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Rare chance to visit chapel

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editorial image

A beautiful, tiny chapel and its unusual sculptures will be open to the public on three special open days this year, the first of which is this 
Sunday.

Scotch Corner Chapel, near the village of Oldstead in the North York Moors National Park, was built by local man and 
Ampleforth College master, John Bunting.

The chapel is a war memorial to those who died in the Second World War, in particular former Ampleforth College pupils.

Bunting acquired the land on which the chapel sits in 1956.

It is built on the ruins of an old farmstead, though the history of the plot goes back much further – the Battle of Byland between the English and the Scots took place here in 1322 and there are two Bronze Age burial mounds nearby.

Scotch Corner Chapel is now managed by the Bunting family for the public benefit and is home to many of John Bunting’s sculptural works, including a stone sculpture of a recumbent soldier in paratrooper’s helmet and commando boots.

The National Park Authority has been working with the Bunting family for the past few years to provide chances for people to see inside and talk to John Bunting’s descendants.

Jill Renney from the National Park Authority said: “The chapel makes a great place to stop off on several good walks and bike rides in the area. It’s a fascinating delight and one of the heritage gems for which the North York Moors is so renowned.”

Interest in the chapel grew significantly in 2010 when The Plot was published. The book, written by daughter of John Bunting and Guardian journalist Madeleine Bunting, explores the history of the area and her father’s lifelong attachment to the chapel.

The chapel will be open to the public on Sunday, between 12pm and 4pm, and on July 12 and September 13. The nearest parking is at Sutton Bank National Park Centre, a one and a half mile walk from the chapel.

It is located at Grid Reference SE 526, 814 and directions can be obtained from Sutton Bank National Park Centre on (01845) 597426.

Entry is free.

 

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