Description of Historic Place
The Veterans’ Cemetery Chapel, a modest chapel of simple and functional design, is a dignified place of worship located in the pastoral setting of the Veterans’ Cemetery. Its rectangular form, clad in clapboard with contrasting corner trim, is surmounted by a gable roof. A small steeple, projecting chancel, and Gothic-inspired door and window surrounds complete its design. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Chapel is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.
The Chapel is one of the earliest of a series of support facilities established by the Royal Navy between 1865 and 1905 in the Esquimalt-Victoria area. It was created to serve as a dignified site for religious services and burials of the naval community. The non-denominational chapel and the cemetery of which it is part, provide a reminder of the key role of the British navy, and later Canadian naval and military forces, in defending the coast.
The Chapel is a very good example of a functional design, built to create a dignified place of worship. The modest chapel reflects architectural and aesthetic preoccupations of the mid 19th century and is distinguished by its Early Gothic Revival details.
The Environmental Value
The Chapel enjoys a comfortable relationship with the pastoral setting of the Veterans’ Cemetery, of which it has always been an integral component. It is the most dominant element within the landscape, and is visible by many, due to the fact that the cemetery is surrounded by a golf course. A well-known landmark within the military community and beyond, the Chapel reinforces the character of its cemetery setting.
Ian Doull, Dockyard, Chapel, Veterans’ Cemetery, Esquimalt, British Columbia, Federal Heritage Building Report, 95-120.
Veterans’ Cemetery Chapel, Esquilmalt, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement, 95-120.
The following character-defining elements of the Chapel should be respected, for example:
Its simple functional design and high quality craftsmanship and materials such as:
-Its modest and intimate scale.
-Its simple but pleasing exterior form and proportions: a rectangular mass surmounted by a gable roof and a small steeple with a small projecting chancel, and large windows.
-Its exterior materials and detailing: the painted horizontal clapboard and contrasting corner boards, the shingled roof, and the Gothic inspired doors and door and window surrounds.
-Its simple construction wood-frame structure and concrete foundation.
-Its functional layout and simple furnishings.
Its relationship with the Veterans’ Cemetery, of which it is an integral part, and its value as one of the most well known military landmarks of Victoria-Esquimalt as evidenced by:
-Its reinforcement of the peaceful, pastoral setting and the design of the cemetery.
-Its compatibility with the open landscape of the surrounding golf course.
-Its status as a local landmark where it is a place of remembrance and celebration for the military community and others who wish to pay tribute.