating measures at 70cm wide for the lower level seating & 48cm wide for the second/top level seating.

Are there designated spaces for wheelchair users?

There is no assigned designated space; however, space is available for wheelchair users.

Is any of the furniture fixed?

Pews are fixed.

Is there clear manoeuvring space between furniture or equipment?

Yes although space is limited depending on service.

What type of chairs are available? Are these with or without armrests?

There are fixed back dining room style chairs available; the chairs currently available are without armrests.

Is there any other furniture?

There are several altar tables & a lectern, which is not fixed in place, dependant on service its location may change.

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