Derbyshire Places of Worship

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Dronfield United Reformed Church (formerly Salem Chapel), Dronfield
Dronfield United Reformed Church (formerly Salem Chapel),
2 Lea Road / Church Street,
Dronfield, 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 1812, but we understand it was closed in 1976.

Dronfield's United Reformed Church is situated on the south-west corner of the junction of Church Street with Lea Road. The Derbyshire Record Office's Non-Conformist Register Guide records it as originally Independent or Congregational, formerly known as Salem Chapel, opened in 1812, and closed in 1976. Records of baptisms are listed for 1926-1974, and marriages for 1926-1976, but confusingly, it also refers to microfilm of baptisms for 1806-1826, and marriages in 1836 - perhaps these relate to events recorded in another parish's register.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/448/5/1/3) for "Independent Chapel" described a separate building, erected in 1812 for an Independent congregation, with free seating for 50, and 200 "other" sittings. The estimated congregation on March 30th was 90 in the morning, and 160 in the evening, with 60 Sunday Scholars to a morning class, and 80 in the afternoon. The return was completed by Joseph Mason Calvert, its Minister, who lived in Dronfield.

White's Directory of 1857 records the Independent Chapel as "a good stone building, with galleries [which] will accommodate 500... attached to which is a day school, built in 1826... which will hold about 100". Kelly's Directory of 1932 cites a date of erection as 1812, adding that it was rebuilt in 1860, resulting in apparently fewer sittings, as by then there were only 400.

The following notice in The London Gazette of 9th June 1977 (p.7429) recorded the cancellation of its registration for marriages:

The Registrar General, being satisfied that UNITED REFORMED CHURCH, Dronfield in the registration district of Chesterfield in the Non-Metropolitan County of Derbyshire is no longer used as a place of worship by the congregation on whose behalf it was on 27th September 1837, registered for marriages in accordance with the Marriage Act 1836, has cancelled the registration. Dated 31st May 1977.

In the present day (2014), the building is occupied by 'The Oakes Community Church' (also known as Oakes Christian Centre).


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 SK3536278364. 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 Dronfield, 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 15 Dec 2014 at 14:32.

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This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 17:17:12 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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