Updated: Sep 19, 2021
Upon this rock, I build my church. -Matthew 16:18
If you've made it here, it's likely because your curiosity is piqued. You may be asking the 'who, what, and why' behind The Little Chapel at Haven Ridge. Today we aim to begin delving deeper into the inspiration and the manifestation that has evolved into this private, family-owned Old English-inspired stone chapel towering at 34 feet tall currently under construction in North Carolina.
When arriving as this hidden gem, guests say that the fifty-four acres of sprawling meadows transport them to the countryside and another time in history entirely, where they can reconnect with nature and a simpler way of life. The grounds offer endless possibilities, including a cascading waterfall, 1.25-acre natural spring-filled lake, as well as shady woodlands- which daughter, Mollie recalls most fondly exploring in her youth. It is the Bradford family that is at the heart of this project.
After all, the Little Chapel's slogan is, "Rooted in love", a mantra the family conveys through the community they are cultivating here through sharing their sacred space with others, while preserving the natural beauty and wildlife of the land.
Every square inch of the 600 square foot chapel has been custom crafted by North Carolina-based artisans using authentic craftsmanship and artistry techniques of those used hundreds of years ago, making the sanctuary feel genuine and deeply personal. The project was a dream sparked in NC native, David Bradford, nearly two decades ago.
Prior to developing his concept for the chapel, David was an entrepreneur, having no pastoral or theological experience. He simply felt that he had a calling placed on his heart that would take nearly 15 years to emerge into a clear vision.
It wasn't until 2015 that he expressed his vision with daughter, Mollie for constructing a small chapel on the 54-acre property adjacent to the home where he and his wife, Jan had raised their four children. As a creative, Mollie was immediately on board and started looking for inspiration. After stumbling upon St. Catherine's at Bell Gable in Arkansas, Mollie and David knew they'd found the chapel that carried the spirit and style they wanted to convey. David and Jan twice visted to meet the Boyton family who constructed the Fayetteville chapel, where they shared their similar passions giving their blessing to bring that newfound direction back to the East Coast. The Little Chapel would evolve over the years, but they would stay connected with the sweet family who ignited that spark to continue forward with their journey. Together, this passion project has taken form with the collaborative help of their architect and builder, creating a truly special family sanctuary nestled in the city of Winston-Salem, NC.
For now, the Bradfords welcome photo sessions and picnics in the meadows for guests and friends/family, who wish to share in this sacred space to celebrate life's most meaningful moments. They hope to one day host intimate ceremonies. In the meantime, follow the family's journey on Instagram, find out why the space is a photographer's paradise, and read below more on architectural details that will make The Little Chapel at Haven Ridge one of a kind.
Era- 16th century Old English/Scottish
Holds 45-50 people
Roof- Salvaged from a 200-year-old tile from a 100-year-old structure from Winston-Salem, NC. Fingerprints from the original Monk clay tile artisans are embedded into tiles from pre-kiln firing.
Exterior & interior stone- Selected by David and Jan Bradford from a rock quarry in Tennessee.
Timbers & Floor- Made from oak and pine harvested from a forest in Madison, NC. Trusses are oak. The Floor is pine 12” wide boards. Aged, cut, and hand-hewed with techniques authentic to the 16th century period.
Doors & hardware- Made from oak. Aged to give a 500-year aged appearance. Hand-forged steel hardware.
Symbols & Statues: St. Paul is the figure depicted above the entrance doorway. He holds a sword representing spiritual armor/the word of God. Celtic crosses represent the family’s Scottish heritage.
Builder- Steve Frucht of Benchmark Custom Homes from Clemmons, NC
Architect- Steven Cole of Cole Builders from Danbury, NC
Artist- Sketched by Patti Sheets from Germanton, NC
Built by- Salem Stained Glass in East Bend, NC. Glass from Germany. Hand-painted Patti’s artwork onto the glass.
Designers- Jan, Mollie and David Bradford selected the scripture and glass. Worked closely with the artist to design the artwork.
Side windows- 7 foot tall. Framed in 500 year old stone from England. Colors and pattern designed to match 150-year-old interior door.
The Cascading Waterfall
Rocks- Hand selected from creeks and riverbeds of Tennessee and Virginia
Built and designed by John Newman from NC.
Sarah Nell Lake
1.25 acres filled with natural springs
Named in loving memory of Sarah Nell, Jan’s (matriarch) late mother who passed in 1973.
Brimming with fish, including the Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie (and a few Catfish).
~14 feet at the deepest part of the lake
Built by Bryan McDaniels from Mocksville, NC