Derbyshire Places of Worship

Buxton United Reformed Church, Buxton (34k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Alf Beard
Buxton United Reformed Church, Buxton
Buxton United Reformed Church,
Hardwick Square East, SK17 9PT,
Buxton, Derbyshire.

Cemeteries

We believe the Church does NOT have a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1810, and we understand it is still open.

Bagshaw's Directory of 1846 records that the Independents had a chapel in Spring Gardens. An Independent Chapel is also mentioned in White's Directory of 1857, which adds that its pastor was the Rev. Thos. G. Potter.

Neither records the date of its erection, but the Archaeological Assessment Report for Buxton, on the Archaeology Data Service website (part of Derbyshire Extensive Urban Survey, p.19) records that it opened in 1810, and stood at the southern end of what was to become Holker Road; and that "it had a number of uses following its closure, including a theatre and stables (Leach 1987)".

It is curious, therefore that it is not mentioned in the Religious Census of 1851; though possibly its congregation was in a process of transition at the time, as it was replaced by a new building on Hardwick Street in 1859. Bulmer's Directory of 1895 describes it as "an imposing looking edifice of cut-freestone erected in 1859, at a cost of over £2,000, and subsequently enlarged in 1880 at a further outlay of about £1,000". It was said to comprise nave, aisles, porch, tower, with hexagonal spire, and lecture room. The nave and aisles were separated by five pointed arches resting upon circular metal pillars, with octagonal bases, and ornamented with floral designs. The chancel was laid with encaustic tiles, and contained a handsome stained glass window of five lights. The Rev. Robert Rew was then its minister.

The following notice in The London Gazette of 28th November 1862 (p.5939) recorded its registration for marriages:

NOTICE is hereby given, that a separate building, named the Congregational Church, situated at Buxton, in the parish of Bakewell, in the county of Derby, in the district of Chapel-en-le-Frith, being a building, certified according to law as a place of religious worship, was, on the 25th day of November, 1862, duly registered for solemnizing marriages therein, pursuant to the Act of the 6th and 7th Wm. IV., cap. 85. Dated 26th November 1862.

Sadly, however this building has been demolished, and services are now held in the Church's former Sunday School, on Hardwick Square East, which Bulmer's Directory records as erected in 1880, for the accomodation of 170 scholars. It is believed the above-mentioned "handsome stained glass window" was transferred to the new premises, after the move took place.

According to the above-mentioned Archaeological Assessment Report, the demolition took place in 1983, and blocks of flats now occupy the site. The transfer of premises probably took place some years before that, as a cancellation of the registration for marriages of "BUXTON UNITED REFORM CHURCH, Hardwick Mount, Buxton", was reported in the Gazette of 29th June 1979 (p.8294).

When I first visited Buxton URC website in 2015, they had photographs of their 200-year celebration; on my more recent visit in December 2018, I learned some other good news. They had recently welcomed back another "treasure" from their first building - a classic 19th century Broadwood grand piano, which had been given by regular worshippers in the 1930s!

The following information about the Church has been provided to accompany the photographs on the right. A list of people who have supplied the information is included in the Acknowledgements, below.

[Image 1] The origins of Buxton United Reformed Church can be traced to an Independent Chapel in Spring Gardens, built by subscription, but by 1861 its congregation had raised sufficient funds to build a more substantional Church. Kelly's Directory of 1932 refers to the latter as being in Hardwick Mount, and “a building in the Decorated Gothic style, with a tower and spire at the south-west angle, and 500 sittings”.

Sadly, this building was demolished in the 1980s,[1] however there is an old postcard showing it on Steve Bulman's Churches of Britain and Ireland website.[2]

The present day building (shown in the photograph above) is its former Sunday school, on Hardwick Square East, which dates from around 1880.

References
[1] See the Archaeological Assessment Report for Buxton, on the Archaeology Data Service website (part of Derbyshire Extensive Urban Survey, p.24).
[2] Labelled as “U.R.C. on Hardwick Square East” on the page for Churches of Britain and Ireland: Buxton, Derbyshire.[1]

Denomination

Now or formerly Independent/Congregational.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.

Maps

This Church is located at OS grid reference SK0609273354. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Resources

I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Buxton, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Acknowledgements

A special thanks to the following people who have contributed information for this web page:

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Information last updated on 16 Dec 2018 at 16:16.

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This Report was created 30 Jun 2019 - 02:50:46 BST from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 6 Feb 2019 at 15:49.

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