Christ Church Crest
ยป Cloister Fountain

Cloister Fountain

On 19th June the Dean dedicated a new work of art in the medieval cloister. It comprises a fountain together with an olive tree, a traditional symbol of peace. The work is by sculptor Gary Breeze from Diss, Norfolk who has been described as one of the most inventive letterers working today. The fountain and the tree together, with their inscriptions, mark the threshold of the cathedral’s sacred space. They stand on cross-of-Lorraine shaped paving which marks the foundation stones of what may have been a 16th century belfry erected after Cardinal Wolsey had demolished some of the Priory buildings to make room for his College.




Dedication of the Fountain and Olive Tree. Photo: KT Bruce

The inscription around the olive tree will welcome the 250,000 visitors who come to Christ Church each year with words from the Book of the Revelation (22,2): “The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations”. The inscription around the fountain bears the words of Psalm 150, a psalm of praise to God.

The fountain and tree are the gift of an old member of Christ Church, Mr. Robert Sandell, with some assistance from the Friends of Christ Church Cathedral. Robert Sandell said: "It's a rare privilege these days for anyone to be able to commission a work of art to stand in the cloister of one of our mediaeval cathedrals; it's an unique privilege to have been able to do so in the cathedral of my own Oxford college. The cloister is already five centuries old and Gary Breeze has given us something both contemporary and sympathetic that will beautify it for centuries to come."

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