Watts Mortuary Chapel

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Watts Cemetery Chapel
Watts Mortuary Chapel is located in Surrey
Watts Mortuary Chapel
Location within Surrey
General information
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Town or city Compton, Surrey
Country England
Coordinates 51°13′04″N 0°37′56″W / 51.21775°N 0.6321°W / 51.21775; -0.6321
Construction started 1896
Completed 1898
Client Watts Gallery
Design and construction
Architect Mary Fraser-Tytler

The Watts Mortuary Chapel (locally known as Watts Cemetery Chapel) is a Gothic Revival chapel and mortuary located in the village of Compton in Surrey.

As a follower of the Home Arts and Industries Association, set up by Earl Brownlow in 1885 to encourage handicrafts among the lower classes, 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 chapel was the Watts's contribution to this characteristically Victorian preoccupation with social improvement through creative enlightenment.[1]

Leading a group of local amateurs and enthusiasts, many of whom later went on with Mary Fraser-Tytler to found the Compton Potters' Arts Guild, it was constructed from 1896 to 1898 with virtually every village resident involved. Essentially circular, from the outside it has the look of a Roman Italianate chapel; local villagers were invited to decorate the chapel under her guidance, resulting in an interior which is a magical fusion of art nouveau, and Celtic influences combined with Mary's own original style..[2] 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 graves include Arts and Crafts movement type sayings, including "The Morning Stars Sang Together" and, inside the chapel, "Their hope is full of immorality but the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God."[3]

Members of the Huxley family, including Aldous Huxley, are buried within the chapel grounds.

The Chapel is open Monday to Friday: 8am - 5pm, Saturday to Sunday and Bank Holidays: 10am - 5:30pm and is managed by Watts Gallery www.wattsgallery.org.uk.



  1. ^ "Watts Chapel". Guildford Council. Retrieved 2008-12-19. [dead link]
  2. ^ http://www.wattsgallery.org.uk/watts-chapel. Retrieved 2014-06-13.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Compton Potter's Arts Guild". meridiangallery.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 

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