Caroline Gardens Chapel was the heart of the Licensed Victuallers’ Benevolent Institution Asylum. This was not actually a mental hospital but more of a sanctuary. Basically a retirement home for Landlords of public houses. Ironically they were known then as “decayed members of the trade”.
Caroline Gardens is a Grade ii listed site that was built around 1830 and spanned six acres.
During WWii the residents were moved to another site in Denham. This was great foresight as the site was bombed and a lot of the chapel was damaged. However the stained glass and some other parts survived. The chapel was made watertight and didn't see much use for many years. The residents never returned and the council took on the site for housing and renamed it Caroline Gardens.
There were proposals of turning the chapel into a theatre and restoration but none of these plans came to light.
In 2010 Jo Dennis and Dido Hallett started using the space for various creative means. In 2013 they managed to signed a 12 year lease for the chapel. They currently run ‘Asylum’ as it is now known, a flexible project space and a licensed wedding venue.
So despite the decaying and abandoned appearance the chapel is actually still in regular use. This is how we managed to grab a few shots here. There was some confusion and it was believed we had arrived early to whatever was going on here that evening. So we popped in grabbed a few shots and was on our way just as the actual users arrived for whatever they had planned.
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