The date above the door when the Old Chapel was consecrated reads 1858. That the numbers are still legible is largely down to the fact that until the late 20th Century there was a wooden entrance porch, the outline of which can still be seen.
By the time the photograph below was taken, sometime after the railway first came to Staithes in 1883, the chapel, the first Primitive Methodist chapel in Staithes, days as a place of worship were over. The much bigger new chapel next door, now the heritage centre, was opened in 1880. Instead the old chapel became the Sunday School with villagers to this day remembering being taught there.
The shot below shows the poor state of the property in the late 1990’s. At the time the chapel was on an official risk list of Grade 2 listed buildings in Staithes. You can see the remains of the green entrance porch and the alteration to the entrance allowing exit straight onto the road for carrying benches and tables in and out of the school room. It was reinstated to the original plan during major refurbishment in the early 2000’s.
I first came to Staithes in 1966 when my parents bought a cottage here for long summers throughout my childhood. As an adult I continued to holiday here until in 2015 I decided to put down firmer roots here for my children by buying the Old Chapel which I saw being big enough for extended holidays and Christmases with the wider family. I purchased it from the same family who had first renovated it and ran it as a well-regarded cafe, Stonehaven.
Since then Staithes has weaved its own particular brand of magic and as a family we’ve created so many fabulous new memories here. My brothers and I still find time to go to the beach albeit not in matching outfits nowadays.
My family immortalised here, painted in 2019 by one of the fine Staithes Gallery artists.
Above the front door you’ll find Lifelights® – painted stained glass windows depicting some of my late wife’s passions. They represent the art deco light at the Rex Cinema, children’s book character Inspector Hound, the Harry Potter Hogwarts logo, the ancient Durham Cathedral knocker and the battlements at Knebworth House. See www.golightlyglass.com for details if you like the idea of celebrating precious memories in a glass montage.
Enjoy the house, have a great holiday in Staithes.
A holiday like no other.