The Chideock Memorial Chapel, part of the Manor of Chideock, is a building steeped in history. The church started life as a simple barn, which, during the 17th century, at the height of the English Civil War, was used as a safe place for Catholic worship. Following the conflict the barn was transformed into the stunning church, which is now enjoyed by many.

Project details

Project Chideock Memorial Chapel, United Kingdom
Architect Andrew Stone
Client
Gaby Martelli
Roof tiles Bespoke Sandtoft tiles
Completion 2014

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

Chideock Church, UK © Andrew Smith

A building rich with ancient English and religious history

The Chideock Memorial Chapel, part of the Manor of Chideock, is a building rich with ancient English and religious history. Starting life as nothing more than a barn in the grounds of the manor house, it became a place of secret Catholic worship in the wake of the Civil War, before Humphrey Weld, and then his son, Charles, transformed the barn into a beautiful church, dedicated to Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs and St. Ignatius, founder of the Society of Jesus.
 
This particular project represented a huge technical and aesthetic challenge. The chapel’s striking dome required replacement with something more in keeping with the original style of the building. At some point in its history, its original roof had been repaired or replaced with one that might have kept the rain out, but certainly didn’t do justice to the architecture of its construction.

Materials and methods should echo the original design

The owner of the chapel, Gaby Martelli, teamed upwith architect, Andrew Stone, and main contractors and conservation specialists Magenta Building Repair, to begin the careful process of restoring the church to its former glory in June 2013. Naturally, building techniques and materials have changed hugely since the church was first created, but wherever possible the architect and owners wanted materials and methods to echo the original design.
 
With that in mind, and on the basis of a series of factory visits to meet the craftsmen and observe the traditional ways of working, the architect specified Sandtoft, Wienerberger’s UK roof brand, to supply clay roof tiles. Making use of its specialist heritage expertise as part of its Heritage Service, Sandtoft created two bespoke clay tiles for the dome. The first was an interlocking spearhead tile, specifically created to visually reference original old tiles recovered from the barn (even before it became the chapel it is today). These were manufactured in two colours (red and black) so as to provide a striking and complex zig-zag pattern on the completed dome. The second style was a buff hip tile, with a barley rub twist on the façade.
 
The result is architecture that not only honours the past and fits the present, but will stand well into the future.
 

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