Derbyshire Places of Worship

We have 2 Images Friar Gate Unitarian Chapel, Derby (1) (110k) Friar Gate Unitarian Chapel, Derby (2) (169k) Above Photograph(s)
Copyright of Mike Berrell/James Barry
See more of Mike's photos on
The Churches of Britain and Ireland website.
Friar Gate Unitarian Chapel, Derby
Friar Gate Unitarian Chapel,
Heritage Gate Offices, Stafford Street,
Derby, Derbyshire.


This Chapel had 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 1698, but we understand it was closed in 1974.

According to Derbyshire Record Office's Non-Conformist Register Guide, the chapel was founded 1697-8, and had its own burial ground. The first entries in first register relate to Worcester, Chadwick and Bromsgrove (all Worcestershire).

The founding date is confirmed in Non-Conformist Chapels and Meeting Houses, Derbyshire (1986), which devotes 2 columns to its description, ending with the fact that it was demolished in 1974, and replaced by an office block, which has a small chapel on the ground floor. There is a sign above its entrance, on the left of the building saying 'Friargate Unitarian Chapel'.

One of its first ministers was Robert MORE, who had been ejected as vicar of Brampton. Earlier meeting places are said to have included the chapel of St Mary on the Bridge, and a building in a yard on the east side of Irongate.

The first image is a photograph by Mike Berrell of the modern building. The second image is a reproduction of a wood-cut from Pictures of Unitarian Churches, by Emily Sharpe (1901), available in the Document Library of The Unitarians, showing the original chapel - isn't it magnificent? The text at the bottom of the image reads:

Friargate Unitarian Chapel, Derby (Derbyshire).
Founded in 1560. The Congregation met first in the Chapel of St Mary-on-the-Bridge. Thence it removed to a building at the corner of Irongate, about 1685. Lastly, Friargate Chapel was built in 1698 (as in engraving). The front of the Chapel has since been re-modelled in 1890. The two first known ministers of this Chapel had both been ejected by the Act of Uniformity in 1662. In later days Dr. Crosskey and Dr. Hutton have ministered in this Chapel. In the ground behind was buried Mr Joseph Strutt, who gave the Arboretum to the town. [NB text does say 1560 - I have assumed this is a typographical error for 1660]

It is not known what happened to the monuments, which also included ones to Isabella, wife of Joseph STRUTT, though apparently they were recorded in 1962, prior to its closure, so a transcription will be available somewhere.

[Image reproduced by kind permission of James Barry, Unitarian Church HQ]


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.


This Chapel was located at OS grid reference SK3478036341. 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 Derby, 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 14 Dec 2018 at 13:56.

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This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 17:10:18 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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