Lost Victorian chapel restored

A LOST Victorian chapel, discovered in the undergrowth at Brookwood Cemetery, has been fully restored by Woking Borough Council.

The Colquhoun chapel as it was before restoration efforts

The exquisitely sculpted, Gothic style chapel, built almost entirely from Bath stone, has been sympathetically restored over the past five months using original materials and specialist tradespeople.

It was built in 1858 by the Colquhoun’s as their family mausoleum. It was last restored in 1924 by Violette Freeman in memory of Eliza Colquhoun Redhouse but subsequently left to disappear behind a thick wall of shrubs and rhododendrons.

The chapel today after extensive work to restore its original glory

“Brookwood Cemetery is the largest cemetery in the country and of great historical value. When the council bought the 220-acre site in 2014, it was with a view to restoring this Grade 1 listed park and garden to its former glory,” said Ian Tomes, the council’s strategic asset manager. “In the last five years we have transformed the cemetery and hope to restore many of the memorials and structures on site. Colquhoun Chapel is among the first because it is one of the more beautiful buildings in the cemetery, and one of the oldest.

“What makes it even more special is the fact that it was a lost building, that hadn’t been seen by anyone for a number of years. There’s a wealth of history within the cemetery walls, which we’re trying to make people more aware of while at the same time, making this fantastic space more accessible to the public.”

For more information about Brookwood Cemetery, and the services available, call 01483 472222 or visit www.brookwoodcemetery.com.

For the full story, get the 24 October edition of the News & Mail

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