FOR a stunning example of a successful modern conversion, you need look no further than The Old Meeting House.
Nestled in the heart of Bolster Moor, the nineteenth century former Baptist chapel and Sunday school was converted into a home in the 1970s.
Today, it is a breathtaking property and represents the perfect marriage between old and new, offering chic contemporary living combined with beautiful period architecture.
The three-bedroom home offers a slice of the idyllic country lifestyle with its to-die-for views.
Sarah Willis has lived in the stone-built house for three years, but a new career opportunity in York for her husband means that she has to leave her one-of-a-kind ho me.
“It was a house that had to be snapped up because it was such a one-off”, said Sarah. “It’s got a huge amount of soul which I don’t think can be replicated elsewhere.”
The property was originally Clough Head Baptist Chapel and Sunday School, which was built around 1860 and which remained popular with the community until it was closed in the 1960s.
The chapel lay dormant for several years before a local builder bought and renovated it into a home in 1979.
The property has spacious living accommodation, with three bedrooms and three bathrooms, but has planning permission for a large loft conversion which would add three extra bedrooms and one bathroom.
Each room in the vast property has been superbly finished, blending contemporary and classic styles with some lovely modern features and furnishings completed by a neutral palette of wall shades.
The bedrooms are all spacious and the master bedroom in particular offers the height of luxury with its walk-in wardrobe and sleekly-kitted out en suite shower room.
The imposing living room is lovely and oozes grandeur, with the original arched windows from the chapel giving breathtaking views across the Colne Valley.
“It’s a lovely room”, said Sarah. “It’s the pièce de résistance of the house – it’s 30ft long and 20ft wide – and has the amazing arched windows from floor to ceiling which we get views of every direction from.
“The kitchen diner is also lovely as it’s extremely spacious and, again, gets lots of light. The views are very much a feature of this house, something you just can’t buy.”
Photographs of the property taken around 1959 show how much the inside structure has changed. For example where the organ can be seen in the photograph is where the chimney breast in the living room is now.
The chapel then would have been an open space up to the roof, where the original oak trusses and beams would have been on display to all. It was later split into levels but the stunning arches remain of a lasting reminder of the building’s former life.
Despite being converted before Sarah moved into the house, she found that it still needed a great deal of work to bring it up to date for modern living.
Sarah said: “The house needed a lot of updating when we moved in.
“We put in a new kitchen and added an on-suite and walk-in wardrobe to the master bedroom. We added an extra bathroom on the lower ground floor and moved the old utility room as part of the remodelling of the kitchen to turn it into a kitchen diner.
“Every single room has been redecorated and re-carpeted and we brought the gardens back to their former glory.
“The great thing about the house is that it has still got a huge amount of potential for further development. It’s possible to convert the attic space, which is over 700sqft – this would create a massive amount of extra living space and would make the property a very sizeable six or seven bedroom house.
“The trusses and beams are still in the attic space and elements of the beams of the roof could easily be left exposed and incorporated into the conversion to enhance the character of the property further.”
The property, which sits on greenbelt land, also boasts some stunning gardens, including a former bowling green, which are vast and beautifully presented and attract a variety of wildlife.
“It’s only five minutes from the centre of Huddersfield and it’s got very good access to the M62, but it feels quite rural which is lovely”, added Sarah.
“I’m really going to miss the views and the location– I don’t think I will be able to find a home quite like it again.”
lThe Old Meeting House in on the market for £499,950. To arrange a viewing contact Bramleys estate agents on 01484 530361.