Walpole Old Chapel, one of the magnificent buildings in Historic Chapels Trust's remarkable collection, is embarking on a project entitled "Walpole Old Chapel Unwrapped" to replace old failing render on this Grade II* independent chapel. The congregation, which was originaly formed in 1649, leased a timber-framed and plastered farmhouse in 1689. It was converted, shortly afterwards into an independent chapel - a simple space, created by local people to meet their own worship needs. It closed in 1970 and was acquired and saved for the nation by Historic Chapels Trust in 1995. Today it is a unique building with a nationally significant history, a thriving programme of events and exciting opportunities for the future for people to explore the heritage of the local area.
All the old render needs to be removed and – the building will literally be “unwrapped”. That will reveal the structural timber frame, and allow any necessary repairs to be carried out before the building is re-rendered in appropriate, traditional materials, by people with the specialist skills required. This will provide an unusual and fascinating educational opportunity for interested groups to visit, and observe real craftsmen and craftswomen at work.
Alongside the work to the physical fabric of the building, we hope to “unwrap” the social history of the chapel and its people over the centuries. This will lead to a broader and deeper understanding of the chapel's important roles in the communities it served in the past, as well as bringing to life those it fulfills now and helping to chart a sustainable path for the future.
The cost of the project is estimated at £200,000 and alongside funding from trusts and foundations and statutory bodies we aim to raise £10,000 from public donations. Please support our campaign today.