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Group visits to Sandham Memorial Chapel

Two people in shallow focus look up at the paintings in Sandham Memorial Chapel
Sandham Memorial Chapel is a great place to bring your group | © National Trust Images / James Dobson

Sandham Memorial Chapel, is a great place to bring adult groups and students of all ages to learn about the First World War, artist Stanley Spencer, art and social history, spirituality and architecture – all in a fabulous garden and orchard setting.

Your group visit

Groups of all ages will receive a warm welcome from our team at Sandham Memorial Chapel on Tuesdays. We are closed to the public on this day, giving your party exclusive access to the chapel, exhibition and gardens. A typical visit lasts two to three hours and can be arranged anytime between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

Party size

We can accommodate anything from smaller numbers to coach parties of up to 40, but all group visits must be booked in advance. We can only accept parties of 15 or more adults visiting outside our standard opening hours. Groups will be charged the group admission rate, schools can benefit from Educational Group Membership and National Trust members can get in for free.

Activities for adults

Our knowledgeable and passionate guides offer a talk tailored to your group, bringing to life the history of the chapel and the fascinating stories behind the paintings. There is a small additional.

The talk includes an introduction to Stanley Spencer, his early life, education and war service; the creation, design and building of the chapel, and an explanation and interpretation of each of the paintings.

A group of people looking interestedly to the left of the camera at something indoors with shelves of plates behind them
Talks will bring the chapel to life for your group | © National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

Large groups

Given the intimate nature of the space, we limit the number of people in the chapel to between 20 at any one time; this ensures that everyone gets the most from their visit.

In the case of larger groups, while half are in the chapel, the other half can enjoy the garden, look around the exhibition area, take our self-led walk around the village or visit the village pub (not National Trust) for tea, coffee or lunch.

'I wanted to offer my sincere thanks to everyone that helped make our tour yesterday such a great day out. Jane and Paul were tremendously helpful with the logistics and throughout the day, and Robert gave a fascinating talk on the chapel which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you so much for everything, I’ve already been recommending the chapel as a place to visit to friends and family!’

– Marie Connolly

Free familiarisation visits for group leaders

If you're planning a group visit you can request our free Travel Trade Pass and you and a friend or colleague will gain free entry to over 300 of our places throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland for 12 months. There’s nothing quite like seeing or experiencing somewhere for yourself to help you plan a successful visit. To receive your pass, call 0344 800 2329 or email us at

Who is eligible for free entry?

Registered tourist board guides (on production of a valid badge), coach drivers and tour leaders escorting groups of 15 or more. National Trust members also receive free entry, so it is at your discretion whether to refund the entrance fee to members if you have included it in your package – this is not refunded by the National Trust.

Members must bring their current membership cards with them to avoid paying the full group rate. If any of your group would like to join the National Trust please direct them to our Membership page or call 0344 800 1895.

A group of children smiling and looking at something in a book
There is a variety of activities available for your school group | © National Trust Images/Rob Stothard

School and educational visits

Bring your school group to Sandham Memorial Chapel for a half-day of activities that will leave a lasting impression on both students and staff. The striking paintings of Stanley Spencer housed in the chapel represent his experiences as a medical orderly and soldier in the First World War. They provide an inspirational starting point for work across a range of curriculum areas, growing the art lovers and artists of the future by providing them with an excellent opportunity to learn outside the classroom

Activities for students

Through a series of indoor activities led by our team of staff and experienced volunteers at Sandham, students are encouraged to look carefully at the paintings to gain an understanding of what they represent.

In the exhibition area

  • Where are we? – a short quiz for children to complete using material displayed in the exhibition area.
  • Handling kit – based on the Call My Bluff model, students explore the First World War, handling items depicted in the paintings and deciding which of the three definitions is correct.
  • Numbers, numbers – quick-fire First World War number flashcards: what do they represent?

In the chapel

Pairs of children explore one of the chapel paintings in depth, answering a series of questions that encourages them to look carefully at the paintings and work out what might be happening. They then think of their own question to 'ask the expert'.

The chapel also lends itself to sketching, but please note that for conservation reasons, only pencils (excluding coloured ones) are allowed in the building.

Signpost for Sandham Memorial Chapel, with the chapel behind slightly obscured by trees
Sandham Memorial Chapel provides an inspiring starting point for learning outside the classroom | © National Trust Images/Alex Prain

Bespoke school visits

If your group would prefer a visit more closely tailored to specific themes or topics, we would be pleased to discuss this with you and welcome the opportunity to work with teachers/lecturers to devise a more bespoke visit.

Education Group Membership

Entry to the chapel is free to National Trust Education Group members. Education Group Membership allows free entry for education groups to National Trust places across the country for a year. You can join when you visit us. Admission is free for accompanying staff and National Trust members.

Other useful information

We can accommodate a maximum of 30 students per group. Lunch can be taken outside in the orchard, weather permitting. If you have students or staff with mobility issues, please mention this when booking.

Please email us for more information about primary school and older pupils’ educational visits.

Get in touch about bringing a group to Sandham Memorial Chapel

We are here to help you plan a great day out for all your members. To book or discuss your group visit or school trip, please contact us on 01635 278394 or email Payment is required on the day of your visit. This can be made by cash, cheque (if from the school/college) or debit/credit card.

Arrange a pre-visit

If you’re planning a school trip, it is essential that a pre-visit is made to the chapel by the member of staff leading the group before the educational visit takes place. Please contact the chapel to arrange this.

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