Thursday, 13 November 2008

The lesser chapels of Cumbria

The lesser Chapels of Cumbria

There are literally, hundreds of small chapels scattered throughout Cumbria....some still in use, and others converted for other uses. Here is a small sample of these fascinating buildings.

Staveley Wesleyan Chapel

Built in 1876, and situated in the small village of Staveley, just off the A591, this tiny Wesleyan chapel has long since been de-consecrated. The chapel now has a new lease of life as accommodation.

It doesn't appear to be a listed building and there is scant information to be found on its history, or it's current use etc.

Sprintgill Methodist chapel

Actually situated at a point on the A683 between Low Dovengill and Low Sprintgill, this tiny Methodist chapel was built in 1861.

The location here is fantastic, with Kirkby Stephen to the North, and Sedbergh some way to the South.

Spark Bridge Wesleyan Chapel (disused)

This now disused chapel sits on a small West leading B road just off the A5092 between Greenod and Broughton In Furness.

Although this chapel is now disused, it is structurally sound and in good condition.

I think, from some internet research, that this building may have been erected in 1664, but all documentation relating to this mid 17th century chapel, states that it is in a state of disrepair. Perhaps not this building.

Sedbergh United Reformed Church

The United Reformed Church in Sedbergh is located just off Main Street.

Sedbergh Methodist Chapel

The Methodist Chapel can be found on New Street, a few hundred yards from the United Reformed Church building.

Ravenstonedale United Reformed Chapel

Situated in the small village of Ravenstonedale, this early 18th century chapel sits in its own grounds back off the street. There was a chapel here from 1662, when the United Reformed Church in Ravenstonedale was founded, but this building dates from 1726.

New windows and some extension work was carried out in 1868, but the building we see today is essentially the original.

Ravenstonedale Methodist Chapel

Known locally as the Wesleyan Centenary Chapel, this building was erected in 1839.

Newbiggin Wesleyan Chapel (disused, but now inhabited)

This beautiful ex-Wesleyan chapel, situated in Newbiggin, North of Penrith, was built in 1867.

It has now been converted into a beautiful house.

Milnthorpe Methodist Chapel

The Methodist chapel in Milnthorpe sits on the main road running through the village, just after the traffic lights. The building was opened on the 27th of September 1904. It cost the village a grand total of £1075 to build.

This chapel was designed by J.F.Curwen, a well known Lakeland architect who was responsible for the design and building of some of Cumbria's most interesting buildings.

Kendal Wesleyan Chapel

John Wesley apparently first preached in Kendal on the 9th of April in 1753 in the same room that Benjamin Ingham (see the Inghamite chapel below) preached in. John Wesley's works were carried on by John Whitefield and Stephen Brunskill, who preached to a startled audience from the steps of the building now identified as the Working Men's Institute.

A large Methodist congregation began to grow, and were forced to look for a larger place to meet. The play house, situated in the Market Place in the middle of Kendal was more than suitable, and the Wesleyans met here until 1808 when a purpose built chapel was erected at the bottom of Windermere Road.

As the congregation grew, the chapel became too small, and it was replaced in 1882 by the building we see today. The chapel was opened on the 29th of March, 1883. Originally, this building had an ornate wall topped with and iron fence all around it, and its own burial ground.

The wall and the railings were removed during the Second World War, and the burials and headstones were relocated to the Parkside Road Cemetery.

Kendal Primitive Methodist Chapel

This small Primitive Methodist chapel can be found on Low Fell Side in Kendal, just above Booths. Also known as Job Pennington's Memorial, it was built in 1899.

If you look closely at the front of the chapel, the stone work around the porch is covered in names and initials, possibly representing those who put money towards the building of this small chapel. The precursor to this chapel appears to have been a converted house on Castle Street, equipped to seat nearly 250 people. I've not identified which house this would have been (if it's still standing) but will endeavour to find out which one it was.

Plans for this chapel were drawn up in 1898. The building work was put out to tender, and various local companies and individuals eventually took on the work. Robert Pennington, son of Job Pennington was employed in building the walls, a Mr Jackson was employed for plumbing work, some painting and glazing, a Mr Davis was employed for some plastering work and a Mr Martindale was employed for some carpentry work. In April of 1899, the foundation stone was laid by Mrs Bryce of Burneside, who received a silver trowel as a reminder of the event. A special tea party was laid on for those who attended the stone laying, and at 9p a head, a total of £79 was raised. The chapel was finally opened for worship in October 1899. The first sermon preached at the new chapel was performed by Mr Jackson from Bowes.

Kendal Inghamite Chapel (disused, now inhabited)

This beautiful building, erected in 1844, replaced an earlier chapel housed in Pear Tree Barn and probably dated from around 1756.

The Inghamites were a Calvanistic sect started by Benjamin Ingham after he broke away from the Church of England.

Locally, the Inghamites, and other dissenter groups, were not much liked, and were not allowed to bury their dead in any of the town's church yards.

The Inghamites managed to buy a small parcel of land at the top of Beast Banks, and from 1760 to 1855, buried their dead here. The doorway, with its stone carved lintel can still be seen a few yards from the chapel.

Sometime after 1844, the chapel's minister, John Huck died, and was interred beneath the floor of his beloved chapel.

His remains were not removed from here until around 1985 when the building was converted to flats.

Frostrow Methodist Chapel

There's not much information regarding this small chapel. It can be found on the A684 about a mile and a half East of Sedbergh.

The date stone above the chapel's door, indicates that it was probably built in 1886.

Cautley Methodist Chapel

This chapel, about two miles North East of Sedbergh, can be found on the A683, a few hundred yards South of Cautley church. It's almost identical to the chapel at Sprintgill (detailed above)

This chapel was built in 1845.

Broughton In Furness Wesleyan Chapel

This rather dour looking chapel sits in the middle of Broughton In Furness, and was built in 1875.

Barrow In Furness Wesleyan Chapel (disused and in a state of disrepair)

The last chapel, at least for now, lays on the outskirts of Barrow In Furness, I think, on the A5087. It is obviously in a very sorry state of repair.

There are two stone carved memorials which need some work doing on them before I can determine what they say. I'll post back when this has been done.

Carlisle City Church

Carlisle College Chapel.

Carlisle United Reformed Church.

Holme (Methodist?) Chapel.

Levens Methodist Chapel.

There are a huge number of tiny chapels dotted all around our great county, some in use, some derelict and some that have, thankfully, found a new lease in life. As more of these are photographed, they'll appear on this page.

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