Derbyshire Places of Worship

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Unitarian Chapel, Bradwell
Unitarian Chapel   [no longer registered]
Smithy Hill / Charlotte Lane,
Bradwell, 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 1695, but we understand it was closed before 1968, and the premises are now in secular use.

The Unitarian Chapel in Bradwell is one of the meeting houses built for William Bagshawe, the 'Apostle of the Peak', after he was ejected as Vicar of Glossop, in 1662. "The old building, which with its walls a yard thick, appears as if intended to last a thousand years", though that did not prevent its demolition by a "Popish mob from Hope, who smashed the windows, pulpit and seats to pieces, and left the building in ruins", in 1715. It was rebuilt, but then later that century destroyed by fire. The present building dates from 1754 and may stand on the original site.

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/449/3/16/3) for the "Unitarian Chapel" on "Smithy Hill, Bradwell, Parish of Hope" describes a separate building, used exclusively as a place of worship, but the space for when it was erected is left blank. There is no account of how many seats it had, but all of them were free. The usual number of attendants on the Sabbath was 25 in the evening. There was no Sunday school. The return, like that for Stoney Middleton Unitarian Chapel, was completed by Josiah Payne, the Registrar for the district of "Tideswell, Derbyshire".

Bagshawe also founded other Presbyterian communities in the Peak District, besides Bradwell and Stoney Middleton, notably at Great Hucklow, Charlesworth, Ashford, Chelmorton, and elsewhere. The Chapel founded by him at Hucklow is the only one to the best of my knowledge which is still used as a place of worship. His building in Bradwell is now (2010) a scout headquarters. [Sources: Bradwell in the Peak website, and A History of Derbyshire, Turbutt, 1996 p.1153]


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 SK1711681159. 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 Bradwell, 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 3 Feb 2015 at 13:42.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that the former Unitarian Chapel is understood to be in secular use, so care should be taken to preserve the privacy of its occupants.

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You may wish to take a look at our About the Places of Worship Database page for an overview of the information provided, and any limitations which may be present.

This Report was created 9 Dec 2023 - 18:28:49 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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