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Breakfast is included with all standard rate direct room bookings, however special offers may not include breakfast.

History

At the Chapel inhabits a Grade II listed, 17th century former chapel. In the 17th and 18th centuries the site was known as The Swan Inn. By the 18th century the High Street had become the most significant street in the town with the most valuable commercial frontages. The owner was Lord Charles Berkeley, but by the 1770s it had changed hands several times and was sold to the Ward family. With the wool trade in decline at that time, they brought the silk industry to Bruton from Sherborne in the neighbouring county of Dorset. During this period the building was used as a Silk House, part of the extensive silk production in Bruton which, by 1798 had several silk mills and a factory for spinning.

The silk industry continued in Bruton well into the 19th century but in 1803 the building ceased its commercial use and, having been sold as ‘a disused factory’, was converted into a congregational Victorian chapel. The auditorium, plain in structure – which is now At the Chapel’s galleried restaurant and bar – was added in 1836, at a cost of about £450. The stone frontage, of Doulting stone, a local limestone, that survives today is reputed to have been built at the same time, although it more likely that it dates from the earlier conversion of 1803.

The last service, held in the 1960s, was the organ master’s funeral. The building was then bought by Dutch Resistance hero Henk Huffener, who named it Atlantis Buildings. The basement was converted to use as a recording studio and was reputedly used by such rock bands as Tangerine Dream and Genesis, and it was even a Sixties’ hippy commune. Falling into disrepair, it was brought back to life by Catherine Butler and Ahmed Sidki after painstaking restoration between 2002 and 2008, when it opened as At the Chapel.

The stunning, double-height, galleried Restaurant, with its awe-inspiring arched windows at one end, is a meeting place for locals and visitors from all corners of the globe, to eat and relax, in atmospheric, convivial surroundings hung with modern art. A medieval well can be seen in what is now the Club Room.

At the Chapel is tucked into Bruton’s narrow high street, which is packed with independent shops and ancient houses, many dating back to medieval times and sits above the meandering River Brue. The restaurant, and some of the rooms, enjoy a southerly outlook. The sun-dappled, south-facing terrace, looks out across a timeless pastoral scene to Bruton’s iconic ruined stone Dovecot, a mysterious, solitary 16th century structure on a distant hill.

In July 2022 At the Chapel was bought by us, the Stay Original Company, an award-winning South-West-based boutique hotel and pub group. We specialise in reviving beautiful old West country buildings and converting them into vibrant places to eat and stay. We’re proud to have At the Chapel as part of our group and look forward to continuing on Cath and Ahmed’s amazing project.

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