Uncover the history of this important part of Hampshire’s past
The Chapel was once at the heart of the Royal Victoria Military Hospital, which stretched for a quarter of a mile along the shores of Southampton Water. The hospital opened in 1863 and treated military personnel from across the British Empire. It was in operation for nearly 100 years, including during the Boer War, and World Wars I and II. The hospital building was demolished in 1966 and now only the Chapel remains.
The Chapel reception is a welcoming place to get your questions answered, purchase tickets and buy souvenirs. The gift shop sells a range of postcards, trail booklets and our guidebook, along with children’s toys, gifts and small homewares inspired by the site’s roots in the Victorian era and its military and medical past.
The Chapel exhibitions
The Royal Victoria Chapel reopened to the public in August 2018 with improved access and an exciting new exhibition telling the story of the hospital and the people who worked and were treated there.
Alongside the exhibition, we offer an imaginative and inspiring programme of workshops, activities and events for visitors of all ages.
A climb to the top of the 150ft Chapel tower is rewarded with breath-taking panoramic views across Southampton Water and the Solent to the Isle of Wight, the New Forest and the South Downs. Look for the clues to the tower’s more functional past and ring the largest of the three Chapel bells!
Join one of our knowledgeable guides on an hour-long tour of the Chapel, tower and exhibitions. Discover the fascinating history of the Royal Victoria Hospital and the people who lived, worked and died here. If you can't visit, can't manage the stairs or would just like to know more about what to expect: Chapel tour 360o.
Whether you’re planning a spectacular wedding, party or intimate reception, our historical venue will guarantee you and your guests a stirring atmosphere, and a day you’ll always remember. The Chapel is also available to hire for filming, conferences, performances and other private events.