For sale: Chapel house with his­tory of ad­ven­ture

Macclesfield Express - - NOSTALGIA - DO­MINIC SMITHERS

ACONVERTED chapel which be­longed to one of Bri­tain’s great­est ad­ven­tur­ers has gone on the mar­ket.

The stun­ning Ed­war­dian church, nes­tled in the Mac­cles­field coun­try­side, has been turned into an amaz­ing three-bed­room home. But buy­ers will get an added bonus: an his­toric con­nec­tion with one of Bri­tain’s most ad­ven­tur­ous fam­i­lies – in­clud­ing a fear­less hero who sailed with Ernest Shack­le­ton to the Antarc­tic.

The Grade II-listed prop­erty in the vil­lage of Swytham­ley be­longed to the Brock­le­hurst fam­ily, who lived at Swytham­ley Hall es­tate from the 19th cen­tury.

Lady Brock­le­hurst had com­mis­sioned the build­ing in mem­ory of her hus­band, Sir Philip Lan­caster Brock­le­hurst. It then passed to his heir, Sir Philip Lee Brock­le­hurst, 2nd Baronet, who was famed for his ad­ven­tures in the Antarc­tic.

He was one of the brave crew who trav­elled with Sir Ernest Shack­le­ton on the fa­mous Nim­rod Ex­pe­di­tion be­tween 1907 and 1909.

Armed with ba­sic equip­ment, they en­dured bone-chill­ing tem­per­a­tures to reach fur­ther into the po­lar re­gion than any­one else had at that time.

Al­though the two-year mis­sion failed, Shack­le­ton would later at­tempt the South Pole again in the En­durance – his most fa­mous mis­sion.

As for Sir Philip, af­ter re­turn­ing to Eng­land from the epic voyage his prepa­ra­tions for the next trip were cut short by war.

In­stead, he served in the first and sec­ond world wars – and was shot in Flan­ders in 1914. But it wasn’t just Sir Philip who had tales to tell – his wife, Lady Brock­le­hurst, also had a fierce ap­petite for dan­ger.

In 1930, ac­com­pa­nied by her hus­band, she took on the chal­lenge of cross­ing the per­ilous sands of the Sa­hara Desert.

The cou­ple com­pleted the 5,000-mile jour­ney, from Al­giers to Khar­toum, with­out a guide and just 100 gal­lons of wa­ter.

Since then the church has un­der­gone ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment by owner Peter Robin­son, 54, who first spot­ted the derelict chapel in 1987. The ex­te­rior has been left al­most un­touched, re­tain­ing its grandeur.

It looks al­most ex­actly how it was when Sir Philip left for his two-year voyage to the Antarc­tic.

The prop­erty has kept the orig­i­nal stained glass win­dows, along with the wooden doors and beams.

Now ex­ten­sively mod­i­fied, the chapel boasts three bed­rooms, a spa­cious liv­ing area, a study and large gar­den.

Po­ten­tial buy­ers are ad­vised that due to the age of the prop­erty, the lower ground floor is in need of some work.

Pic­tures: Gas­coigne Hal­man

In­side the prop­erty

This con­verted chapel in Swytham­ley once be­longed elonged to ad­ven­turer Sir Philip Brock­le­hurst (inset),who trav­elled to the Antarc­tic with Shack­le­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.