USL have recently completed an interesting internal conversion and Columbarium construction project at the Grade II Non-Conformist Victorian Chapel at Fairmile Cemetery near Henley-on-Thames.
Build in 1868, the Chapel is handsomely well detailed and has remained comparatively unaltered with knapped flint, freestone dressings and clay tile roof. The Victorian interior is simply rendered with chamfered chancel arch and scissor-braced roof. The council requested the Chapel’s interior to be transformed to include new Columbarium space (a quiet space designed to hold cinerary urns). Prior to work commencing, the Chapel had no existing electrical, telephone and water services.
The interment of ashes in Columbaria is popular in Europe and is becoming more prevalent in the UK as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to a traditional burial.
USL were pleased to carry out the Columbarium joinery and create hand-crafted hardwood cabinets holding glass-fronted niches. The design accommodated 234 niches of varies sizes for individuals, couples and families (spaces for approximately 372 urns). Each niche featured its own soft LED lighting.
A key driver for the scheme was to create a space for quiet contemplation, filled with harmony and peace, a small escape from everyday life.
Conversion project works included;
"The project created a beautiful display structure, offering a stately presence for a final disposition."