Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire

Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire is a project launched in 2018, with only a few churches included at the moment.

Cemetery Chapel, Datchet

Important Church Note:
Chapel has been disused since 1958, only the exterior is visible.
Cemetery Chapel
Local Authority UA:
Windsor & Maidenhead UA
Building Location:
Ditton Road, Datchet (NE side)
Nearest Post Code:
O/S Map Reference/NGR:
SU 99706 77049
Latitude & Longitude:
51.48361, -0.56548  Map

For details of this church on our "Stained Glass of Buckinghamshire Churches" website, please click here

Notes on Stained Glass:Four windows have Stained Glass, dating from between 1900 and 1924. They are by the well known makers of Charles Eamer Kempe, Clayton & Bell, Morris & Co, James Powell & Sons.


Click to enlarge Plan


An Illustrated Article about Datchet Cemetery Chapel

Index of Main Topics Included:


Basic History

By 1893 there were only 30 spaces remaining for graves in the churchyard of St Mary's Parish Church. A new cemetery was then a priority for Datchet and in 1894 some suitable land in Ditton Road was donated by Charlotte Anne Dowager Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry, who lived at Ditton Park. Her family were Lords of the Manor of Datchet.

Mrs Mary Ann Clarke (of The Lawn, Datchet) made "a most munificent offer" to pay for a Cemetery Chapel to be built, but on condition that it was only used for Church of England services. In 1895 Mr Summerbill was appointed as Architect for the Chapel, and Mr Bampfylde's tender was accepted as Builder.

Although the plans had been organised by a committee appointed by the the Parish Church Authorities, in 1896 a new Civil Parish Council took over the responsibility for the new Cemetery.

The two philanthropic donations were recorded on this plaque in the chapel.
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Complete plaque

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Top of plaque

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Base of plaque

Once the churchyard was full, and closed in 1899, burials took place at the new Cemetery. In 1900 a caretaker's lodge was built near the chapel. However, after less than 60 years use, the chapel was deteriorating and after 1958 services were no longer held there. The original stipulation for Church of England services only was then seen as a disadvantage.

In 1971 the interior furnishings were also deteriorating and were given away to other churches. In 1984 the building was designated as a Grade II listed building. The parish council used the chapel as a store room for many years, but around 2016 this ceased, and it is understood that in 2017 ideas for an alternative use are being considered.


The whole chapel was built of brick, with red bricks on the exterior. The style is mainly Early English Gothic, with cusped lancet windows on three walls, and a rose window on the west wall. All the walls have some form of decoration, with the exception of the blank walls of the vestry, which could have been an afterthought. The Chapel itself has fairly heavy brick buttresses in the middle of the side walls, and on all the corners.

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View from south-west, as seen on entering the cemetery gates.

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View from south-east, with the triple lancet east window on the right.

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This view from the north west shows the plainer style vestry on the far left. There is a horizontal decorative band of darker bricks between the 4 side windows of the north wall . The caretaker's lodge can be seen on the right.

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West wall with its dummy bell-cote, rose window, and 5 bay blank arcade on the lower part of the wall. The entrance porch is on the right.

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On the right are the four side windows of the south wall, again with a single band of darker bricks. However, the finest exterior decoration is above the porch entrance.

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A close look at the gable above the entrance porch, showing the patterns created in decorative tilework, reserved to be above the only entrance to the chapel.


The interior is all brick, but using yellow bricks for the upper parts of the walls, and red bricks for the low parts of the walls, and all the dressings, or architectural features like arches of doors and windows, as well as some string courses for extra decoration.

As stated above, the furnishings were removed in 1971, and in 2017 when these photos were taken, the chapel was completely empty. We do not have any views of the interior with its original furnishings, if anybody is able to provide this website with any old photos, we would be very grateful.

The glass in the 3 light east window, seen in the two photos below, is in memory of Mary Anne Crake who paid for the Cemetery Chapel to be built. She died in 1900, the year after the first burials in the Cemetery. Her husband (an architect) died 40 years earlier, and is remembered in Window No 17 of the Parish Church. Mrs Crake had also paid for some of the work done to the Parish Church in the mid 19th century.

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View looking East, with the window to Mary Anne Crake.

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The arch into the small Chancel is a very powerful piece of work, all built of red brick, as all the other arches are.

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View looking West, with the entrance from the Porch on the left. The rose window is high on the West wall, and below it there is a deep band of decorative brick tiles.

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A close look at the centre of the band brick tiles, decorated with foliage.


There is only one monument inside the Chapel, which is probably because people would prefer monuments to be in the Parish Church of St Mary, where they would be more visible. However people who wanted memorial windows could not fit them in the Parish Church as they were all full by 1881. That is probably why four people have memorial windows in the Cemetery Chapel.

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This monument is on the North wall, in memory of the 16 year old George Edward Hegan, who died in 1902. It is an unusual cross-shaped engraved metal plate. His mother died in 1904 and is remembered in a window on the opposite wall.

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Historic Churches of Buckinghamshire

All photographs by Michael G Hardy unless stated otherwise

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