The Italian Chapel

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Reference WMO/265773

Address:

east side of the A961

south end of Churchill Barrier Number 1

Lamb Holm, Orkney

KW17 2RT

Scotland

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Status: On original site
Type: Freestanding
Location: External
Setting: Within a garden/park/churchyard/enclosure/Marketplace
Description: Chapel/church
Materials:
  • Metal Iron
  • Stone Stone (any)
Lettering: Painted
Conflicts:
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: Roman Catholic chapel created by Italian Prisoner's of War from 2 Nissen huts. Created by hand from left over concrete (from construction of Churchill Barriers), items scavenged and materials bought from exchanges with toys that they made whilst 'imprisoned' in Camp 60 to build the Churchill Barriers of Orkney. Constructed and completed with the skills of the POW's. Corrugated interior hidden by compressed cardboard (chancel) and plasterboard (rest of chapel). Hand painted religious figures within chancel area and rest of chapel hand painted to give the effect of three dimensional brickwork and carved stone (gothic and classical style). Altar made from concrete. Chancel floor tiles recovered from a sunken blockship. Rood screen and gate constructed from scavenged wrought iron. Font constructed from car exhaust covered with concrete. Candelabre constructed from scrap metal. Lamps constructed from bully beef tins. Fascia made from concrete. Windows handmade and hand painted to give impression of stained glass (glass now plain in appearance). St George slaying the dragon statue outside of chapel constructed from barbed wire covered with concrete. Wayside shrine donated later by people from Moena, the Italian village where the primary artist Domenico Chiochetti lived. Wayside shrine originally multi coloured; later painted to one colour following damage due to harsh climate and vandalism. Full details of the decoration and history can be found on the links provided, together with 26 photos on the IWM Register entry
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On the St George slaying the dragon statue outside of the chapel: P.di.C./ ITALIANI/ li 7 - 8 - 1943/

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