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The history of Sandham Memorial Chapel

View from the front orchard and meadow, with rounded shrubs in the grass, to the brick-built Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire
The front orchard and meadow, Sandham Memorial Chapel | © National Trust Images/John Miller

The history of Sandham Memorial Chapel is as much a story of 20th-century artist Stanley Spencer as it is of the building and its paintings. Every canvas displayed on the interior walls contains Spencer's memories and reflections of his experiences in the First World War.

A significant building

As art historian RH Wilenski said, ‘every one of the thousand memories recorded had been driven into the artist's consciousness like a sharp-pointed nail.'

The significance of the chapel and its contents were recognised in 1984 when the building received a Grade I listing, with the almshouses receiving a Grade II listing.

The life and work of Stanley Spencer


The birth of Stanley Spencer

Stanley Spencer was born at Fernlea in Cookham, Berkshire and was the eighth surviving child of William and Anna Spencer. He was educated at home by his elder sisters Annie and Florence, showing great aptitude for music and art. 

Visitors in the garden at Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire

Discover more at Sandham Memorial Chapel

Find out when Sandham Memorial Chapel is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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A gravel path and wooden bench, with a tree behind, facing a lawn with small trees, in the reflection garden in May at Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire

Eating and shopping at Sandham Memorial Chapel 

The small shop has a selection of gifts and books. Picnic spots provide ideal places to bring your own refreshments and enjoy the surrounding garden.

The gardens in summer at Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire

The garden at Sandham Memorial Chapel 

Explore the garden wrapping around the chapel, including an orchard, meadow and Garden of Reflection. Sit in this tranquil space to pause and consider the striking paintings.

Detail from The resurrection of the soldiers by Stanley Spencer (1891- 1959) on the east wall at Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere, Hampshire

Exploring Sandham Memorial Chapel and almshouses 

Discover a showcase for artist Stanley Spencer’s depiction of everyday life in the First World War.

Sunlight illuminating a heraldic stained glass window at Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire


Learn about people from the past, discover remarkable works of art and brush up on your knowledge of architecture and gardens.

Sir Robert Hunter with his daughter (centre), fellow National Trust founder Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley (far right) and a friend in the Lake District around 1900


From landscape gardeners to LGBTQ+ campaigners and suffragettes to famous writers, many people have had their impact on the places we care for. Discover their stories and the lasting legacies they’ve left behind.

Tea in the Hospital Ward by Sir Stanley Spencer. Painting in Sandham Memorial Chapel, Hampshire

Sandham Memorial Chapel's collection 

Explore the objects and works of art we care for at Sandham Memorial Chapel on the National Trust Collections website.