The Acoustics of Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel: a study of its changes throughout history

Lidia Alvarez Morales, Angel Alvarez Corbacho, Mariana Julieta Lopez, Pedro Bustamante

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Lady Chapel of Ely Cathedral, built in the
14th century, is considered one of the greatest architectural
achievements of medieval England. The Lady Chapel is a semiindependent space connected to the north of the cathedral choir.
Its interior is a great example of the Decorated Gothic style,
being also the largest Lady Chapel and one of the widest stone
vaulted spaces in England. This work presents the study of the
acoustic behaviour of Ely Cathedral’s Lady Chapel throughout
history, which has been undertaken using both on-site
measurements and simulation techniques. Three different
acoustic models were created for the purpose of this work. The
acoustic model of the Lady Chapel in its current state was
adjusted and validated by taking as a reference a set of room
impulse responses registered on site. Then, the model was
carefully modified to recreate the acoustics of the space at
different points in history: as it was in its origins, before being
heavily damaged during the Reformation in the 16th century;
and when it was fully furnished to be used as the parish of Holy
Trinity, as it remained until the beginning of the 20th century. A
comprehensive study is undertaken based on a comparative
analysis of the acoustic parameters derived from the simulated
room impulse responses, and the results are discussed focussing
on the architectural alterations and the interior arrangement
modifications undertaken to serve the great varieties of uses it
has had over time.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 Immersive and 3D Audio
Subtitle of host publicationfrom Architecture to Automotive (I3DA)
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781665409988
ISBN (Print)9781665409995
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2021
EventInternational Conference on Immersive and 3D Audio -
Duration: 8 Sept 202110 Sept 2021


ConferenceInternational Conference on Immersive and 3D Audio

Bibliographical note

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