Derbyshire Places of Worship

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Wesleyan Reform Chapel (Demolished), Matlock
Wesleyan Reform Chapel (Demolished),
Matlock Bridge,
Matlock, Derbyshire.


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 1850, but we understand it was closed in 1866.

"Matlock Bridge" was the address given for two places of worship in the Religious Census of 1851. One was for a Wesleyan Methodist congregation - recorded elsewhere in this database - and the other, a Preaching Room (HO 129/449/2/7/23) attended by a "Wesleyan Methodist (Reformer)" congregation. This was "opened for Religious Worship March 2/51", and whilst it was not a separate building, it was used exclusively as a place of worship. Seemingly, also it was quite large, with a provision of free seating for 130, 16 "other" sittings, and standing room for 50. The estimated congregation on March 30th was 72 in the afternoon and 140 in the evening; and the average congregation was 90 attending morning services. The return was completed by John Cardin, its Steward, who described himself as "Carpenter, Matlock Bridge".

This was obviously an active congregation, and indeed, by 1857, apparently, the Reformers had a building of their own, described in White's Directory of that year as "a small chapel at Matlock Bridge".

It is not known where this was, nor what, if any, might have been the connection between it, and John Smedley's Chapel, opened away from the Bridge, on the hillside, close to his Hydro; nor the later Imperial Road Methodist Church, which opened in 1910 to a United Methodist congregation. According to Derbyshire Record Office's Non-Conformist Register Guide, the latter has records of baptisms beginning in 1879, and was sometimes known as Matlock Bridge or Matlock Bank Church before 1932. A link is possible, as most Wesleyan Reform congregations in Derbyshire did join the United Methodist Free Churches, formed in 1857; and thus ultimately the United Methodist Church, in 1907.


Now or formerly Wesleyan Reform.

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


This Chapel was located in the town/village nearest OS grid reference SK2975260143. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:

Information last updated on 26 Jan 2015 at 13:42.

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This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 18:22:42 GMT from information held in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:33.

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