Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Independent Chapel, Lowther Street

Independent Chapel
Lowther Street

This spectacular building can be found about half way down Lowther Street in the middle of Kendal on the Northern side. The first photo shows the building looking East down Lowther Street.

The second photo shows the building looking West, up Lowther street.

Most of the buildings on Lowther Street were built in the mid to late 1700's, and this chapel is no exception. Originally erected in 1782, it was completely re-faced in 1828...so what its original facade would have looked like is anyone's guess. As far as it's previous life as a chapel is concerned, this building, now used as Council offices, only hints at its former use. There are a couple of hidden decorative corbels still in existence, poking through the more recent hanging ceiling.

The chapel was originally a place of worship for the Independents, who 'custom built' the chapel in 1781\82. They eventually left the building and were replaced by the Congregationalists. A Sunday School was added to the building in 1829, and the whole building was refurbished in 1886. The building was again refurbished in 1902, but this time seating for around 400 worshipers was provided. The Congregationalists subsequently moved out of the building in 1929, passing it on as a place of worship to the Primitive Methodists. The building was officially opened as a Primitive Methodist chapel in 1930, but by 1935 the cost of maintaining such a large building was becoming too much for the dwindling congregation. The building was sold to Kendal Borough Council in 1937, and by the middle of 1938, the Primitive Methodists had left for a property in a yard between Stramongate and New Road. The Lowther street building eventually became part of the South Lakeland District Council offices, and remains so to this day.

No comments: