The Chapel Rooms: Stunning home created from former place of worship near Eye

The Chapel Rooms, Gislingham

The Chapel Rooms, Gislingham - Credit: Archant

The derelict former chapel in the village of Gislingham near Eye is about to be revealed in its new form - as a stunning, modern character home The Chapel Rooms.

The Chapel Rooms, Gislingham living room with balcony

The Chapel Rooms, Gislingham living room with balcony - Credit: Archant

The original structure been carefully dismantled and rebuilt as the heart of this new home, by a local specialist developer, Nest Developments.

This Saturday, June 27 agents Bedfords are holding an open day, from 11am to 1pm, for potential buyers.

The villagers are also welcome to see what has been done to the old 19th Century chapel building,

On Friday when I returned and visited again a few, final touches were being made to the extended house and it was being dressed for visitors.

The Chapel Rooms, Gislingham kitchen/dining room

The Chapel Rooms, Gislingham kitchen/dining room - Credit: Archant


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It hardly seems possible it was only February this year that I stood here on a muddy site, and the chapel was just a shell while new concrete footings were being constructed.

Now it is a luxury home combining ancient features with the latest of modern conveniences and luxury finishes, including a hand-built kitchen and high tech bathrooms.

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An air source heat pump feeds the underfloor heating and there is an engineered wood, parquet floor, for example.

The disused former chapel had stood, empty and sad, for years.

Nick Glendinning, The Chapel Rooms, Gislingham

Nick Glendinning, The Chapel Rooms, Gislingham - Credit: Archant

Now it is a four bedroom home with all the latest high-tech coveniences.

Nick and Camille Glendinning, of Suffolk-based Nest Developments, have rescued it.

Nick Glendinning: “It is our fourth project in Suffolk and we are very pleased with it. I think it works really well.

“It looks great.”

Their design, by working closely with local architect Andrew Hughes, has included rebuilding and restoring the original building and adding extensions either side as the additional living/bedroom space.

“We work very well together,” explained Nick.

“We have already have some comments from neighbours, who seem to like it.

“They have been very helpful and accepted the disruption.”

“We started in January. We have saved the building, it was in a sorry state when we started.”

The main hall, where the villagers would have gathered to worship, is now an open, vaulted living area.

The choir balcony above is now a mezannine, a sitting area, and study, with views over fields.

“It is very light and airy,” Nick said, “and a lovely place to work.”

The fitted kitchen/dining room can be divided from the main living area by sliding doors.

Nick and the team have salvaged and re-used materials wherever possible. Some Suffolk white bricks have re-used in the entrance hallway and as a hearth for the fireplace. What appears to be a cast-iron ceiling centre-piece (it is actually wooden), has been restored while outside at the front wrought iron railings have been restored and copied to complete the length in the same style.

The side extensions have the appearance of timber barn cladding and are completely new build.

There are bedrooms at ground floor and first floor level, allowing a flexibility of use either for a family with children, or perhaps down-sizers who want accommodation for guests and for visiting grandchildren.

Nick said: “We do find, in Suffolk, we get a lot of interest from downsizers.”

The project had used local craftspeople and suppliers, where ever it is possible.

Most of the materials and supplies have come from within 30 miles and local craftspeople have been involved from upholsters to furniture makers as well as the building trades.

The kitchen units have come from Stowmarket and the engineered wood parquet flooring from Diss.

Outside the garden has been landscaped, with turf, shrubs and young trees - including hornbeam.

Just the detached garage block is still waiting to be completed.

The house is now ready to receive visitors.

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