The Farnborough Society

Preserving the past, shaping the future

Chapel Restoration Project

Back in November 2015 The Farnborough Society agreed to form a partnership with Rushmoor Borough council to save and bring the Victoria Road Chapel back into community use as a Columbarium.

The project

With the support of Rushmoor Borough Council, the Farnborough Society has been seeking funding to repair the chapel and convert it into a columbarium containing 200 niches for funeral urns. When completed the Chapel was to be handed back and managed by Rushmoor Borough Council.

As most of us are aware on the 19th July 2016 the Chapel was set on fire leaving it almost completely destroyed. Following this devastating event many individuals were asking if, with so much damage caused, CAN IT BE saved? The answer is yes. The question remains, however, at what cost?  Fortunately TFS has been able to secure the services of a highly respected surveyor and restoration specialist Andrew Grimshaw ACIOB who has for many years maintained the Queen’s estates in Berkshire and London. Andrew, at no cost to TFS or RBC, agreed to meet two executive members of TFS on site late last year to carry out a structural report and damage survey. Following his inspection he stated that despite the immense heat and damage caused by the fire, the walls had not been structurally compromised and has agreed to look at a number of options including costs to restore the chapel as intended, using a mixture of recycled and modern materials.

Why do the people of Farnborough want to save the chapel?

  1. It is the only surviving example of Victorian cemetery architecture left in Farnborough.
  2. It is a fine example of Victorian design with no alterations or additions and is structurally sound.
  3. The chapel is surrounded by the graves of many prominent residents who helped build the town, and includes victims from the battle of waterloo and the Crimean war.
  4. The cemetery is also a haven for wild life and provides a valuable green space in an urban area.
  5. In addition to achieving a sustainable future for the chapel the grounds would be used to create a picnic area for town centre office staff, workers and visitors,
  6. The chapel will be open to all faiths and Religions
  7. On completion the columbarium will be managed by Rushmoor Borough Council who will undertake the maintenance ensuring its long term survival as community asset.

Following the Graveyard Family Day,  you can now donate via Just Giving.

You can also see photos of the event.

See report on HOD event in Activities, Campaigning