The Town of Norwood offers several sights and attractions for those visiting the area. However, for locals in particular, the Chapel of St Gabriel holds a key role in local culture.
This memorable and intriguing destination offers a serene and tranquil location. Accordingly, despite its relatively simple design, it is widely considered the architectural gem of the town.
However, despite its aesthetics, many locals overlook the importance of this iconic chapel. As such, David DeQuattro discusses all of the most vital information about this iconic building to help others learn about and preserve its century-long history.
Location of the Chapel of St Gabriel
The Chapel of St Gabriel is found in Norwood Town and is featured at the Highland Cemetery. Still, the building itself displayed numerous older features at the time of its original erection. For example, the original door was created from century-old wood, repurposed.
The site itself was built in 1903 as a tribute to the parents of Anna Smith Day and Lewis Smith Day, who later donated the property to the Town Council on the basis of the building remaining free to use for funerals in the local area.
The building was consecrated as a holy site in 1903, upon the time of its founding. It was at this time that the property became officially dedicated to the Rhoades and Day families, who had contributed to the growth and prosperity of the region.
After the original construction in 1903, it would be around one hundred years before the chapel required further support. However, restorative works were completed in 2019 to restore the former status of the building, with the property’s stained glass windows and copper lanterns being of particular focus during this process.
Key Features of the Property
The chapel has numerous key features that distinguish it from others in the area. It is built in a striking Neo-Gothic style and features numerous architectural feats that help contribute to the iconic look.
The chapel was designed by the now-known Cram and Ferguson Architects, who crafted the exterior from seam-faced granite and limestone. The interior of this stunning property is very similar, but with white marble also woven into the design throughout the design.
To the left of the chapel’s altar, an iron grill separates the chapel itself from visitors. Resting behind this, the bodies of the original donors of the chapel rest. A plaque on the exterior also commemorates their generosity in donating the chapel to the council a century prior.
No doubt, the Chapel of St Gabriel is an influential aspect of local history. However, the property required extensive renovations in 2019 to restore its original features. Fortunately, thanks to the excellent workmanship applied, the site now offers the same original beauty as it did upon its inception.
Presently, the Board of Selectment oversees the chapel and its guests. And although it’s a seemingly simple chapel comparatively, this stunning building is often considered to be one of the most breathtaking iterations of the style.