An Antiques Roadshow expert has bought a former chapel on the Powys border for 60K to convert into a home and workshop - and is calling on others to ‘save these historic structures’.

Wayne Colquhoun, 60, bought Capel Salem in Corris, which still had a pulpit with a Bible in.

He says he fell in love with the 1868 romantic slate structure which had fallen into disrepair.

The Grade II listed chapel upkeep became too expensive for the diminishing congregation and was put up for sale in 2017. 

Wayne bought the chapel for £60k, transforming the upper gallery into a three-bed apartment, adding floorboards covering half the gallery.

Wayne said: “When I bought it the bible was still on the pulpit, as though the congregation had walked out and closed the door.


“When people close the doors on old buildings, that’s the danger point. It gets damp and dry rot sets in.

“These historic structures are evocative of Welsh history and have to be saved - we need people who will put their heart and soul into them because it’s easy to butcher conversions.”

He aims to maintain the lower space and Canadian pitch pine panelling for use as his Antiques and Fine Art shop, moved from Liverpool, plus a pottery and sculpture workshop.

He aims to keep as many original features of the property as possible, from its single-glazed arched windows to reusing the pews as kitchen work surfaces.

County Times:

Nearby, three chapels closest to Capel Salem have closed permanently to worship.

Wayne is in the process of transforming the lower level into his antiques and fine art shop. 

He hopes to hold talks and workshops in the space, aiming to build up to employing locals and 'giving back' to the community.

Just 500 feet away sits Holy Trinity Church which closed its doors in 2020 not through lack of attendance, but through disrepair.

In an attempt to preserve the character of the increasing chapel conversions, historic environment service Cadw has issued guidelines including keeping the front of the chapels untouched, retaining rooms with self-supporting partitions and allowing ‘characteristic features to show through the new walls and floors’.

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Meanwhile the Buildings Trust attempt to conserve Welsh chapels through fundraising and management.

After leaving school Wayne went on to become a specialist in the restoration of historic and listed buildings. 

Wayne has run an art gallery for over two decades and is an independent consultant whose many clients include national museums.

Though Wayne specialises in Art Deco, Art Nouveau and the Applied Arts he loves many other periods and has a general knowledge with over 30 years experience.
He has built up several collections of sculptures and bronzes selling his first to fund a Grand Tour around Europe studying architecture.

In his spare time he plays Jazz clarinet and spends part of his weekends as a potter and sculptor and still tries to take a life drawing class once a week.

Wayne says ''one of the things that he would dearly love to find on the Antiques Roadshow would be a bronze panther by the sculptor Rembrant Bugatti. Or maybe a piece of furniture by his father Carlo. Or one of his bother Ettore's remarkable creations.''