Chapel of the Month – December 2015

Petre Chapel, Brentwood, Essex ~ Grade II*

For December we have something a little different… An appeal to help save the Petre Chapel Angels from the Historic Chapels Trust.

The chapel was built as the mortuary chapel of the Petre family, leading Catholic family of Essex, near to the former family seat at Thorndon Hall. Dedicated in 1857, the chapel is the work of architect William Wardell (1823-1899), a Catholic convert, who emigrated to Australia. St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne and St Mary’s Sydney are both his work.

Petre Chapel

Petre Chapel

When Trust took over the Petre Chapel it was ravaged by the elements and wanton vandalism. The Trust improved security and management and urgently patch repaired the roof to protect the timbers where there had been a leak for years. Now the Trust needs to replace the 160 year old tiles to safeguard the long term future of the magnificent Petre Chapel Angels.

Historic England (formerly English Heritage) and the Country Houses Foundation have agreed very generous grants, leaving HCT with just £3,000 to raise. Subject to raising the money the Trust aims to go out to tender early in 2016 and to start building work as soon as the local bats have stopped hibernating and drier weather is in prospect.

While the scaffolding is up, the Trust will undertake a careful structural survey of the hammer-beam roof and a conservation survey of the apparently original paint scheme. This will enable a careful restoration of the paintwork and gilding in line with the original scheme.

So, will you help save the Petre Chapel Angels? Every £1 the Trust raises enables them to draw down nearly £43 in grants from Historic England and the Country Houses Foundation.

If you would like to help, download and complete the Petre Chapel Appeal donation form.

You can find out more about Petre Chapel on the HCT website.

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