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Chapel House
North Wraxall, Wiltshire£1,650,000 Freehold

Chapel House

The chapel is breathtaking; a voluminous double-height space with vaulted cathedral ceilings, paired with deep-set, tall arched sash windows

Occupying a quiet position in a quintessential Wiltshire hamlet in the Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty is Chapel House, an exceptional Grade II-listed congregational chapel and manse predating 1862. Breathing new life into the 19th century foundations, the two ecclesiastical buildings, adjoined by a modern glass walkway, have been meticulously restored over the past four years by specialist builders and craftspeople with keen attention to detail, and finished by the founder of nune. The internal living space, which is around 2,360 sq ft, pairs impressive architectural proportions with a soft colour palette and beautiful materials. With exceptional eco-credentials on the inside, the house is surrounded by a thoughtfully planted garden and wildflower meadow designed by Marian Boswall, complete with an elegant newly-installed natural and sustainably-heated swimming pool. The house sits within the Cotswold region, with the city of Bath less than 10 miles south and Bristol only 20 miles to the west.

We’ve written about life in this house in more depth.

Setting the Scene

The chapel and neighbouring manse were both built circa 1862 in coursed rubble stone — broken stones of different sizes that are laid in level courses — with smart slate roofs and coped gables. The façades of both buildings are framed by  ashlar strips. Historic England describes the house in its previous iteration as an “unaltered rural chapel group on an unusually isolated site, midway between North and Upper Wraxall”; approached by a quiet country lane, the house is in a wonderfully rural position, with far-reaching views across neighbouring fields. The renovation has been extensive, preserving historic details inside and outside, including rebuilding the stone walls surrounding the garden, constructing a new carport and restoring the home’s huge windows.

Environmental Performance

The restoration of Chapel House has been carefully balanced with sustainability: the entire site was re-roofed and re-plumbed; discreet secondary glazing was added to the original windows; new electrics, radiators and a high efficiency heat pump were fitted, as well as underfloor heating, positive input ventilation and new insulation throughout. The addition of a chemical-free swimming pool and a focus on indigenous plants in the surrounding gardens has reinvigorated this more-than-150-year-old Chapel without losing any of its old stone house charm.

The Grand Tour

There are numerous entrances into the house, including through a working door to the side which opens into a useful boot room with a place to hang coats, or through the original chapel door, which is accessed via a Nepeta-lined path through the front garden. The renovated chapel is a breathtakingly voluminous double-height space, painted a calming ‘Stone II’ by Paint + Paper Library. Vaulted cathedral ceilings are paired with arched deep-set sash windows, and set against rustic oak floorboards by Ark One. The natural light in this room is exceptional, and underfloor heating has been installed here, as well as in the corridor between structures, the basement and both bathrooms, providing efficient ambient heating throughout the house.

The vast interior has been sensitively divided, with a bespoke kitchen designed by Atelier Cabinet Makers with an Aga set to one side, and dining and living areas loosely organised in opposite corners of the room. Hand-crafted oak cabinetry is finished in ‘Lusi’ by Paint & Paper Library, and free-standing workstations neatly house appliances. Lighting in the kitchen and dining area is a mix of Apparatus Studio and Ann Demeulemeester. Doorways at one end of the space lead through to a playroom (which could be used as an additional bedroom) and an adjacent shower room screed in microcement, giving it a natural, tactile finish.

The glass walkway leads to the rest of the house, where a rear extension room, home to a useful utility room, is clad in Siberian Larch, with strategically placed picture windows framing views of the garden. An internal courtyard formed between the two buildings provides a charming space for summer lunches, with sliding aluminum-framed glass doors creating a wonderful flow between the interior and exterior spaces.

The panelled living room painted ‘Stone III’ by Paint & Paper Library has floorboards from the Natural Wood Floor Company, as does the rest of the house. Here there are elegant shuttered windows and a log-burning stove. The adjoining second reception room has a beautiful stone fireplace fitted with a second log-burning stove, flanked by inset oak shelving. A third bedroom is positioned opposite. Stairs lead up to the floor above and down to the basement below.

Two double bedrooms are found on the second floor, each with far-reaching views over field-upon-field of surrounding farmland. The bathroom, recently renovated by the current owners, is a tranquil space thanks to the muted tones of the materials and Bauwerk limewash paint. Herringbone Bejmat terracotta tiles line the floor, set against characterful zellige tiles on the wall, above marble skirting. Fixtures and fittings are from Water Monopoly and Waterworks, and the marble-top vanity was designed by nune and fabricated locally.

The Great Outdoors

Dry-stone walls, specimen trees and mature hedging form the external boundary of the private garden and lawn. A drought resistant garden has been installed to the front of the house. The are was designed by Marian Boswall, who has also added seating, aromatic planting and a wildflower meadow, combining it with a pond to create a brilliant habitat for indigenous species of insects, reptiles and mammals. Fruit trees including apple, pear, cherry, as well as walnut and hazelnuts, provide a delicious harvest. Elsewhere a limited palette of soft pinks, grasses and ferns chime with the Cotswold stone walls. To the rear of the house is a natural swimming pool, designed and installed by Water Artisans, which is sustainably heated.

There is also a treehouse, newly built by Treehouse Life, making excellent use of the mature trees. A terrace by the side entrance, bordered by beds of herbaceous perennials, is perfect for a morning coffee. Echinacea, salvia, verbena, prairie-style grasses and beds of white cosmos are paired harmoniously with the wonderful pale stone patina. Two garden sheds (each measuring 65 sq ft), fully insulated and fitted with services, as well as a new carport (170 sq ft) were constructed by stonemasons, and there is a fast electric car charger in the driveway.

Out and About

North Wraxall Parish consists of a community of five villages and hamlets in north-west Wiltshire, including Ford, Mountain Bower, North Wraxall, The Shoe and Upper Wraxall. The local community is very active, and a community hall and Ofsted-rated Good pre-school are a two-minute walk away. The house sits in the catchment area for a good selection of both private and state primary and secondary schools.

Chapel House is perfectly positioned for easy access to the surrounding Wiltshire and Somerset countryside. The beautiful Cotswold village of  Castle Combe is only five minutes away, recently voted the prettiest place in Great Britain. Lucknam Park is also five minutes away with stables, hotel, spa and a Michelin Star restaurant.

Dyrham Park is on the house’s doorstep, and The Peto Gardens at Iford Manor, Lacock Abbey, The Tithe Barn and the Saxon Church at Bradford-on-Avon are also easily accessible. Bath is a 15-minute journey by car and the popular Cotswold towns and villages of Tetbury and Malmesbury are a 30-minute drive away. There is a good selection of supermarkets, farm shops, cafés and restaurants all within a 20-minute drive.

Chippenham train station is around 10 minutes’ drive away with journeys to London Paddington taking 70 minutes on the fast, direct mainline, which calls at only three other stations.

Council Tax Band: E

Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. Inigo has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.
Chapel House — North Wraxall, Wiltshire
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