Chapel Conversion – County Durham

Wemmergill Estates

County Durham

Bowman Riley Architects was commissioned to convert a 19th century fire damaged Methodist chapel and attached cottage into bed and breakfast accommodation set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in County Durham with views over the Selset reservoir.

Built in 1888, the chapel was still in occasional use until it was badly fire damaged in 2012.

The property was purchased by Wemmergill Estates in 2014, a grouse shooting business formerly owned by the Queen Mother’s Bowes-Lyon family for 444 years.

Wemmergill Estates operates a successful grouse shooting business and needs additional on-site accommodation for estate staff during the shooting season.  To supplement the income of the estate at other times of the year, it is intended that the property will be used as bed and breakfast accommodation.

We have designed the renovation of the historic building and a new build extension providing views across the landscape to enable the effective re-use of this vulnerable isolated property.

Our design solution allows for construction in a very tight time-scale without clashing with the shooting season or severe weather conditions.

For the new build extension, we propose the off-site construction of stone-clad timber SIPS panels for off-site quality and quick erection on site.  This will also help overcome the challenges presented by the remote location in terms of the delivery of materials and skilled tradesmen.  Ultimately, this solution will minimise delays to the programme and save costs.

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