Sandham Memorial Chapel

This modest red-brick building tucked away in a quiet corner of Hampshire houses an unexpected treasure Ė an epic series of large-scale murals, by the acclaimed war artist Sir Stanley Spencer.Built to honour the 'forgotten dead' of the First World War, who were not remembered on any official memorials, the series was inspired by Spencerís own experiences as a medical orderly and soldier on the Salonika front, and is peppered with personal and unexpected details. The paintings took six years to complete in all, and are considered by many to be the artistís finest achievement, drawing such praise as 'Britainís answer to the Sistine Chapel'.The chapel still holds services three to four times a year, the most important of these being the annual Remembrance Day event.Outside the chapel there's a traditional orchard and wildflower meadow with views across to Watership Down; a great setting for a leisurely picnic. Alternatively, the more energetic amongst you might like to follow in Spencerís footsteps around the village of Burghclere, and take in some of the sights and places where he lived, loved, and was inspired by whilst completing his masterpiece.Important informationThe chapel can only accommodate 25 people at a time. It is essential that groups pre-book their visit on 01635 278394. Group visits are normally held on days when the chapel is closed to general visitors.

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