Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


Ordnance survey map of WATTS MEMORIAL CHAPEL
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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Guildford (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 95631 47397



3/61 Watts Memorial Chapel 14.6.67


Mortuary chapel for new cemetery. Built by Mary Seton Watts and the villagers of Compton between 1896 and 1898, interior decorated in 1901. Local red brick with rubbed and cut brick decorations, pantiled roof. Greek cross plan within a circle. Each arm of the cross has two round- arched headed windows on the end with one step surrounds, Romanesque style. Foliage capitals to tall jamb shafts and open gable end over. Buttress to base of arms have paired shafts with Romanesque capitals and terracotta decoration between. Between each arm of the cross the curved quadrant section of the circular walling is corbelled out on first floor level with a curved roof over. Each quandrant has three winged figures as corbels and intricate flowing terracotta work above. Square bell turret with arched openings on each side and open gable ends containing further terracotta decoration to south east corner. Round headed, one step door surround to south west arm with doubled carved and panelled doors. Curved and flowing terracotta benches attached to walls of chapel.

Interior: Decorated in Art Nouveau style with complex symbolism. The plan is a circle with four deep embrasures representing the arms of the cross, vaulted over by pairs of thick parallel ribs (cf. Monks' Kitchen, Durham). Gesso decoration in sombre blues and reds of elongated angels carrying cameos in ornate frames looping down and linked to form a chain. More angels above with cherubs' heads on the ribs of the vault. Tree of life motif with roots intertwined to form a dado frieze around the bottom of the wall, at the top of the wall benches. Altar recess gilded containing "The All Rewarding" by G F Watts. Altar inscribed "This chapel designed by Mrs Watts, wife of G F Watts OMRA, was built in 1896 by her and the people of Compton. It is dedicated to the memory of all who rest near its walls.'

The Chapel was built at the expense of Watts in grounds designed to replace the old churchyard which was closed in 1895.

PEVSNER: BUILDINGS OF ENGLAND, SURREY (1971) p 170 BLUNT, W: THE CONNOISSEUR (APRIL 1966) Article on the Symbolism of the Watts Chapel.

Listing NGR: SU9563347397


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Pevsner, N, Nairn, I Rev. by Cherry, The Buildings of England: Surrey, (1971), 170
'The Connoisseur' in April, (1966)


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 23 Sep 2001
Reference: IOE01/05530/21
Rights: Copyright IoE Peter Karry. Source Historic England Archive
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