Derbyshire Places of Worship

Unitarian Chapel (Demolished), Stoney Middleton (47k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Peter & Janet Kirk
Unitarian Chapel (Demolished), Stoney Middleton
Unitarian Chapel (Demolished),
Bottom Cliff,
Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire.

Cemeteries

We believe the Chapel did 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 before 1702, but we understand it was closed after 1851.

The building shown in this photograph is not the original Chapel It was built on the site of the Chapel as the village Reading Room, but since then it has been converted into a private residence.

The Chapel was thought originally to have closed as a place of worship in 1829, but this appears not to have been the case, as there is an entry for it on the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/449/3/16/3). It was described as "Presbyterian Chapel", in the "parish or place" of "Bank, Stony Middleton, Eyam Parish", erected as a separate building, used exclusively as a place of worship, by a Presbyterian congregation. The usual number of attendants on the Sabbath was given as 7 in the morning, with no service in the afternoon or evening, and no Sunday School. No date was given for when it was erected, and the space for the number of sittings was left blank. The dearth of information is understandable, given the meagre congregation, and the fact that the form was filled in by the Registrar himself, Josiah Payne, of Tideswell, Derbyshire.

The Reading Room which ultimately replaced it is dedicated to the memory of the second Baron Denman of Dovedale. He is described in Thomas Cowen's History of Stoney Middleton (1910) as the "amiable and accomplished, though eccentric, peer, whose special hobby was the raising of a certain breed of black pigs" - he is said to have taken them around in his carriage, to give as presents to his friends. He died in 1894, aged 89. The Reading Room, according to Kelly's Directory of 1932, was erected and opened in 1898, and "was enlarged and reconstructed in 1920, and is now managed by a committee of nine members".

The following information about the Chapel 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 plaque which can be seen above the doorway, and just below the eaves says:-

In Loving Memory of
2nd Baron Denman
of Dovedale.

This site was once occupied by a Unitarian Chapel. “The aged preacher came from Great Hucklow to Middleton every Sunday until the congregation gradually dwindled away. The building was then sold to Lord Denman. A private school was afterwards kept in the Chapel for a time by Mr. Dyer, one of the congregation, who was ‘a Dyer by name and by trade’.”[1]

Certainly, Gladwyn Turbutt's History of Derbyshire (1999) records that William Bagshawe of Ford (1628-1702) - the 'Apostle of the Peak' - founded a Presbyterian ministry here, along with nearby Great Hucklow, and Bradwell, Charlesworth, Ashford, Chelmorton and elsewhere, so a building on this site might have been a contemporary of the chapels at Great Hucklow, and Bradwell, founded in 1695-6.

This may explain how it happened that some residents of Stoney Middleton and surrounding villages had baptisms recorded in the registers of Great Hucklow Presbyterian Chapel.

Reference
[1] A History of Stoney Middleton, Chapter XXV, Miscellaneous (Thomas Cowen, 1910).[1]

Denomination

Now or formerly Presbyterian/Unitarian.

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 Chapel was located at OS grid reference SK2295475526. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Reference

  • Places recorded by the Registrar General under the provisions of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (2010) is available as a "Freedom of Information" document from the website What Do They Know.

Acknowledgements

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

1. Information provided by Rosemary Lockie.

Last updated on 1 Feb 2015 at 14:48.

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This Report was created 30 Jul 2017 - 07:35:42 BST from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 4 Jun 2017 at 08:14.

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