◼ The owner of The Chapel Harrogate gives his first appreciative interview about his audacious conversion to today’s Observer Magazine, supported by thoughtful interior photography. The writer appears impressed by his being a “Yorkshireman” and he in turn gives full value in explaining many of the impulses behind his lifetime of collecting. . .
How a Yorkshireman converted a Methodist chapel into a place to live – and a dramatic backdrop to his art collection
“ Yorkshireman Mark Hinchliffe can vividly recall the spark that ignited his love of collecting. It happened in Leeds City Museum when, as a boy, he stood transfixed in front of a stuffed Indian tiger, its paws bigger than his head. The memory still burns bright 40 years later as he shows me round the 19th-century, former Methodist chapel in Harrogate that he has restored and turned into a home – one he shares with his own vast, “bonkers” collection of art and artefacts. Here, a clutch of feather hats, there a fragment of antique French tapestry, hanging in the “gentlemen’s club room” brocaded military jackets from conflicts past. It’s not exactly a museum – Hinchliffe sometimes wears the jackets while cycling round town – but this is clearly more than just interior decoration. For one thing, every object has a story. . .”