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’. The building was converted into the final resting place for the Astors by William Waldorf Astor in 1893 which included the complete remodelling of the interior. Inside, vibrant glass mosaics cover the walls, whilst an elaborate inlaid marble floor and brilliant stained glass windows add to the opulence.

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’. The building was converted into the final resting place for the Astors by William Waldorf Astor in 1893 which included the complete remodelling of the interior. Inside, vibrant glass mosaics cover the walls, whilst an elaborate inlaid marble floor and brilliant stained glass windows add to the opulence.

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

Take a peek inside

From April to October the chapel is open free of charge to National Trust visitors. Unlike the house tours, 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 

1st April  – 31st October* 
Mondays:   1.30pm - 3.30pm
Tuesdays:   1.30pm - 3.30pm
Thursdays:   1.30pm - 3.30pm
Saturdays:   1:30pm - 3:30pm
Sundays:   1:30pm - 3:30pm
*Please note, our on-site conservator has advised if the weather is too harsh (10c or below) we will not open the Chapel; this is to protect the delicate tiles from the elements. Please call in advance to check the Chapel is open .

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?

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