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World famous chapel containing Stanley Spencer's visionary paintings
Entry is by pre-booked ticket only. Please click here to book.
This modest red-brick building tucked away in a quiet corner of Hampshire houses an unexpected treasure – an epic series of large-scale murals, by the acclaimed war artist Sir Stanley Spencer.
Built to honour the 'forgotten dead' of the First World War, who were not remembered on any official memorials, the series was inspired by Spencer’s own experiences as a medical orderly and soldier on the Salonika front, and is peppered with personal and unexpected details. The paintings took six years to complete in all, and are considered by many to be the artist’s finest achievement, drawing such praise as 'Britain’s answer to the Sistine Chapel'.
The chapel still holds services three to four times a year, the most important of these being the annual Remembrance Day event.
Outside the chapel there's a traditional orchard and wildflower meadow with views across to Watership Down; a great setting for a leisurely picnic. Alternatively, the more energetic amongst you might like to follow in Spencer’s footsteps around the village of Burghclere, and take in some of the sights and places where he lived, loved, and was inspired by whilst completing his masterpiece.
The chapel can only accommodate 25 people at a time. It is essential that groups pre-book their visit on 01635 278394. Group visits are normally held on days when the chapel is closed to general visitors.
Download our intro podcast
Many people like to experience the chapel in silence, but if you would like an audio introduction to the paintings, our volunteers, visitors and experts have created one that you can download onto your smartphone or MP3 player.
Please remember to bring your headphones with you, and start the podcast just before your enter the chapel, to ensure that other visitors are not disturbed while you enjoy the commentary. This short guide is nine minutes long.
Sandham's gardens restored
The garden of reflection features cottage-style planting.
Our volunteers have created a garden of reflection at Sandham Memorial Chapel to commemorate the centenery of the start of the First World War. Visit the half-acre garden of reflection and you’ll find a green space rooted in rural life with fruit trees, scented cottage garden style planting and a vegetable plot.
Help us secure this amazing sculpture
Blown Away also affectionately known as “Sydney” after Stanley’s brother who was killed in the First World War has been created by Sioban Coppinger FRBS.
Inspired by Eliot’s Four Quartets Blown Away pays homage to so many brave people whose lives are altered by their time and expresses what many of us feel about memory and the passing of time.
Blown Away is on loan by kind permission of Sioban and the Garden Gallery .
We only have until the end of October to raise £13,000 so that this iconic piece can stay here at Sandham.
Come and listen to the evocative voice of Jonathan Jones reading First World War poetry on the first Saturday of each month - next reading 6th September. Normal pre- booking for the Chapel required.
From the past to the future. Sandham is a fitting focal point to mark the 2014 anniversary, and so we're working on a new project to help conserve the chapel, working with the local community to preserve this special place for future generations.