Improved visitor facilities & accessibility

Sandham Visitor exhibition

Explaining the history of the chapel, Stanley Spencer, the Behrends, Harry Sandham and the paintings through new interpretation material was important so as to enhance your visiting experience. Improved accessibility both in physical terms and attracting a wider audience was a key part of our wish to engage more widely.

Enhancement of your visit 

We are a unique property largely untouched since its building in 1926 and gift to the National Trust in 1947. This meant that there was little information available to visitors about Stanley Spencer, the First World War, the Chapel, the Behrends, Harry Sandham, the paintings or our spirituality. We wanted to provide a more meaningful experience.

Adjoing the chapel are two alms houses previously occupied from the 1930's. We decided that recreating that era in one of them would provide an appropriate setting for an exhibition. Seeking expert advice we discovered the colour schemes on both walls and woodwork and using products appropriate to the period brought the right-hand alms house back, in part to its former glory.

This new space provides a  visitor reception area with a small shop which then leads into the first of three exhibition spaces. These rooms have descriptive panels, tablets, facsimile archive material and a short film. 

Main exhibition room being prepared for new decor
Sandham works to visitor reception
Main exhibition room being prepared for new decor


The nature of an old listed building is that it is not easy to create good accessibility, but it was important to us that everyone could derive benefit from our new facilities.  In consultation with interested stakeholders and experts we have created level access around the whole site inlcuding an accessible toilet.