The most famous features of the chapel are the two pillars carved by the master mason and an apprentice mason. The story goes that the master mason carved his rather simple column and then went on a tour of European cathedrals, looking for inspiration for the other major pillar in the chapel. While the master was away, an apprentice had a dream and was inspired to carve his pillar. When the master returned, he was so jealous of the apprentice that he hit him over the head with a heavy implement, killing him straightaway.

The master was tried and put to death. A representation of the master is to be found in the north-west corner of the chapel, where his gaze falls on the apprentice pillar, a suitable punishment for the rest of time. This story is the opposite of the tale told of the master mason of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, Hiram Abiff, who is killed by apprentices seeking the secrets of freemasonry.