4:25pm Tuesday 14th May 2013
A TINY chapel built by a renowned sculptor as a memorial to courageous former pupils killed during the Second World War is to be opened to the public.
Scotch Corner Chapel, in the North York Moors, features a range of unusual sculptures by John Bunting, whose pupils at Ampleforth College included Angel of the North creator Anthony Gormley.
Mr Bunting, who was an art teacher at the college for 40 years, built the chapel in 1957 at an isolated former farmstead near Sutton Bank, which is surrounded by woodland, and many local residents remain unaware of its existence.
He said it was his “attempt at repayment on a debt that cannot be repaid" to three Old Amplefordians who died while he was an evacuee at the school during the war.
The chapel’s central sculpture is of a recumbent soldier wearing a paratrooper's helmet and Commando boots, to honour Special Operations Executive hero Hugh Dormer.
Mr Dormer twice parachuted into France on secret missions to destroy an oil plant, which only he and one other soldier survived, before being killed aged 25 in 1944 after the Normandy landings.
The chapel is surrounded by artworks and stained glass by the sculptor, who was a protégé of Robert ‘Mousey’ Thompson, of Kilburn and eminent sculptor Henry Moore.
The chapel was named Scotch Corner as it is the site of the Battle of Byland between the English and the Scots in 1322.
A spokeswoman for the North York Moors National Park Authority said it had been working with the family of Mr Bunting, who died in 2002, for four years to provide chances for people to see inside the unique chapel and talk to his descendants.
The chapel, directions to which are available from the Sutton Bank National Park Centre, will be open for on Saturday (May 18), Saturday, July 20 and on Saturday, September 14, from noon to 4pm.
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