This Ripon chapel has been a supermarket, hi-fi shop and offices. Now the landmark building is up for sale and may be reborn as flats or a bar/restaurant. Sharon Dale reports.
The imposing grade II listed former Methodist chapel on Coltsgate Hill in Ripon has been reborn many times since services ceased in the early 1960s. It was first put to use as U-Save, Ripon’s first supermarket. Music filled its hallowed interiors when a hi-fi retailer took over in the 1970s. More recently, it has been used as offices by accountancy firm Eura Audit.
Now the landmark building, which is close to the Marketgate retail development and the Curzon cinema, looks all set for another reincarnation after being put up for sale with a price tag of £500,000.
Owned by the Knoll Charitable Trust, the site was home to an earlier chapel where Methodist movement founder John Wesley preached in 1780. The large, two-storey building cost £2,000 to construct and was opened in October 1861. It was deconsecrated in 1963 when the chapel merged with nearby Allhallowgate Methodist Church.
Barrie Price, a former mayor of Ripon, who chairs the Knoll Charitable Trust, which bought the chapel in 1986 in the hope that it would become a community or arts centre, said: “With the upkeep of the building becoming more and more of a burden we are hoping that a prospective buyer will be able to regenerate the old chapel to create something that will be a really positive addition for the city.
“Ripon is becoming an increasingly prosperous and attractive place with some fantastic shops, restaurants and a cinema, and it would be great to see the old building get a new lease of life as quality residential accommodation or maybe even a bar or restaurant – I’m sure there are lots of possibilities.”
Toby Cockcroft of Croft Residential, the York-based agency that is marketing the chapel, added: “The old chapel is a gem of a building that could become something really special in the hands of a creative developer. It’s in a great location in a city which has gone from strength to strength in recent years. As it is something of an icon in Ripon we have had a great deal of interest already in it and potential buyers have been putting forward some very imaginative ideas for its redevelopment. It will be interesting to see which one eventually comes to fruition.”
A preliminary planning application has been submitted to Harrogate Borough Council for conversion of the chapel to residential use. For further information contact Toby Cockcroft at Croft Residential on 01904 238222.