The Chapel Roof at Radley College


Architect: Purcell

Client/Owner: Radley College

Main Contractor: Beard Construction

Structural Timber Frame: Carpenter Oak

Wood Supplier: Holz Schnatmeier

Species: European Oak (Germany), PEFC

Location: Abingdon

Photography credits: ©Carpenter Oak and Dan Paton

The team at Carpenter Oak used intricate design, complex geometry, and traditional craftsmanship to make this handcrafted oak octagonal roof structure.

Created from 1100 sections of timber and over 300 joints, the project crowns a new extension to the Chapel at Radley College, an independent boarding school in Oxfordshire. The finished structure is a testament to the collaboration and expertise of the team, with the oak roof made and assembled in its entirety at Carpenter Oak framing yard in Devon. From there, it was transported to site in Abingdon where it was lifted to sit atop the new extension below. The exceptional roof is a true sight to behold and is in keeping with the existing chapel, which dates back to 1893.

The roof crowns a new extension, designed by architects Purcell, built to cope with increasing numbers of pupils at the school. The extension of the east end of the existing chapel enhances the capabilities of the space overall and provides space for 30% more seating overall.