December 8 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 31, 2013
A former Methodist chapel built nearly 200 years ago is being treated to a grand makeover after the new owners moved on site to begin restoration work.
The building in New Road, Chatteris, which has stood empty for years, is about to undergo a major transformation thanks to the new owners.
“It’s surprising how many people have popped their heads round on site and asked us what we are doing and when it will be ready.
“People seem pleased to know it is finally being worked on,” said Lesley Griffey, 60, who with her 63 year old plasterer husband is about to undertake months of work to restore the building.
“We plan to keep a lot of the original features. It’s been empty for so long, much of it is a of labour of love.”
The chapel was built as a Sunday school as a secondary building for the original chapel that was built further along New Road.
Although the building is not listed it has a statement of historical interest which means the couple need to be mindful when undertaking work.
Historical records show the chapel was originally built in 1815 by the Wesleyans who had arrived in the town some nine years earlier. Throughout the 19th century it is thought to have been also used as a school and local records show that the chapel was enlarged in 1855.
Architect Robert Doughty, said in a design statement that: “The church was originally built in the Gothic revival style but we are not sure when the building was last used but it is clear it was some time ago.”
Internal and external features such as beams and stained glass windows will remain and a new twin garage and communal parking area will be created.