Walpole  Old Chapel


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Suffolk Puritans transformed this timber framed 16th century farmhouse into a simple but dramatic religious building, radically different from the established churches from which they had broken away. No altar, no sign of the cross, no ceremonial. All was simple and bare. They took out ceilings, widened the roof span and supported it with lofty wooden columns. From the discarded timbers they built galleries to seat hundreds of people, the sightlines converging on the central canopied pulpit.

From that commanding position, black robed ministers read from the Bible and preached the lessons learned from it. Their sermons were illuminated by the light of the tall round-headed windows on either side. In later years various furnishings were added, such as the 18th century pine box pews. But the sense of history and the puritan atmosphere remains today. Quiet, undemonstrative, deeply peaceful: there is no place in Britain quite like it.
Below are more pictures showing Original pews in the gallery and "Box Pews" viewed from above.