|Watts Cemetery Chapel|
|Architectural style||Gothic Revival|
|Town or city||Compton, Surrey|
|Design and construction|
|Official name||Watts Memorial Chapel|
|Designated||14 June 1967|
The Watts Cemetery Chapel or Watts Mortuary Chapel is a chapel in an Art Nouveau version of Celtic Revival style in the village cemetery of Compton in Surrey. While the overall architectural structure is loosely Romanesque Revival, in the absence of any appropriate Celtic models, the lavish decoration in terracotta relief carving and paintings is Celtic Revival, here seen on an unusually large scale. According to the local council, it is "a unique concoction of art nouveau, Celtic, Romanesque and Egyptian influence with Mary's own original style".Other responses have been less positive. Ian Nairn, in the 1971 Surrey volume of the Buildings of England series, described the interior as "one of the most soporific rooms in England" and regretted "the intolerable torpor and weariness of the motifs". It is a Grade I listed building.
The term chapel usually refers to a Christian place of prayer and worship that is attached to a larger, often nonreligious institution or that is considered an extension of a primary religious institution. It may be part of a larger structure or complex, such as a college, hospital, palace, prison, funeral home, church, synagogue or mosque, located on board a military or commercial ship, or it may be an entirely free-standing building, sometimes with its own grounds. Chapel has also referred to independent or nonconformist places of worship in Great Britain—outside the established church.
Art Nouveau is an international style of art, architecture and applied art, especially the decorative arts. It was most popular between 1890 and 1910. A reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, particularly the curved lines of plants and flowers.
The Celtic Revival was a variety of movements and trends in the 19th and 20th centuries that saw a renewed interest in aspects of Celtic culture. Artists and writers drew on the traditions of Gaelic literature, Welsh-language literature, and so-called 'Celtic art'—what historians call Insular art. Although the revival was complex and multifaceted, occurring across many fields and in various countries in Northwest Europe, its best known incarnation is probably the Irish Literary Revival. Here, Irish writers including William Butler Yeats, Lady Gregory, "AE" Russell, Edward Martyn and Edward Plunkett stimulated a new appreciation of traditional Irish literature and Irish poetry in the late 19th and early 20th century.
When Compton Parish Council created a new cemetery, local resident artist Mary Fraser-Tytler, the wife of Victorian era painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts, offered to design and build a new mortuary chapel. The Wattses had recently build a house, "Limnerslease", a few hundred yards away, now part of the Watts Gallery. Tytler was a follower of the Home Arts and Industries Association, set up by Earl Brownlow in 1885 to encourage handicrafts among the lower classes, and the chapel was the Wattses' contribution to this characteristically Victorian preoccupation with social improvement through creative enlightenment.
In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. The era followed the Georgian period and preceded the Edwardian period, and its later half overlaps with the first part of the Belle Époque era of Continental Europe. In terms of moral sensibilities and political reforms, this period began with the passage of the Reform Act 1832. There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodist, and the Evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Britain's relations with the other Great Powers were driven by the colonial antagonism of the Great Game with Russia, climaxing during the Crimean War; a Pax Britannica of international free trade was maintained by the country's naval and industrial supremacy. Britain embarked on global imperial expansion, particularly in Asia and Africa, which made the British Empire the largest empire in history. National self-confidence peaked.
George Frederic Watts, RA was an English Victorian painter and sculptor associated with the Symbolist movement. He said "I paint ideas, not things." Watts became famous in his lifetime for his allegorical works, such as Hope and Love and Life. These paintings were intended to form part of an epic symbolic cycle called the "House of Life", in which the emotions and aspirations of life would all be represented in a universal symbolic language.
Watts Gallery – Artists' Village is an art gallery in the village of Compton, near Guildford in Surrey. It is dedicated to the work of the Victorian-era painter and sculptor George Frederic Watts.
A group of local amateurs and enthusiasts, many of whom later went on with Mary Fraser-Tytler to found the Compton Potters' Arts Guild, constructed the chapel from 1896 to 1898; virtually every village resident was involved. The ground plan is essentially circular; from the outside the building has the look of a Roman Italianate chapel. Local villagers were invited to decorate the chapel under Mary's guidance, resulting in an interior that fuses art nouveau and Celtic influences, combined with Mary's own original style.Each member of Fraser-Tytler's evening class, led by Louis Deuchars, had a separate job, with 74 Compton villagers taking part. G.F. Watts paid for the project and also painted a version of The All-Pervading for the altar only three months before he died.
The Compton Potters' Arts Guild was a pottery, founded by and based at the Surrey home of Scottish artist, Mary Fraser Tytler.
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.
Louis Reid Deuchars (1870–1927) was a Scottish artist and sculptor.
The graves display sayings influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement, including "The Morning Stars Sang Together" and, inside the chapel, "Their hope is full of immortality but the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God."
Both Watts have memorials in the "cloister" a few yards from the chapel, and a number of the memorials throughout the small cemetery use unglazed terracotta, even from dates after the Compton Pottery closed in the 1950s. Members of the Huxley family, including Aldous Huxley, are buried within the cemetery.
A cloister is a covered walk, open gallery, or open arcade running along the walls of buildings and forming a quadrangle or garth. The attachment of a cloister to a cathedral or church, commonly against a warm southern flank, usually indicates that it is part of a monastic foundation, "forming a continuous and solid architectural barrier... that effectively separates the world of the monks from that of the serfs and workmen, whose lives and works went forward outside and around the cloister."
The Huxley family is a British family of which several members have excelled in science, medicine, arts, and literature. The family also includes members who occupied senior positions in the public service of the United Kingdom.
Aldous Leonard Huxley was an English writer and philosopher. He authored nearly fifty books—both novels and non-fiction works—as well as wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems.
The chapel is open Monday to Friday: 8am – 5pm, Saturday to Sunday and bank holidays: 10am – 5:30pm and is managed by the nearby Watts Gallery, celebrating the architect and her husband. There is no charge.
Mary Seton Fraser Tytler (1849–1938) was a symbolist craftswoman, designer and social reformer.
Compton is a village and civil parish in the Guildford district of Surrey, England. It is between Godalming and Guildford. It has a medieval church and a close connection to fine art and pottery, being the later life home of artist George Frederic Watts. The village has considerable woodland and agriculture, and the undeveloped portions are in the Metropolitan Green Belt. The village is traversed by the North Downs Way and has a large western conservation area. Central to the village are the Watts Gallery, the cemetery chapel commissioned by his wife for him, two inns and the parish church.
Henry Woodyer (1816–1896) was an English architect, a pupil of William Butterfield and a disciple of A. W. N. Pugin and the Ecclesiologists.
Sir Walter John Tapper was a British architect known for his work in the Gothic Revival style and a number of church buildings. He worked with some leading ecclesiastical architects of his day and was President of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Tapper was appointed Surveyor of the Fabric of Westminster Abbey and acted as consulting architect to York Minster and Manchester Cathedral. On his death in 1935 his son Michael Tapper completed some of his works.
Charles Harrison Townsend was an English architect. He was born in Birkenhead, educated at Birkenhead School and articled to the Liverpool architect Walter Scott in 1870. He moved to London with his family in 1880 and entered partnership with the London architect Thomas Lewis Banks in 1884. Townsend became a member of the Art Workers' Guild in 1888 and in the same year was elected a Fellow of the more conservative Royal Institute of British Architects. He remained an active member of both organisations throughout his career and was elected Master of the Art Workers' Guild in 1903.
Joseph Clarke was a British Gothic Revival architect who practised in London, England.
The Anglican Bath Abbey Cemetery, officially dedicated as the Cemetery of St Peter and St Paul, was laid out by noted cemetery designer and landscape architect John Claudius Loudon (1783–1843) in 1843 on a picturesque hillside site overlooking Bath, Somerset, England. The cemetery was laid out between 1843 and 1844.
St Leonard's Baptist Church is the Baptist place of worship serving St Leonards-on-Sea, a town and seaside resort which is part of the Borough of Hastings in East Sussex, England. The elaborate building was designed by the architectural firm of Thomas Elworthy, responsible for many churches in late-Victorian era Sussex, and serves the residential hinterland of St Leonards-on-Sea—an area which grew rapidly after its early 19th-century founding by James Burton. English Heritage has listed the church at Grade II for its architectural and historical importance.
Trinity Congregational Church, later known as Union Chapel, is a former place of worship for Congregationalists and Independent Christians in Arundel, an ancient town in the Arun district of West Sussex, England. Protestant Nonconformism has always been strong in the town, and the chapel's founding congregation emerged in the 1780s. After worshipping elsewhere in the town, they founded the present building in the 1830s and remained for many years. Former pastors included the poet George MacDonald. Robert Abraham's distinctive neo-Norman/Romanesque Revival building was converted into a market in the 1980s and has been renamed Nineveh House. The church is a Grade II Listed building.
The Lancaster Cemetery Chapels are the three chapels, each built to serve a different denomination, in the main cemetery of Lancaster, England. The chapels stand around a central point at the highest part of the cemetery. They were all built in 1854–55, and were designed by the local architect E. G. Paley. The chapel to the west of the central point served the Anglicans, that to the east the Non-conformists, and the chapel to the north was for Roman Catholics.
The Compton Triptych comprises three terracotta portrait heads, plinthed together, which celebrates the parish of Compton, Guildford, and the diverse figures who have contributed to this Surrey community. Using local clay from the foundations of the pottery of Mary Wondrausch this was unveiled in November 2011 at The Human Clay exhibition, Lewis Elton Gallery, University of Surrey after sittings with sculptor Jon Edgar in 2010 and 2011. The heads include G. F. Watts expert Richard Jefferies, artist/historian Mary Wondrausch and community stalwart Jane Turner, selected by the artist after a local public appeal for suggestions for the third element of the Triptych. A triptych combines three formal elements more commonly used in painting, and this sculptural grouping was first used by Jon Edgar for the Environment Triptych of 2008, after the combination of three heads seemed to create a composition which added another dimension to the work.
Mortuary Chapel, Handsworth Cemetery is a Grade I listed chapel in the Church of England in Handsworth, Birmingham, England.
Romanesque Revival architecture, Norman Revival architecture or Neo-Norman styles of building were inspired by the Romanesque Architecture of the 11th and 12th centuries AD.
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