Sandham Memorial Chapel re-opens
100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, Sandham Memorial Chapel has re-opened with a new look.
This special place has undergone some exciting new changes over the past year. As well as extensive conservation work to preserve the chapel for future generations, a community-inspired garden and exhibition space have been created, and Stanley Spencer’s paintings have returned from a successful national tour.
Stanley Spencer’s paintings
The 19 paintings by Stanley Spencer have returned to Sandham after a highly acclaimed tour to Somerset House in London and Pallant House in Chichester.
These incredible large-scale canvas panels, considered by many to be Spencer’s finest achievement, depict scenes of his own wartime experiences as a hospital orderly in Bristol and as a soldier on the Salonika front. Peppered with personal and unexpected details, they combine the realism of everyday life with dreamlike visions.
The new garden offers a tranquil and reflective space for all our visitors to enjoy. Created by award-winning designer Daniel Lobb, fruit trees, cottage garden scented planting and a vegetable plot now complement the modernist proportions of the building.
Local communities and charities have provided invaluable support in the preparation and transformation of the garden. These include servicemen and women from Tedworth House - a local rehabilitation centre for injured and sick service personnel funded by Help for Heroes, Thrive - a horticultural therapy charity, and London-based homeless charity St Mungo’s.
A new, interactive exhibition space set within a restored 1920s cottage features copies of drawings and letters, and a film that explores the remarkable stories of the chapel, Stanley Spencer, Harry Sandham and the Behrends.
Alison Paton, Sandham’s chapel steward: ‘Thanks to the amazing support we have received – from the generous £100,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant to the many donations to our recent fundraising appeal - we have been able to create a wonderful experience for those coming to this place of remembrance and spirituality. The HLF grant has also funded ongoing community work, which will ensure that Sandham has a strong local legacy for future generations.’
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