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Art Nouveau Jewel - Watts Cemetery Chapel (UK)

BellisVintage

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This is the stunningly beautiful Watts Cemetery Chapel in Compton, Surrey near Guildford. A place we often went to for times of reflection and inspiration. The grounds surrounding the chapel have an amazing sense of serenity and are a good place for times of quiet contemplation.

It was designed by Mary Watts wife of Internationally renowned Victorian artist, George Frederic Watts who funded the project. Both are now buried at the cemetery, as are many of the residents who helped Mary decorate this beautiful Chapel. Also buried there is Aldous Huxley the author of Brave New World, The Doors of Perception, The Island and Point Counterpoint, a writer I greatly admire for his eastern philosophies and perceptive insights into the world we live in.

The Chapel is a wonderful fusion of influences, including Art Nouveau, Celtic, Romanesque and Egyptian. It is built on a grassy mound and the deep red terracotta brickwork contrasts with striking effect against the cemetery landscape.

Inside, the brightly coloured designs and symbols representing the tree of life, fill the dome shaped interior. Whilst closely managed by Mary Watts the decoration of the Chapel was a community affair, with more than seventy villagers taking part.

It is a real jewel and situated close to the newly restored Watts Gallery which house much of GF Watts artwork and sculptures. A must see for lovers of beauty.
 

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