Friday, February 26, 2010

The Little Chapel

We have lived in Guernsey for two years and seven months and we still had not been to see the famous Guernsey attraction, the Little Chapel, so one afternoon, while it was fine, we did just that.
The Chapel is believed to be the smallest chapel in the world; being just five metres long and only three metres wide.

B1 kept looking closely at all the broken plates. He was genuinely concerned as he said that they had broken up lots of plates just like the ones I collect and he seemed to think this was not the right thing to do; maybe he thought his Mum needed some more - NOT!
The Chapel was started in March 1914 by a monk called Brother De'odat. Apparently his aimed was to create a a miniature version on the grotto and basilica in Lourdes in France.

The Little Chapel is actually the last chapel in a sequence of three chapels built by De'odat. The first was built in 1914 but demolished almost immediately after its completion.

The second Chapel stood until 1923. In 1923 began work on the Chapel's present incarnation.

In 1939 Brother De'odat returned to France due to ill health and entrusted the Chapel's completion to Brother Cephas. If you look closely at the sides and edges of the spire you can see the famous Guernsey Ormer shells decorating it.

Brother Cephas continued to work on the Chapel until his retirement in 1965.

Broken china, Ormer shells and pebbles cover every conceivable surface of the Chapel.

More Ormer shells and some cockle shells have also been used on the ceiling inside the Chapel.

This last photo is for my Dad. If you enlarge it you can just see the words 'Douglas Isle of Man' under what I assume is the Manx Coat of Arms. This is quite amusing considering the 'friendly' rivalry for Banking business between the two Islands today.

So there you have it the 50p tour. You can find the Little Chapel situated on the grounds of Blanchelandes Girls' College located at Les Vauxbelets, St Andrews, Guernsey. It is open all year round and entry is free.


  1. Charming! I had to go wiki Guernsey. I'm amazed at the climate. Very interesting.

  2. wow thats amazing. Sure beats the beer bottle houses here in Australia as a tourist attraction lol. ;0)

  3. I dont think we did the Little Chapel when we visited - thanks for the tour!! (Have you done the Underground Hospital? Easily the scariest place I have ever been in my life!!)

  4. That is darling. The shells on the ceiling are wonderful and must have taken them hours to paste them up there. Thanks for the interesting tour.

  5. Oh Gillian, thank you so much for bringing us along on your tour of the most charming chapel I have ever seen. I'm sure you don't know this but, I have quite a fascination with all things mosaic. (I collect mosaic jewelry too:) This post has been most inspiring. Thank you again for sharing...