BBC Antiques Roadshow expert buys chapel for £60k and transforms it into home and workshop

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Wayne hopes to preserve as many original features as possible -Credit:No credit

An Antiques Roadshow expert has taken on the challenge of converting a former chapel he purchased for £60,000 into a home and workshop - and is urging others to help preserve such historic buildings.

Wayne Colquhoun, 60, purchased Capel Salem in Corris, Wales, which came complete with an original pulpit and Bible. He says he immediately fell in love with the charm of the 1868 slate structure which had become derelict.

The Grade II listed buildings' upkeep became too expensive for the small congregation, and was put on the market in 2017. Across Wales, chapels are often said to be left falling into disrepair, demolition, or undergoing conversions that don't do justice to their heritage.

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Wanting to save the piece of history, Wayne has since transformed the upper gallery into a three-bed apartment, whilst 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."

Wayne aims to maintain the lower space for use as his Antiques and Fine Art shop, moved from Liverpool, plus a pottery and sculpture workshop. He is currently in process of converting the lower level, where he hopes to hold talks and workshops, aiming to build up to employing locals and 'giving back' to the community.

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Wayne Colquhoun, 60, inside Chapel Salem in Corris in Wales -Credit:Debbie Luxon/Cambrian News© SWNS

The antiques expert hopes 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.

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'.

After leaving school Wayne went on to become a specialist in the restoration of historic and listed buildings. he has run an art gallery for over two decades and is an independent consultant whose many clients include national museums.

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Inside the chapel -Credit:No credit

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.''