The Chapel House is a well-known landmark in Blackfen Road, near Blendon. Originally a small cottage, it was modified into a folly in the 1760s when John Boyd of Danson acquired the land on which it was sited. The turret, spire and pointed windows give the impression of a chapel, but it has always only ever been a dwelling house.
In the garden of the Chapel House was a well. Garth Groombridge, who wrote a history of the building in 1955, asserts that “the well was some sort of pilgrim’s halting place in medieval times”. But then Groombridge did have some eccentric views…. [See ‘comments’ below]
A mock tomb was built to cover the well, and on the ‘tombstone’ was a skull and crossbones. According to Groombridge the skull and crossbones was a joke and was meant to deter people from trying to drink from the well. This was either because the water had become unsafe to drink or (more likely) John Boyd didn’t want riff-raff venturing onto his newly-acquired land which he had incorporated into his Danson estate.