UNWRAPPED 2022

The Chapel needs repair and conservation to ensure its long-term survival for future generations. We need your help.
The issue
The exterior render of the building is failing. Incorrect materials have been used in repairs over the last 50 years. Cement-based render is liable to frequent cracking, which is letting rain water in. Unlike a traditional lime render, it does not allow the building to ‘breathe’, contributing to the deterioration you see today. There is now a significant risk to the timber structure of the building. A survey in 2017 established that remedial works would never solve this problem, and replacement of the render is the only long-term solution to preserve the Chapel for the future.
What needs to be done?
All the old render needs to be taken off, unwrapping the structure. This will reveal the timber frame and allow necessary repairs to be carried out. The building will then be re-rendered in traditional materials by experts. The timber frame is of great interest and there is much to learn from its construction and adaptation over time. The project will offer visitors the opportunity to see traditional craft techniques and materials in action. As we unwrap the building’s physical fabric, we also hope to reveal the social history of the Chapel and its communities over the centuries.

Who is Involved?
This project is being delivered through a partnership between the national and local custodians of the Chapel: the Historic Chapels Trust (HCT), with the support of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) and the Friends of Walpole Old Chapel.

When will it start?
We’ve already started. We had secured sufficient funding to enable the HCT with the Friends to appoint architects Ptolemy Dean, who are now developing the project specification. We’ll share more news following their research and investigations on site before the end of the year. Look for project updates on our News page.

How much will it cost?
It could be over £200,000. We don’t know the exact figure needed yet, as it will depend on the state of the timbers when revealed, and how much restoration work is needed. But we know we have a major fundraising campaign ahead to raise the money for this essential conservation work and repairs.

Please support our campaign

UNWRAPPED GALLERY IMAGES

Walpole Old Chapel
Halesworth Road
Walpole
Halesworth 
Suffolk IP19 9AZ
To view the chapel out of hours, please email us
This website has been supported through a grant from Councillors Locality Funding, Suffolk County Council
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