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Jim Knoppow

How Does One Get To The Chapel At Carfax?

It has been written that Stoker, ever the sloppy writer, has
moved the chapel from being an outhouse, so that one must
exit the main house and walk to the chapel, to being inside
the house. But let's look at the descriptions in chapter two
and then in chapter seventeen.

" The house is very large and of all periods back, I should say, to mediaeval times, for one part is of stone immensely thick, with only a few windows high up and heavily barred with iron. It looks like part of a keep, and is close to an old chapel or church. I could not enter it, as I had not the key of the door leading to it from the house, but I have taken with my Kodak views of it from various points. The house had been added to, but in a very straggling way, and I can only guess at the amount of ground it covers, which must be very great. There are but few houses close at hand, one being a very large house only recently added to and formed into a private lunatic asylum. It is not, however, visible from the grounds. "

The literal key here is: "It looks like part of a keep, and is close to an old chapel or church.
I could not enter it, as I had not the key of the leading to it from the houseā€¦"

Since the immediate antecedent for the key is the chapel, it is the connecting door to the
chapel from the house that Harker lacks. The chapel can be entered from the house. This
makes sense. Carfax is something like a small castle. A keep is "The strongest tower of a castle.
Usually where the lord lived." (/www.palaces.org/Glossary/glossary.htm)

And although a chapel may be an outbuilding it would typically be connected to the house
so that anything from bad weather, through a disabled lord, to besiegement would not stop
a lord from taking his prayers in comfort and safety.

Now the language from chapter seventeen:

He turned to me and said, "You know this place, Jonathan. You have copied maps of it, and you know it at least more than we do. Which is the way to the chapel?"

I had an idea of its direction, though on my former visit I had not been able to get admission to it, so I led the way, and after a few wrong turnings found myself opposite a low, arched oaken door, ribbed with iron bands.

"This is the spot, " said the Professor as he turned his lamp on a small map of the house, copied from the file of my original correspondence regarding the purchase. With a little trouble we found the key on the bunch and opened the door.

This matches perfectly with the first account. The chapel is built onto the main house, and it entered
through a keyed door from the inside of the house.

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