The Secret Chapel of Benwick

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The Secret Chapel of Benwick
Explored 10/10/21 Naked Score of 32 out of 50 (See Below) Library ref: 51

Here we have a small hidden Chapel next to a large Rectory that was once part of a now demolished Church.

3L Rectory next to The Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 7L Windows of the Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 8L Inside with flash of the Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).JPG






Explored around Oct 2021 where I filmed and photographed to share with you all. Was on my way to another location and stopped here just for a look as I knew of the Rectory from scouting the area months before but had no idea that the chapel was there until this visit, mostly due to it looking like an overgrown garage, including an abandoned car that was now gone on this visit. It was a rushed job as I wanted to get back to my original destination and despite its abandoned-looking condition, I couldn’t be sure if the main Rectory building was still lived in so couldn’t enjoy it as much as I could have but I may well be one of the first to visit here.
A little history.

Built as the Rectory for the St Marys Church of Benwick. Situated opposite a site to the north, it was constructed just after the Church in 1869-70. It is of the Gothic revival style, with polychrome brickwork and an angular, complex roof style. These are all hallmarks of the notable Victorian architect Samuel Sanders Teulon who also constructed the church which was sadly demolished in 1985 because of subsidence. Only some walls and the graveyard remain.

The Chapel appears on maps alongside the rectory so dating to around the same period as the other buildings and kept some interesting original features such as the windows, however, has since been renovated/extended at some point to include a garage. The Rectory remains relatively dilapidated and unmodernised, maintaining its Gothic features, original style timber fenestration and the surrounding, undeveloped land maintains its prominence and significance.

The Find.

Found this place as I dove by the main road opposite and saw the building sticking out above the trees. Saw it was unmodernised and missing roof tiles so had to stop and scout it out. Finding out about the building was difficult as there was no clear address, so it took me a while to locate any history, despite the history of the church being well documented. I eventually found planning information, and saw it was sold by the Church in the past but still no idea if the main building is lived in or when last used.

The Explore.

Going in as always solo. Was easy to park up on the street opposite and then walk down the open but dark due to the shading of the trees, short drive. The Rectory stands imposingly at the end of the drive looking out to the large and grand garden. In its day the garden would have looked lovely but it is now overgrown and unloved.

Access to the chapel is down and around the side of the Rectory. At first, it looks like an ivy-coved garage and as you go into the garage area there are a few benches, tools, and old pots. From the front, you can see there is another second floor above with no clear route of access to it. Also, at the front, there is a bramble-covered door that may lead to another area that I never got to see. It’s not until you go round the back do you see the significance of the building. Only one way round the side to the back and through some wooded area. As you come round the ivy-covered back can spot 3 doors, the far door leads to the Chapel. Was fully expecting the door to be closed but as you get near it was wide open.

At the entrance were a few old sinks, tables, and odds and ends.


To the left is where I spot that it’s not just a random old garage. Stepping over a hole in the floor and turning into the dimly lit room I see that the light is creeping in through some old, cobwebbed Lanceted Windows that Cleary belongs to a church building. The old doors and timber roof shows this must be part of the old church.

The room was full of clutter, a torch was needed to see the old hoovers, tools, and odds and ends.

Going back outside to the ivy floor and up to the middle door, it must be the way up to the second floor but this door is sealed shut by bramble, ivy, and a pile of dirt.

Further up is another door and a peak in here shows you it’s the outside loo and nothing more. From here there is nothing more to see unless you want to see the old ruins of the old church and graveyard that lies at the bottom of the garden and is open to the public.

The car that was originally there on my first visit 6 months previously was now missing so someone had been.

Naked Explore Rating

Ease of Access 7 – Easy to find location. Can drive up and park on the street and walk into the area down an overgrown drive. The chapel building can be accessed by simply stepping through a door at the back, the upstairs was closed off. The main building seems secure and locked up.

History 6 – Long history of the site as being a religious site even before the church was built. The Rectory is considered to be a non-designated heritage asset that’s not listed. Almost nothing can be found about the Chapel or hall apart from being on the maps.

Danger/Safety 7 – A few missing floorboards and lack of light could pose a risk of falling through. Overall the building is in good condition, for the moment as the ivy will soon swallow it up.

Harassment 7 – No sign of anyone around or living in the main building however could not be sure that there was someone there so was hard to enjoy the explore. No nosy neighbors and hidden from roads.

Interest 5 – If this included the main building it would be a much higher score. What there is to explore, are the gardens, then the chapel, which is worth a look and contains a few interesting items. I consider the Church ruins/site to be separate.

Naked Rating of 32 out of 50

1L The Secret Chapel of Benwick.jpg 3L Rectory next to The Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 7L Windows of the Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 8L Inside with flash of the Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).JPG 2L Rectory next to The Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 4L The Back of the Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).JPG 5L Closed back door of The Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).JPG 6L Inside Hall Of theSecret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 9L Inside the Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 10L Inside the Secret Chapel of Benwick (4).jpg 11L Inside the Secret Chapel of Benwick (6).jpg 12L Inside the Secret Chapel of Benwick (8).JPG 13L Outhouse of the Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 14L First visit 6 months before to The Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 15L First visit 6 months before to The Secret Chapel of Benwick (4).jpg 16L First 1st 6 months before looking at the Rectory next to The Secret Chapel of Benwick (2).jpg 17L First 1st 6 months before looking at the Rectory next to The Secret Chapel of Benwick (4).jpg
 

Hayman

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The Secret Chapel of Benwick
Explored 10/10/21 Naked Score of 32 out of 50 (See Below) Library ref: 51

Here we have a small hidden Chapel next to a large Rectory that was once part of a now demolished Church.

View attachment 517584 View attachment 517585 View attachment 517586






Explored around Oct 2021 where I filmed and photographed to share with you all. Was on my way to another location and stopped here just for a look as I knew of the Rectory from scouting the area months before but had no idea that the chapel was there until this visit, mostly due to it looking like an overgrown garage, including an abandoned car that was now gone on this visit. It was a rushed job as I wanted to get back to my original destination and despite its abandoned-looking condition, I couldn’t be sure if the main Rectory building was still lived in so couldn’t enjoy it as much as I could have but I may well be one of the first to visit here.
A little history.

Built as the Rectory for the St Marys Church of Benwick. Situated opposite a site to the north, it was constructed just after the Church in 1869-70. It is of the Gothic revival style, with polychrome brickwork and an angular, complex roof style. These are all hallmarks of the notable Victorian architect Samuel Sanders Teulon who also constructed the church which was sadly demolished in 1985 because of subsidence. Only some walls and the graveyard remain.

The Chapel appears on maps alongside the rectory so dating to around the same period as the other buildings and kept some interesting original features such as the windows, however, has since been renovated/extended at some point to include a garage. The Rectory remains relatively dilapidated and unmodernised, maintaining its Gothic features, original style timber fenestration and the surrounding, undeveloped land maintains its prominence and significance.

The Find.

Found this place as I dove by the main road opposite and saw the building sticking out above the trees. Saw it was unmodernised and missing roof tiles so had to stop and scout it out. Finding out about the building was difficult as there was no clear address, so it took me a while to locate any history, despite the history of the church being well documented. I eventually found planning information, and saw it was sold by the Church in the past but still no idea if the main building is lived in or when last used.

The Explore.

Going in as always solo. Was easy to park up on the street opposite and then walk down the open but dark due to the shading of the trees, short drive. The Rectory stands imposingly at the end of the drive looking out to the large and grand garden. In its day the garden would have looked lovely but it is now overgrown and unloved.

Access to the chapel is down and around the side of the Rectory. At first, it looks like an ivy-coved garage and as you go into the garage area there are a few benches, tools, and old pots. From the front, you can see there is another second floor above with no clear route of access to it. Also, at the front, there is a bramble-covered door that may lead to another area that I never got to see. It’s not until you go round the back do you see the significance of the building. Only one way round the side to the back and through some wooded area. As you come round the ivy-covered back can spot 3 doors, the far door leads to the Chapel. Was fully expecting the door to be closed but as you get near it was wide open.

At the entrance were a few old sinks, tables, and odds and ends.


To the left is where I spot that it’s not just a random old garage. Stepping over a hole in the floor and turning into the dimly lit room I see that the light is creeping in through some old, cobwebbed Lanceted Windows that Cleary belongs to a church building. The old doors and timber roof shows this must be part of the old church.

The room was full of clutter, a torch was needed to see the old hoovers, tools, and odds and ends.

Going back outside to the ivy floor and up to the middle door, it must be the way up to the second floor but this door is sealed shut by bramble, ivy, and a pile of dirt.

Further up is another door and a peak in here shows you it’s the outside loo and nothing more. From here there is nothing more to see unless you want to see the old ruins of the old church and graveyard that lies at the bottom of the garden and is open to the public.

The car that was originally there on my first visit 6 months previously was now missing so someone had been.

Naked Explore Rating

Ease of Access 7 – Easy to find location. Can drive up and park on the street and walk into the area down an overgrown drive. The chapel building can be accessed by simply stepping through a door at the back, the upstairs was closed off. The main building seems secure and locked up.

History 6 – Long history of the site as being a religious site even before the church was built. The Rectory is considered to be a non-designated heritage asset that’s not listed. Almost nothing can be found about the Chapel or hall apart from being on the maps.

Danger/Safety 7 – A few missing floorboards and lack of light could pose a risk of falling through. Overall the building is in good condition, for the moment as the ivy will soon swallow it up.

Harassment 7 – No sign of anyone around or living in the main building however could not be sure that there was someone there so was hard to enjoy the explore. No nosy neighbors and hidden from roads.

Interest 5 – If this included the main building it would be a much higher score. What there is to explore, are the gardens, then the chapel, which is worth a look and contains a few interesting items. I consider the Church ruins/site to be separate.

Naked Rating of 32 out of 50

The size of the chapel reminds me of a deconsecrated one in Buckinghamshire. A chap who designs and makes furniture bought the building and adapted it to use as a workshop and home. The absolutely solid floor was ideal for his heavy woodworking machinery, and he used the vertical space inside the ex-chapel to construct an uppper floor for his accommodation. He just walked downstairs in the morning and started work.
 

Naked Explore

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The size of the chapel reminds me of a deconsecrated one in Buckinghamshire. A chap who designs and makes furniture bought the building and adapted it to use as a workshop and home. The absolutely solid floor was ideal for his heavy woodworking machinery, and he used the vertical space inside the ex-chapel to construct an uppper floor for his accommodation. He just walked downstairs in the morning and started work.
Love that. Allways great to hear that buildings get reused and brought back to life :)
 

Hayman

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Love that. Allways great to hear that buildings get reused and brought back to life :)
I fully agree. My parents used the loose boxes on the ground floor of the stable block to the 1880 country house they ran as a guest house to keep deep litter hens. The eggs were served for the guests' breakfasts, etc. Later - when guests expected somewhere to garage their cars, they had the loose boxes converted for that purpose. The thick timbers (possibily teak or mahogany) that made up the partitions between the loose boxes was sold for re-use. After we moved away, and the main house was made into flats, the lower floor of the stable block that also included the tack room and coach house was turned into flats; with the upper floor that had been the accommodation for the coachman and groom and families similarly treated. But all put to good use.
 

Naked Explore

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I fully agree. My parents used the loose boxes on the ground floor of the stable block to the 1880 country house they ran as a guest house to keep deep litter hens. The eggs were served for the guests' breakfasts, etc. Later - when guests expected somewhere to garage their cars, they had the loose boxes converted for that purpose. The thick timbers (possibily teak or mahogany) that made up the partitions between the loose boxes was sold for re-use. After we moved away, and the main house was made into flats, the lower floor of the stable block that also included the tack room and coach house was turned into flats; with the upper floor that had been the accommodation for the coachman and groom and families similarly treated. But all put to good use.
Great example of how to save the buildings. So many lost due to short sightedness and a quick payout.
 

Hayman

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Great example of how to save the buildings. So many lost due to short sightedness and a quick payout.
Yes, thankfully the orginal buildings are still there. I've been back a few times to rekindle old memories.
 
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