Gloucestershire Places of Worship

Highbury Chapel ('Snow's Chapel'), Cheltenham (1) (100k) Highbury Chapel ('Snow's Chapel'), Cheltenham (2) (99k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Rosemary Lockie
Highbury Chapel ('Snow's Chapel'), Cheltenham
Highbury Chapel ('Snow's Chapel')   [no longer registered]
Grosvenor Street,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

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 in 1818, but we understand it was closed in 1852, and the premises are now in secular use.

This Chapel was founded in 1817-18 by the Revd. Thomas Snow, who was ejected as the minister of the Independent Portland Chapel, for his strict Baptist views. In 1822, after less than 5 years in office, Snow reverted to the Church of England, handing the building over to Anglican trustees. In 1827 they sold it to a group of Congregationalists, who renamed it as 'Highbury Chapel', after the London residence of their benefactor, Thomas Wilson.

In January 1843, a new minister arrived at the chapel, to take over from the Rev. Samuel Martin, who had departed for Westminster. This was the Rev. Andrew MORTON BROWN, born in Loundon, Ayrshire in 1812, and educated at Glasgow and Edinburgh. He became minster of Highbury Chapel after mission work in London and a co-pastorate in Poole, Dorset. His ministry proved so popular in Cheltenham that the building soon became too small for a growing congregation, and in 1852 he was instrumental in the building of Highbury Congregational Church, on the corner of Albion Street and Winchcombe Street. 'Snow's Chapel' is then said to have become a Sunday-school; however by the OS 1885 Town Plans 1:500, it is shown as a "Rehobeth Meeting Room (General Baptist)", with seats for 100 [sic - 'Rehoboth' is the more usual spelling].

In more recent years, it has been adapted as a Youth Centre.

Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Gloucestershire (1986) describes it thusly:

"The walls are of brick and the east front is rendered in stucco. Five bays with three-bay centre having a raised pediment above blind panels and swept parapets above the recessed wings. Round-arched upper windows above altered lower openings. The interior has a segmental barrel-vault with traces of a circular cupola at the centre; galleries around three sides with mid 19th century cast-iron fronts".

Today in 2011, it is undergoing restoration. 'Snow's Chapel' is the building covered in scaffolding on our photos. There is a photograph showing it in 2005, without scaffolding in the Church Album of The Roughwood Homepage.

It is not known what the red brick building with the ecclesiastical-looking window, two doors down might have been, but today it is auctioneer's salesrooms. [Other Sources: Gloucestershire Biographical Notes (www.ebooksread.com) (Joseph Stratford, 1887), and An Historical Gazetteer of Cheltenham]

Denomination

Now or formerly Baptist/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 Chapel was located at OS grid reference SO9524622252. 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.
Last updated on 23 Sep 2011 at 13:12.

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This Report was created 30 Jul 2017 - 14:46:11 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 4 Jul 2017 at 10:50.

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