Royal Sussex’s listed chapel to be painstakingly moved to new home

Posted On 05 May 2021 at 4:19 pm

The Grade II chapel at the Royal Sussex

The Royal Sussex’s Grade II listed chapel is to be painstakingly moved from its current home to a new location on the hospital site.

The 165-year-old chapel is on the first floor of the Barry Building, one of the hospital’s original Victorian buildings which is due to be demolished to make way for a new state of the art building.

The chapel will close this Sunday and over the next 18 months, its stonework, windows, memorial plaques and other parts of the interior will be carefully dismantled and moved to another new building on the site.

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Any parts which cannot be moved, including the ornate plasterwork, will be recreated at the new site.

To mark the move, patients, staff and members of the public are being invited to share their experiences of the chapel.

One Church of England lay reader, Mark Laverick, said: “For a number of years I was privileged to have the honour of leading worship and preaching in this beautiful chapel on many occasions at the invitation Fr Peter Wells, the then Hospital Chaplain.

“It is a place of tranquillity and peace for all who need it, regardless of faith or no faith.

“I look forward to seeing the new chapel in the redeveloped hospital. I live just across the road from the hospital so have enjoyed seeing it grow over the last few years.”

More memories can be shared on the chapel move website, which also features a navigable 3D model of the chapel’s interior, or a book in the chapel.

Each day up to Sunday there will be a thirty minute period of reflection between 12.30 and 1.00 pm. There will be readings, music and a candle lit to mark the transition of the chapel.

While the chapel is transferred, the memorial books usually on display there will be kept in the chaplain’s office where they will be available to view.

A space for quiet reflection and prayer is being prepared in the Barry Building for use while the chapel is closed.

The move is part of the major redevelopment of the Royal Sussex site. Stage 1 has  seen a new 13 storey building go up on the south east of the site, which is now almost complete.

Wards currently in the Barry Building will move there once it’s finished.

A helideck has also been put on top of the Thomas Kemp tower, and should be in use by the end of the year.

In Stage 2 of the redevelopment, the Barry Building –  the oldest acute inpatient building in the NHS – will be demolished and a new four storey building with a roof garden built to house the Sussex Cancer Centre.

It’s expected this will start sometime in 2023.

Stage 3, the new logistics yard, will be built once Stage 2 is complete, and will be located on the site of the current Cancer Centre, next to Bristol Gate.



  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    This was a part of the Planning consent which, it is startling to reflect, was almost a decade ago. Other items were mentioned at that Planning Committee meeting, such as fine plaques on the walls of the Barry Building and its wooden staircase.

  2. Valerie Reply

    The new site will not be so tucked away, private, still and peaceful – by Bristol Gate on Eastern Road where blue lit ambulances turn to access A&E

  3. roy pennington Reply

    what is the cost to move this chapel? that could have been spent on medical matters instead ….

  4. serena evans Reply

    This is the nicest part of the hospital. Why does it have to be moved? The original buildings are the best, prettiest and have the best air circulation. The Barry Ward is great and saved my friend’s life.

    • Christopher Hawtree Reply

      It was a momentous afternoon, that Planning Committee. Councillors upon it recognised that. The ideal would have been, decades earlier, for the Hospital to be moved to the by-pass rather than hemmed in at Kemp Town. But that chance had been lost. As it was, steps were taken to make the Kemp Town site as ecologically good as possible. That the Barry building goes is of course sadenning; then again, it was ruined by all the ad hoc building around it the past century

      • Valerie Reply

        Allotments in a huge area were cleared in Hove for a new General Hospital years ago. The hospital Consultant who told me the history said that the 3 authorities – East Sussex, Hove, Brighton – could not agree so it never happened, decades elapsed & the Polyclinic & etc went there instead.

        The RSCH sits on a tiny 2 acre site & the present overdevelopment makes me draw breath. Access/egress round there is already tricky.

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