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Monksthorpe Chapel

3 Reviews
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Monksthorpe Chapel

3 Reviews
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alanaway2016 wrote a review Nov 2019
Evesham, United Kingdom256 contributions30 helpful votes
Started at Gunby hall and walked to Monksthorpe Chapel 7 miles as a circular route. Easy to follow paths and signposted well. Download the map and route fro the NT site for Gunby Hall. Although the chapel is closed the information boards can be read through the windows.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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Christopher D wrote a review Mar 2019
Nottingham, United Kingdom375 contributions190 helpful votes
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One of my pet hates on TripAdvisor (apart from the pathetic ‘new’ layout and its seemingly unflinching belief that all people want to use it for is to book flights) is when people refer to something as a “hidden gem.” It seems as though it is entirely academic whether the place/restaurant/café/attraction has a 60ft neon sign guiding you to its doors, someone somewhere will still refer to it as a hidden gem. Monksthorpe Chapel however is one of those rare occurrences where something can legitimately be referred to as a hidden gem, for without an up to date sat-nav or very good local geographical knowledge, you’re not going to stumble across this place. Tucked away in the tiny hamlet of Monksthorpe (basically just a small road/dirt track in the middle of some fields) is this small, unassuming little chapel that, were you to pay it no heed, you would take to be a large barn. This is deliberate, for the building – a Baptist Chapel – was designed to look like a barn to avoid any unwanted attention at a time when the Church of England was all powerful and any schism in religious worship led to direct persecution. That time was the early 18th Century and it was in 1701 that this chapel (or “meeting house”) was built on land given to the worshippers by Hugh Ayscoghe of nearby Halton Holegate. The building is a simple brick construction and, at the time of construction, had a thatched roof. Sadly this thatched roof is now gone as it was replaced by a tiled roof during a renovation in 1847. The inside is very sparse and again, this is deliberate. The Baptist worshippers were keen to ensure it was a very simple house of worship with no risk of idol worship. Therefore you will not see any stained glass windows, merely plain clear glass. The chapel is very small and yet manages to house to the main two rows of seating, a pulpit, two vestries (ridiculously small simple rooms) and an upper gallery with additional seating that can be accessed by a narrow little staircase immediately on your right as you enter the chapel. It is staggeringly simple and yet immensely lovely. One nice touch is that Hugh Ayscoghe (who gave the land to the Baptists) is buried underneath where the pulpit now sits and his gravestone can still be seen. There is also a full immersion Baptism font built out the front of the Chapel and this dates approximately to 1701 also. It is believed this is only one of about two examples in this country. In 2001 The National Trust took ownership of Monksthorpe Chapel and therefore in order to gain access to the chapel you have to acquire the large key for it from the tea rooms at nearby NT property Gunby Hall. It is a short drive (or a moderate walk from the hall) and you will require a £20 refundable deposit in order to acquire the key. Gunby Hall gets many visitors and I would urge all of them to add Monksthorpe Chapel into their visit as well. Whilst the work of The National Trust is undoubtedly amazing, a huge amount of credit must also go to The Friends of Monsthorpe – a group of volunteers who formed in 1991 upon the rediscovering of the chapel by the Baptist community. It was under their stewardship that the Chapel was rededicated and services began there once again. I have been in many great churches and cathedrals in my time, but there is something so fundamentally different and wonderful about Monksthorpe Chapel that it really does have to be seen. It really is a hidden gem…
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Date of experience: March 2019
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2014Jandy wrote a review Oct 2017
Nottingham, United Kingdom6,657 contributions822 helpful votes
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We visited this chapel while we were staying in the area. It is tucked away and it took us a few attempts to find it and eventually we did. It is now looked after by the National Trsut who have done a great job providing information and history about the chapel. We were lucky enough to see inside when we visited but if locked you can collect the key from a nearby farm. There is a small area a short walk away to park your car.
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Date of experience: October 2017
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