Hampshire & Isle of Wight

£1.1m agreed for Royal Victoria Country Park chapel restoration

Netley Chapel at Royal Victoria Country Park Image copyright dave jacobs
Image caption The chapel is the last remaining part of the British Army's first purpose-built military hospital

A project to conserve a Victorian chapel in Hampshire for visitors has been given a £1.1m boost.

The county council agreed to release the cash for Netley chapel at Royal Victoria Country Park as part of a Heritage Lottery grant application.

The chapel is the only surviving part of the British Army's first military hospital, the Royal Victoria.

The £2.8m project includes restoring the hand-painted glass windows and a new exhibition of the site's history.

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From 1863 until 1966, the site was home to the hospital that for more than 100 years housed sick and wounded soldiers from across the world.

Around the park and on four floors of the chapel an exhibition of peoples' stories will explore the recovery, rehabilitation and research into medical advances that took place at the hospital.

Other plans include turning the chapel into a "cultural venue" that hosts arts performances.

Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone on 19 May 1856 and visited the hospital more than 20 times.

Most of the building was demolished in 1966 following an extensive fire.

Last year the chapel project received a £102,000 Heritage Lottery grant to develop an application for a full grant of £1.7m.

Hampshire County Council was required to provide the £1.1m to match the Heritage Lottery funding.

It is not yet known when Heritage Lottery will decide on the grant.

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