The former chapel that’s blessed with a host of heavenly features
WHEN David and Karen Brown went house hunting they were looking for something roomy with interesting features.
The properties they viewed left them feeling uninspired but then they saw The Old Chapel.
Once the Bishop of Ripon’s private place of worship, the grade two listed building is truly awesome.
Converted into a home 13 years ago, its cavernous interior is full of ecclesiastical features and has a feeling of serenity that reflects its past use. Saints and apostles watch over you from glorious, floor-to-ceiling stained glass windows, while enormous vaulted ceilings add to the splendour along with hand-carved oak panelling and religious mosaics.
“It was far more substantial than anything else in our budget and its architectural features are amazing,” says David.
The chapel was built in 1846 and designed by William Railton, who designed Nelson’s Column.
It is said that Lewis Carroll found inspiration for his most famous book Alice in Wonderland there.
One of the windows is dedicated to his father, Archdeacon Dodgson, and the gargoyles around the building, well known to Carroll, include griffins and a fair maiden, which all feature in the novel.
Developers, who bought the site, converted the Bishop’s Palace into swish apartments and sold the chapel on to a local buyer who did the initial conversion. David and Karen, who bought the property 11 years ago, have since added their own touches, including an extension and a stunning oak staircase. They have also had some of the windows re-leaded and created a third bedroom.
The chapel now has an entrance porch, 28ft by 9ft kitchen, a dining room, open plan drawing room with carved wood panelling and restored church pews and a rear hall and lobby
On the first floor, there is a balconied landing, a master bedroom with large en-suite bathroom, a second bedroom with en-suite shower and a third bedroom.
The property also has a spiral staircase that gives access onto the roof.
Outside, there are gardens to three sides, a substantial parking area plus a garage and carport.
“We’ve done a lot of work to it over the years and everyone who comes here loves it, though not everyone wants to live in a former chapel.
“I’m not particularly religious but the stained glass windows are incredible, especially when the sun shines on them and the colours are cast around the rooms,” says David.
Prospective buyers needn’t worry too much about their upkeep.
“They re all in very good order and they’re really easy to keep clean. You don’t wash them, you just carefully Hoover them.”