The house is Grade II Listed and in a conservation area
A lot of people think owning a listed building is onerous; reading the comments on a previous house competition’s Facebook page, a lot of people are muddled about what it entails and quick to spread myths.
It isn’t problematic unless you’re wanting to make sweeping changes to a house; a house having listed status is an accolade! Historic England states, ” Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest,” And that’s true.
If you obtain a listed building, be happy and love it as it is. That doesn’t mean you cannot alter things; planners often approve changes where you retain original features but hide them temporarily.
For example, you might erect stud walls that hide, intact and undamaged, the originals behind.
Where Listed status is an issue, is when you’re watching too much television involving house rebuilds! The solution is, less telly and more real life!
If you were buying a listed ruin, maybe a derelict barn or farmhouse, and turning it into a home–you may well run into problems because the planners and conservation officers would have definite ideas about preserving the building’s integrity. But the Chapel is built–it is as it is. It’s a ready-made, whopping chunk of stone, with its rooms already mapped out, and definitely not a rebuild project.
The most you can do is give it some TLC and decor, renew fixtures and fittings not to your taste, and so on.
The Chapel is especially interesting because of its grand castellated belltower, still holding its ring of eight large bells with fine inscriptions, and it has what may well be the only “eight bell ringing machine” in the country. This was said by a bell specialist company and if anyone’s interested, I can send you a copy of their report. Any bell-o-philes out there?
The mechanism for ringing the bells really IS a machine, operated manually, and it’s quite something, and occupies pride of place in the tiny study underneath the belltower itself! It’s quite a massive ding-dong when you ring these bells…I wanted to run for cover last time.
The roof of the belltower would make a stunning roof garden, as my surveyor said when I bought the house….before his legs went to jelly and he got stuck on the roof, which I won’t mention. Of course, making a roof garden would be subject to permissions and to keeping the features intact. The inside of the belltower is unchanged since the property was built.