The Suffolk non-conformists transformed the late 16th century farmhouse into a simple but dramatic religious building, radically different from the established churches from which they had broken away.

From the exterior, the timber-framed and plastered building, with double plain-tiled roof, it still looks much like the house it originally was, despite its later adaptation. In contrast, the interior introduces us to a different story. Befitting the beliefs of its congregation, the chapel is unadorned. No altar, no sign of the cross, no ceremonial. All was simple and bare.

Ceilings were removed and the roof span widened, supported with lofty wooden columns. Galleries were built from the discarded timbers to seat hundreds of people, the sightlines converging on the central canopied pulpit.
From that commanding position, the ministers read from the Bible and preached the lessons learned from it. Their sermons were illuminated by the light of the tall round- headed windows on either side. In later years various furnishings were added, such as the 18th century pine box pews. But the sense of history and the puritan atmosphere remains today. Quiet, undemonstrative, deeply peaceful: there is no place in Britain quite like it.


Walpole Old Chapel
Halesworth Road
Suffolk IP19 9AZ

Registered Charity 1198030
This website has been supported through a grant from Councillors Locality Funding, Suffolk County Council
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