Derbyshire Places of Worship

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Independent ("Congo") Chapel, Bakewell
Independent ("Congo") Chapel,
Buxton Road (formerly Mill Street),
Bakewell, 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 1799, but we understand it was closed in 1948.

The growth of the Independent, or Congregational movement in Bakewell is described in Bakewell - the Ancient Capital of the Peak (Halsgrove, 2005, p.53). In 1788, "a Mrs Noton of nearby Birchills was instrumental in gathering together a group of Dissenters in Bakewell and inviting itinerant preachers to conduct meetings". These were held initially on an informal, and sporadic basis in whatever premises were convenient; but by 1804, "they had erected a small chapel in Mill Street" (what is now Buxton Road). This was extended in 1824, to provide seating for 400 worshippers and a Sunday School for 160 children. The Independents were later to become Congregationalists, known in Bakewell, at least, as "Congos".

The following notice in The London Gazette of 1st November 1842 (p.3004) recorded its registration for marriages:

NOTICE is hereby given, that a separate building, named the Independent or Congregational Chapel, situated at Mill-street, Bakewell, in the parish of Bakewell, in the county of Derby, in the district of Bakewell union, being a building certified according to law as a place of religious worship, was, on the 27th day of October, 1842, duly registered for solemnizing marriages therein, pursuant to the Act of the 6th and 7th William 4, cap. 85. Dated 28th October 1842.

The chapel was rebuilt in the 1840s, the year varying according to the source quoting it. The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/449/1/1/6) records it as 1844, when a separate building (unnamed), was erected, to be used exclusively as a place of worship by a Congregational or Independent congregation. It had free seating for 100, 300 "other" sittings, and free standing room for "Aisles & Pulpit Pew". The estimated congregation on March 30th was 63 in the morning, 91 in the evening, 75 Sunday Scholars at morning and afternoon class, and 10 Scholars in the evening. The return was completed by Joseph Spencer, its Minister, who gave his address as "Bakewell, Derbyshire". He remarked that "General sickness has affected the attendance to day both in the Congregation & in the School" - average attendance figures over the previous 12 months had been between 15 and 20% higher than those on March 30th.

A further notice in the Gazette relating to its registration for marriages was published on 28th May 1895 (p.3100), where it was referred to as "Independent Chapel situate at Mill-street Bakewell"; and again, on 23rd July 1948 (p.4203), when the registration was cancelled. The building was bought subsequently by the Roman Catholic community, and is still in use today, as the Catholic Church of English Martyrs.

Derbyshire Record Office's Non-Conformist Register Guide describes it as "Mill End Congregational Chapel, Mill Street, later Buxton Road, founded 1799, now closed"; and with records of baptisms 1977-1837, and marriages in 1946.


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.


This Chapel was located at OS grid reference SK2168768649. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


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 Bakewell, 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.

Information last updated on 13 Feb 2015 at 15:36.

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This Report was created 29 Nov 2023 - 01:27:12 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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