A former chapel, which was once the practising ground for the singer songwriter and guitarist Steve Marriott, from the 1960s mod rock band Small Faces, is being sold by leading local estate agent, Mullucks Wells.
Chapel at High Laver was spotted by the current owners three years ago when it was derelict. Karen and Peter Hellmers, fell in love with its location and potential, and risked buying the decrepit building before any planning permission was agreed.
During the renovation, one of the gems discovered in the overgrown garden was a sign ‘1862’, which was once on the outside of the building showing when the chapel was built. This date was also the name of the unfinished fourth record of Small Faces – and the material appeared on a compilation album – The Autumn Stone, released in 1969.
Steve Marriott tragically died in a fire at his north Essex home in Arkesden in 1991. But at the height of his music career he lived next door to this former chapel in High Laver and used it as a studio, once the building had been deconsecrated in the 1960s. He was posthumously awarded an Ivor Novello award for his Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
The Hellmers masterminded the conversion of the chapel and its interior design themselves – something they say they are both passionate about. Martin Young from Mullucks Wells said, “The owners have managed to achieve the perfect balance of preserving a historic building, yet designing a wonderful modern living area with an industrial twist such as the striking staircase. It’s not a vast property, yet light floods through it and it’s very airy.”
Karen Hellmers said, “When we bought the chapel, it was almost swamped by undergrowth and we put in an offer before even seeing inside. But once we did the layout of rooms was obvious. The building lent itself perfectly to being open plan - it’s a great social space and a fabulous place in which to entertain friends.”
Chapel, High Laver is on the market for £675,000 with Mullucks Wells on 01992 560560.