The Chapel

The ceiling of the chapel at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire

A surprise is in store if you head to the western side of the Parterre; the unassuming domed building overlooking the river houses a wonderfully ornate chapel, also known as the Octagon Temple.

From tea room to chapel

Dating from 1735, the building was conceived for Lord Orkney by architect Giacomo Leoni. Guests would enjoy wandering along the cliff top paths before taking tea and enjoying the view from the ‘Prospect Room’.

In 1897 William Waldorf Astor, proposed the idea of converting the Tea Room into a splendid private chapel.  The work involved major structural alterations to change the former two stored building into a double height space where vibrant glass mosaics cover the walls, an inlaid polished stone floor and stained glass windows.

The chapel, Cliveden
Inside the chapel at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire
The chapel, Cliveden

Take a peek inside

The chapel is open during the summer months, free of charge to National Trust visitors. Unlike the house visits, there's no need to pick up a timed ticket, simply pop in and our friendly, knowledgeable stewards will be on hand to chat and share the history of the building.

As the chapel is a family mausoleum, we ask that you don’t take photographs inside.

Dates and opening times 

Cliveden's chapel is open on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and weekends, from 1.30-3.30pm, from May until October. 

Please note. The opening of the Chapel relies on the support of our volunteers. There may be occasions when the Chapel has to remain closed. To avoid disappointment please ask at the visitor’s information centre on arrival or phone in advance to check the chapel is open. For conservation reasons, we are also unable to open the Chapel is the temerpature is below 10 degrees. 

Far-reaching views

Visiting the chapel means you'll also be rewarded with breath-taking views over the Berkshire countryside and to the River Thames, 200ft below. If you're feeling energetic, why not follow the 172 steps down to the riverside and enjoy a peaceful stroll along the riverbank?

Download the Chapel guidebook PDF here: Cliveden Chapel guidebook (PDF / 0.560546875MB) download

The chapel, Cliveden
The chapel at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire
The chapel, Cliveden