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Hale Chapels’ Garden

Garden set amidst chapel ruins.

About the Hale Chapels' Garden.

The garden can be found in Hale Cemetery and is on the site of two former chapels which had fallen into disuse and disrepair.  It opened in 2023.

What you will see

Parts of the chapels were removed to make them safe, but the materials have been reused in many ways. The gable windows and stone mullions have been stabilised at a lower height and seating has been installed around the corners of the chapels. The footprint of the chapels has been preserved by the laying of repurposed flint setts at ground level. 

The sound of water from the water feature and the perfume of the garden makes this a very relaxing and peaceful space.

The garden is planted with trees and plants which feature in the bible. This has created a calm but positive ambience. The trees include an almond tree which symbolises renewal, an olive tree for productivity, a fig tree for life and myrtle for recovery.  

About the garden creators

The garden was designed by award-winning Graduate Landscapes and built by Landform who created the hilltop garden at RHS Wisley and have won multiple awards at Chelsea and Hampton Court. 


At the end of 2023, we heard that the garden had been selected as a 2024 regional finalist in the prestigious Civic Trust Awards. Reaching this stage means the Civic Trust consider Hale Chapels Garden to be of significant merit, and ‘to be contributing to the quality and appearance of the built environment whilst being sustainable, accessible and providing a positive contribution’. The outcome of the awards is imminent.

At the BALI National Landscape Awards in December 2023, Landform Consultants was crowned Principal Award Winner in the ‘Regeneration Scheme – Under £500k’ category. The award recognises ‘exemplary levels of professionalism, workmanship and client satisfaction that brings credit to the landscape industry’.

History of Hale Chapels 

In 1871, the Burial Board of Farnham agreed to invite tenders for the building of two chapels, a lodge, gate and walls in what was to become Hale Cemetery.

Sidney Stapley who had a practice at 23 West Street, Farnham was appointed as the architect and surveyor for the project. Goddards in East Street were chosen as the builders.

Sidney Stapley designed the constructions to be built in flint and brick which are materials traditional to this area of Farnham.

The work was completed in 1872.

The creation of the chapels’ garden

Over the years, the chapels fell out of use and their condition deteriorated. 

In 2012, Farnham Town Council and Farnham Buildings Preservation Trust commissioned a report to assess the condition of the chapels and to seek proposals for their future use.

Several options were considered, including:

  • Using the chapels as a school annex
  • Community use / hall
  • A mausoleum, or
  • Selling them for conversion to residential

The Hale Chapels Trust was formed to explore the options. The trust included representatives from the local community and worked in conjunction with Hale History Project.

The trust worked hard to find a workable solution for the chapels but was unable to attract adequate funding.

It was eventually concluded that the buildings were too far gone to save at a cost that was acceptable and so the idea for the Hale Chapels’ Garden was agreed.

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