On my way to and from work I pass a small chapel set in the grounds of the university accommodation building. It is the sort of building that gets more curious each time you go past it. Even more tantalising is the plaque set under the one window.
My Latin is restricted to what I learnt reading Asterix, but I did get a roughish translation via Google.
In honor of the Father of Mercies
And of Consolation
And the pious memory of desired
Hon Christopher Pleydell Bouverie
The foundation of this chapel
was laid by John (epo?) Sarum
On this eight day IVLH (?) 1893
Salisbury used to be known as Sarum, and I suspect that John (/?) may have been a bishop or a high official. Epo did not translate, and IVLH may be July. As for Christopher Pleydell Bouverie; the most likely candidate was this one, the 7th son of the Earl of Radnor. I had not been able to get into the building until today when I managed to find somebody with a key and I went and had a look.
The building has been extensively modernised and is no longer in use as a chapel. I suspect it is no longer consecrated either, and the altar has been removed. However, most of the stained glass windows are still intact and they are beautiful, almost too good to be set in a building that no longer serves its original purpose.
I am not too sure what it is used for now, but there is new lighting and electrical fittings throughout, and evidence of it being used as a lecture room or similar. I suspect it is one of those awkward buildings that are not quite suitable to be used in any role. And, my guide told me that at night it can be very creepy. I go past it at night too and can confirm that.
One of the stained glass windows has an inset that conformed to what the foundation stone outside read.
The big question is, what is this “The Home” they are referring to? The accommodation block apparently dates from the 1900’s and by then Christopher Pleydell Bouverie was already dead. I don’t have any answers to these questions yet, but at least now I know what questions to ask although don’t quite know whom to ask them of.
The pipe organ is still intact, and is above the door at the back of the chapel. But how did the organist get up there to play the organ? there is no sign of a ladder, and if he leant too far back would have probably fallen off the platform.
The real gem though is a statue in the one corner of the building, it is magnificent. Unfortunately the plaque next to it does not relate to the statue but rather to the window, but once again mention is made of “the home”. Mention is made of Bertrand Pleydell Bouverie (1845-1926, older brother to Christopher), who seems to have been an interesting person in his own right, having married Lady Caroline Nelson, daughter of Horatio Nelson, 3rd earl Nelson. (who is not to be confused with Lord Nelson and Trafalgar). He has a plaque up at Salisbury Cathedral).
The “family seat” of the Pleydell Bouverie family is at Longford Castle, on the banks of the River Avon just South of Salisbury. Although I doubt whether this is “the home” mentioned on the window.
There is a Pleydell Bouverie wall memorial in Salisbury Cathedral
and this is the Nelson wall Memorial in the Cathedral
So, I have seen the interior of the chapel, but still don’t know its name or history, but I have more things to research, and of course probably a few graves to find too. I will have to return to this place and blog post again in the future, because there must be answers somewhere amongst all these questions.
Unfortunately getting street side images of the chapel proved to be almost impossible because it was a very popular area to park,
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 16/04/2016