Derbyshire Places of Worship

Default Image Sorry, we do not have an Image of this Place of Worship We do not have a
Photograph at present.

Image by courtesy of
Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel, Melbourne
Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel   [no longer registered]
72 Penn Lane, DE73 8EP,
Melbourne, 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 1779, but we understand it was closed in 1874, and the premises are now in secular use.

According to information supplied to me in 2004, there were three chapels on Penn Lane. A Quaker Chapel was demolished about 1987 to make way for a house extension; the original New Jerusalem Chapel is now part of Pennfield House, and this former Independent Chapel was converted into a house (Huntingdon House) in 1874. The property has been located thanks to a document Melbourne Conservation Area: Character Statement on the South Derbyshire District Council website, which mentions it twice, firstly as having a slate roof which pre-dates the introduction of Welsh slate, and secondly, in a list of properties with hipped roofs, where it is recorded as "72 Penn Lane - Huntingdon House".

The return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/444/2/2/12) for "Independent Chapel" describes a separate building in Melbourne erected in 1779 for a congregation of "Independents alias Congregationalists", used exclusively as a place of worship. There were free sittings for 50, and 190 "other" sittings, and the estimated congregation on March 30th was 32 in the morning, and 55 in the evening, with 45 Sunday Scholars to a morning class, and 51 in the afternoon. The return was completed by Joseph Watts Lethbridge, its Minister, of Melbourne, Derbyshire. He appears to have held very "progressive" views, as under the "Remarks" heading he advocated (1) "Total and immediate abolition of all Church Rates", (2) "The immediate and complete separation of the Church from the State", and (3) "The National Universities to be opened to all classes of Her Majesty's subjects".

The chapel is also mentioned in a A Short History on the Melbourne United Reformed Church website, as a forerunner of the present church (formerly Congregational), which opened in the High Street in 1871.


Now or formerly Countess of Huntingdon.

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 SK3869524987. 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 Melbourne, 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 2019 at 12:40.

Search for other Places of Worship in Derbyshire, or in another County in this Database

Please choose a County by selecting one of the Tabs below.
Note: you MUST choose a County - searching all four at once is not an option!

Search Tips:

You can specify either a Place, or OS Grid Reference to search for. When you specify a Place, only entries for that place will be returned, with Places of Worship listed in alphabetical order. If you specify a Grid Reference, Places of Worship in the immediate vicinity will be listed, in order of distance from the Grid Reference supplied. The default is to list 10, but you can specify How Many you want to see, up to a maximum of 100.

You can further refine your search by supplying other search terms.

Please note the above provides a search of selected fields in the Derbyshire section of the Places of Worship Database on this site ( only. For other counties, or for a full search of the Database, you might like to try the site's Google Custom Search, which includes full webpage content.

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 Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel is understood to be in secular use, so care should be taken to preserve the privacy of its occupants.

Do not copy any part of this page or website other than for personal use or as given in our Terms and Conditions of Use.

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 - 17:21:53 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.

URL of this page:
Logo by courtesy of the Open Clip Art Library