Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Chapel and Rose Garden...

We have started to design the chapel for Willowbrook Park. The picture above demonstrates the concept for the exterior of the chapel: a small stone, English styled, country church with Victorian Gothic-revival elements (and lots of climbing roses).


Above: The front elevation for the chapel.
Note the gothic bell tower and over-sized gothic-arch doors (about 10 feet tall)

Below: The side elevation as viewed from the main courtyard.
Note the castellated, English styled walls, and the stone buttresses.

Here are some pictures of similarly styled chapels:

And a Gothic potting shed for good measure:


The chapel doors will be solid wood, probably oak, with large ornate hinges. Around the door we will plant lots of rambling roses, which will tie in to the theme of the chapel garden, that of a medieval monastic rose garden / walled garden.

Above photo from Architect Design

And a beautifully carved arch above a doorway...


We want to make the gardens as picturesque as possible in order to provide an abundant variety of backdrops to make the photographer's job easier, and to ensure that a couple's special day is just right. Here are some pictures of the direction in which we are going with the gardens...

We hope that by offering a variety of locations around the park in which people can celebrate their personal events, we will be able to cater to a wide range of tastes and requirements. For example, a couple could get married in the Chapel, of by The Lake, in the Roman Rotunda, in the Orangery in the Orchard, or simply on the Formal lawn and terrace. Then they could celebrate with a reception either in the ballroom or in marquee, again, in a setting of their choosing.


We want to create a very traditional English 'high-church' feel to the inside of the chapel with lots of architectural detailing and masonry features. Willowbrook Park is all about having the detail and having it in abundance. People who come here will come for the drama, therefore one can not make a half hearted attempt at being dramatic, nor try to water it down. It is this attention to the detailing and finish which will set this venue above the rest. For those who would like an entirely non-religious service there will be plenty of other sites around the park catering to their needs.

Above: Two Piranesi sketches for baldachinos for over altars (wishful thinking!)

Below: Interior concepts.

I like these photos for the feeling or atmosphere which they evoke. All spaces, but especially spiritual spaces need to create an atmosphere which draws people's emotions in a certain direction, in this case upwards, through the ephemeral to the eternal.


  1. I'm sure it will be lovely. I just love all your inspiration photos.

  2. LOVING everything you are doing. You are going to have couples coming from far and wide in order to celebrate their special day in such a special way. You are right about the unique atmosphere in a beautiful old chapel. I have sung at many weddings and there is just something so reverent and awesome about these spaces. You should be able to grow a wonderful garden with the climate there. Would you mind if I give you a mention on my blog? I think there are many more bloggers that would love to take this journey with you.

  3. That would be lovely thank you Ange. PS, Anymore thought on whether you would like to meet when you come back to Hamilton this summer? David.x

  4. Of course these are all beautiful! Love the stone chapel backdrop to the garden. The first image with the lavendar (?) and climbing roses is really awe inspiring!

  5. David what a breathtakingly beautiful post! Almost makes me want to divorce MOTH & plan another marriage (to him of course!) with you both at Willowbrook! If memory serves me correctly though, that exercise could prove to be a tad expensive -the divorce not the wedding!
    Millie ^_^

  6. Hi David, just looking through your blog again. Came accross your ideas for the interior of your Chapel. Did you know the top of the 3 photo's is of Pusey House's Chapel, Oxford. The Ninian Comper Baldachino is famous for depicting a beardless Christ.

    Hope you and Peter are both well.


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