daedalus working at sandham memorial chapel, home of treasured war paintings

This modest red-brick building houses an unexpected treasure, the epic series of large-scale murals, by the acclaimed war artist Sir Stanley Spencer.  Sandham Memorial Chapel was built to honour the 'forgotten dead' of the First World War, who were not remembered on any official memorials, and Spencer's series was inspired by his own experiences as a medical orderly and soldier on the Salonika front, and so is peppered with personal and unexpected details.

The paintings took six years to complete in all, and are considered by many to be the artist’s finest achievement, drawing such praise as 'Britain’s 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.   Stanley Spencer’s poignant depictions of life during the First World War left their permanent home at the Sandham Memorial Chapel in Burghclere, Hampshire, to be exhibited at Somerset House this autumn - the first major show in London for the National Trust in 18 years.

The removable painted canvases are leaving their permanent home for a few months while a major conservation project takes place at the chapel which will be undertaken by Daedalus Conservation. The main West Windows will be removed for conservation and external repairs to the brick facades and clay tiled roofs will be undertaken to ensure the Chapel remains a safe and secure home for the wonderful wall paintings within.

For further information visit  http://www.somersethouse.org.uk and  www.nationaltrust.org.uk