The Old Chapel, Longnor, £194,950. I love Longnor so I couldn’t resist the chance to take a look around the former Wesleyan Chapel which is now being lived in by an artist.
The bustling village is set bang in the middle of some of the most fantastic scenery in the Peak District and is a magnet for those with an artistic leaning.
Hilary Walker, a sculptor, is no exception and was drawn to the area by its beauty and the chance to live in this fantastic building.
It certainly isn’t a project for the faint hearted, and although Hilary has made a good stab at making the chapel habitable, she hasn’t really started on the real conversion. That will be down to whoever decides to take on this exciting challenge.
She has some plans, drawn up before she bought the chapel, but it is likely anyone buying the building will want to get an architect in to help.
Planning permission has been granted to convert it to a two or three bedroomed home.
Hilary, who needs to leave the area due to family commitments, has put in a kitchen and wet room in what was the chapel’s vestry and the one-time venue for the Sunday School.
She also has a temporary, what you might call cosy, living and sleeping area in part of the main hall.
However it is the impressive main hall and the gallery, currently complete with pews above, which are the selling point of this property.
In the pictures it looks quite vast and cavernous but actually once you are inside it is much smaller and much more manageable.
“It’s like a reverse Tardis isn’t it,” said Hilary as she witnessed my surprised face when I stepped into the room.
What you can’t ignore is the pulpit looming over the whole space. You definitely need imagination to come up with a plan for it and the tiled floor beneath.
Maybe it could be the home for a fancy stove? You would certainly need some form of sustainable heating in place to keep the chapel warm!
Hilary had plans to turn the gallery into two bedrooms and a large bathroom but you could have three en-suite bedrooms as there seems to be plenty of space.
The Georgian windows, which are split between the two floors, are definitely one of the most beautiful elements of the property. Downstairs they are arched and on the first floor there are eight, so there is plenty of light and whatever work you do won’t be blocking any of it out.
As with many historic buildings there are still hints to its past lingering within. Left behind in the chapel was the safe which Hilary has never been able to move. The keys are missing and she has absolutely no idea what is inside.
“If only I could trace the key,” she sighed adding that no-one in the village seemed to know of its whereabouts.
In the old vestry next to the handsome stone fireplace is also a tiny wooden bench.
“I am told the children used to rush to be the first to get to that bench so they could sit next to the fire on Sunday mornings,” said the sculptor.
The main drawback to the chapel is that it has no garden at all. Just the small railed-off area at the front which you can see in the picture above.
But then if you were living in the middle of such gorgeous countryside maybe an outside space would not be a priority.
If you are looking for a long term project and want an unusual home in the centre of a thriving Peak District village then give the agents Bagshaws Residential a ring on 01629 814774 to organise a viewing.