The Royal Chapel today


The chapel will be closing at the end of December 2015 for refurbishment.



Thanks to Martin Curtis on facebook

After much deliberation, thankfully the Chapel was saved and after a two year restoration, it was opened in 1985 as a Heritage Centre. Today, it is open on Heritage Days and other special occasions. During the summer months there are Tower Tours when you can climb the 166 steps to the top of the tower and take in the wonderful views around.


The Poppy Sculpture outside of the Heritage Centre  which was unveiled on the 27th July 2014

This poem was sent to me by Ellis and Jacqui who I had the pleasure of meeting on the 27th July 2014 at the WWI Commemoration Day at Netley. They saw it at the Menin Gate a few years ago and made a copy of it. Thank you.




“The inquisitive mind of a child”.


Why are they selling poppies, Mummy?

Selling poppies in town today?

The poppies child, are flowers of love,

For the men who marched away.


But why have they chosen a poppy Mummy?

Why not a beautiful rose?

Because my child, men fought and died

In the fields where the poppy grows.


But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?

Why are the poppies so red?

Red is the colour of blood my child

The blood that our soldiers shed.


The heart of the poppy is black Mummy,

Why does it have to be black?

Black, my child, is the symbol of grief

For the men who never came back.


But why, Mummy, are you crying so?

Your tears are giving me pain.

My tears are my fears for you my child

For the world is forgetting again.


Author unknown.

A lovely photo of the poppy taken in February 2015 - from Hamble Interactive on facebook.


Chapel restoration project gets £1.68m Heritage Lottery boost

Hampshire County Council hopes the restoration will attract more people to the park

A project to restore a Hampshire chapel that has links to Queen Victoria has secured a £1.68m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Parts of the Grade II listed chapel have been out of bounds for more than two decades amid safety concerns.

The chapel is all that remains of the former Royal Victoria Military Hospital site, which fell into decline and was severely damaged by fire in 1963.

The chapel's tower, gallery and facade will all be restored.

An extension built in 1980 will be removed and a new pavilion will be built to the side of the chapel with a kiosk, toilets and offices.

Once complete, the chapel will be used for cultural and music events.

Queen Victoria laid the hospital's foundation stone on 19 May 1856 "concealing plans of the hospital, a silver Crimea medal and the first Victoria Cross", Hampshire County Council said.

When it opened in 1863 it was three storeys high, had corridors over a quarter of a mile long and could care for up to 1,000 injured soldiers, according to the authority.

'Fantastic news'

The restoration project is led by the council who hope it will help attract more people to Royal Victoria Country Park, Netley, Southampton.

Councillor Andrew Gibson, executive member for culture, recreation and countryside, said it was "fantastic news".

He said: "The project will not only enable the council to preserve this beautiful piece of our history, but will also mean we can open it up to many more visitors, provide educational activities, offer opportunities for volunteers to get involved, and make a visit to Royal Victoria Country Park an even more special day out for everyone."

Information to explain the historical significance of the hospital, also called Netley Military Hospital, will be displayed around the park.

Morning Post 29th January 1875
Derby Daily Telegraph 24th September 1904

The Netley British Red Cross Magazine June 1918

from the Netley Hospital Heritage Group archive
Christening of Melvyn Charles
from the Netley Hospital Heritage Group archives.
Inside the Chapel. Date unknown.

The Chapel how it used to be inside..............

And how it was before removing the artefacts.

Views from the Tower

Miniature Railway

As well as the Heritage Centre, Cafe, Function Rooms and the lovely park, there is also a miniature railway which is open for rides. You can hire a barbecue and enjoy special events such as the Pumpkin Festival in October. If you haven't visited before, come and visit this year!

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