Burials

This chapel is available for burials.

Chapel with a concert standard organ in a romantic upland setting.

The attached school has artists studio accommodation.

Revd John Fawcett the celebrated Baptist preacher, poet and theologian was minister here.

Wainsgate has its origins in the eighteenth-century Evangelical Revival. Its founding was heavily influenced by the preaching of the Reverend William Grimshaw, incumbent of Haworth Parish Church and a charismatic religious reformer. The first chapel was established about 1750. Dr John Fawcett, the revered Baptist preacher, came to Wainsgate in 1764 and is commemorated in the church. It is he who wrote the Baptist hymn, ‘The Tie That Binds’.

The present building of 1859–60, is of hammered stone with ashlar dressings in a robust classical manner.

The chapel interior was furnished in the 1860s and later enhanced in the 1890s. From the earlier period remain the curved gallery and pewing, and from the later a magnificent octagonal pulpit in coloured marbles and alabaster with low reliefs by Anthony Welsh. The communion table of 1896 has barley-twist legs. The stained glass is by Powell Brothers of Leeds.

The organ loft arch retains its original decoration. In the niche a fine concert-standard organ survives; though in need of restoration it is still played.

Attached to the church is the former school, started in 1834, of 1890 which was adapted from the former Pastor’s manse. The large burial ground rising up the hillside from the chapel contains Fawcett’s grave, marked by a listed monument of 1771 and several World War I graves. The burial ground is still open for burials.

A fully illustrated History and Guide to Wainsgate Chapel by Charles Thompson is available from the chapel or from HCT for £6 post free (cheques to ‘HCT’).

A first phase of urgent repairs was completed in 2011.  The works included  repairs to keep the building weather-tight.  Completion of a full restoration is being planned, subject to funding being found, so that the building will be able to host a variety of events.

Artists basic studio space is available in the school building adjacent on licence for reasonable rents.

GETTING THERE

By car, take the Keighley road out of Hebden Bridge. Drive up hill to Pecket Well (2 miles). On entering Pecket Well, take the sharp right signed to Old Town. On entering Old Town (½ mile) turn right at the signed cross road and park in Old Town Mill Lane. Walk back and across the crossroads, up the un-made track for approx 300 yards. Wainsgate Baptist Church stands alongside in a large burial ground.

The nearest rail station is Hebden Bridge, on the Leeds–Manchester Victoria line (via Halifax and Rochdale).

There are two bus services from Hebden Bridge Rail Station to Old Town that stop next to the cross roads, near the chapel.

Other HCT buildings in the area are Todmorden Unitarian Church and Farfield Quaker Meeting House.

Wainsgate Lane
Old Town
nr Hebden Bridge
HX7 8SU
United Kingdom

Events

To enquire about putting on an event at Wainsgate please contact us

Artists Studios

Artists studio spaces, with very basic facilities, occasionally become available on licence in the School rooms attached to the chapel. Contact us for availability.

Burials

Please contact Vivienne Cooling at the HCT for details of rights of burial.

Guidebook

A 32-page, well illustrated History and Guide to Wainsgate is available from HCT at, c/o CCT, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL, for £8.00 including post and packing. Please make cheques payable to “Historic Chapels Trust”.

Wainsgate Chapel Website

Wainsgate Chapel facebook page

A wealthy industrialist’s estate chapel with an unusual twist. It was built by George Frederick Muntz following his purchase of Umberslade Park. Muntz was a Baptist convert and placed the church between his house and the village to attract further converts to the Baptist cause.

Umberslade Church on Facebook

Umberslade Baptist Church (originally called Christ Church Umbersalde) dates from 1877. It is now the sole survivor among several chapels associated with the rise of Birmingham Nonconformity. Umberslade was founded and paid for by George Frederick Muntz, a successful industrialist of German origin, and a zealous Baptist convert. Having become owner of Umberslade Hall, the church was an estate church. Sadly, today the M40 motorway separates the Hall from the chapel. The nearby tall obelisk was also conceived as a park monument.

Umberslade Baptist Church is the last surviving major chapel of the Birmingham architect, George Ingall (1868–1910). Ingall deployed the Decorated Gothic style, enriching the church with pinnacles, finials, buttresses, and a slender tower and spire, in winter visible from the motorway. The church is constructed in a grey freestone. Inside, the timber furnishings are largely intact and include a large Gothic central pulpit. In front of it is an open baptistry for total immersion baptisms, finished in marble.

Many of the benches retain their gas lamps. The stained glass is geometric and the memorial to the founder inside the church is is cast in ‘Muntz metal’, an alloy G. F. Muntz patented to great commercial success as it repelled barnacles and weed and was used to clad the wooden hulls of tea clippers and merchant ships. When restored in recent years the hull of the most famous tea clipper of them all, the Cutty Sark, was again covered in Muntz metal as it was in the vessel’s heyday.  G F Muntz’s grave is in the burial ground.

Nearby is the wooden building used as the temporary church while the stone one was being built and later as a school room until well into the twentieth century. This too is now listed as is the war memorial in the burial ground.

When elderly and bed-ridden G F Muntz had a landline installed so that he could listen to services in the church by loudspeaker in his bedroom at the Hall.

Historic Chapels Trust acquired the building after a long period of neglect once the Baptists had left. The first phase of restoration was achieved with generous support of Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This secured the most crumbled stonework and saw the leaking roof completely re-slated. There is much yet to do, however. The schoolroom in the detached wooden building and vestry and committee rooms at the end of the church need extensive repair.

An active band of volunteers, the Friends of Umberslade Baptist Church, maintain the large burial ground and open the church to the public regularly. For details of their working parties and for more on the history of this site visit their facebook page.

Visits

There is parking at the foot of the access track from Spring Lane to the chapel. There is a large sign to show the entrance. Unless prior arrangements have been made please park by the locked gate and walk to the chapel. Three public footpaths pass through the burial ground and by the church. The nearest bus services are in Hockley Heath (half a mile) and the nearest train station is Dorridge.

You can download a short guide to Umberslade Church here.

Nearby

Packwood House is an Elizabethan Mansion with extensive gardens and famous topiary, just 2 mils from the Church.

The Millennium Way Long Distance Path passes within one mile of the church and footpaths allow a diversion via the church and its burial ground – and a tall obelisk, part of the park landscaping.

Umberslade Church on Facebook

Spring Lane
Hockley Heath
Nr. Solihull
B94 6QY
United Kingdom

The chapel is normally locked. For Open Days or to arrange a group visit please go to the Umberslade facebook page.

The chapel does not yet have facilities so is not available for hire. We have plans to convert the wooden building and vestry block into offices for lease to help defray the costs of the site. We are seeking potential commercial partners to help us realise this vision.

Burial plots are available at Umberslade, you can find more details here.

The chantry chapel was commissioned by the 12th Baron Petre in Gothic Revival style for the burial of his close family members. The Petres have been a celebrated Roman Catholic family of Essex since medieval times.

In 2016 detailed surveys of the roof revealed that it was in worse condition that we had feared.  Plans had to be revisited and costs rose significantly. Thanks to very generous support from Historic England, the Country Houses Foundation and more than 20 generous individuals work started on site in early October 2017.

Many roof timbers were found to have been hollowed out by wood weevil. About one quarter of the roof tiles were re-cycled and put back on the repaired roof and bat roosts have been accommodated under the tiles.

The Petre family

The chapel was built as the mortuary chapel of the Petre family (Petre is pronounced ‘Peter’). The Petres have been a leading family of Essex from medieval times and refused to convert at the Reformation, remaining Roman Catholic recusants. Their former family seat was Thorndon Hall, rebuilt in the eighteenth century as one of the grandest mansions in Essex, designed by James Paine.

Several members of the Petre family are buried in the crypt of the chapel that was built by the family for this purpose. After a major fire the family left Thorndon Hall and the burnt shell was later converted to private apartments. The Petre family seat today is Ingatestone Hall.

The Architect

Dedicated in 1857, the Petre chapel is the work of architect William Wardell (1823-1899).  Wardell was a Catholic convert and after a precociously early success as an architect of the Gothic Revival he emigrated to Australia for health reasons. Both St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne and St. Mary’s Sydney are his work. His client at Thornton was the 12th Baron Petre.

Architecture

The Petre Chapel is a small but lively composition in ragstone with soft freestone dressings in ‘decorated’ gothic – the style of the mid 14th century.  There is an octagonal bellcote rising above the sacristy. Two encircling bands of prayers and leaf decoration in soft limestone run round the building. Sadly this soft stone has not weathered well but on the North side it reads ‘Ego Sum Resurrectio et Vita Qui Credit in me Etiam si Mortuus Fuerit Vivet’ (Translation: I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live’).

Inside, the roof is gloriously decorated with gilded angels on the hammer-beams and richly painted. Stations of the Cross are set in the walls.

The Chapel is one of Essex’s miniature treasures and the present Lord Petre gifted the chapel to HCT in 2010 since when we have raised funds for restoration. Initial repairs and the first stages of restoration are now complete and have secured the structure so it is safe for supervised visits – but there is much to do.

Third Earl of Derwentwater

As well as several Lords Petre and their close family, the crypt holds the remains of the third Earl of Derwentwater who in 1716 was executed in the Tower of London for Treason, for his role in the Jacobite uprising. The Earl’s body was recovered from the executioner by well-connected Catholic supporters and in the 19th century Lord Petre allowed re-interment of the Earl’s remains at his family chantry chapel at Thorndon Park. This ensured the remains were in ground consecrated by a Catholic bishop; and it associated the Petre family with a man widely regarded as a Catholic martyr.

Repair and Regeneration

The Chapel is one of Essex’s miniature treasures but has been a source of concern for many years owing to poor condition and vandalism.  Lord Petre gifted the chapel to HCT in 2010 since when pro-active management by HCT and co-operation with the Country Park team mean this is a thing of the past. HCT has undertaken the first two stages of restoration – but there is much yet to do.

HCT secured generous grants from Historic England and the Country Houses Foundation for initial urgent repairs to belfry, spire and stonework, competed in 2015.

Help put back the windows

The stained glass in the chapel was designed and made by the Birmingham firm Hardman & Co. It was reputedly a fine set of glass but was lost to vandalism. When Historic Chapels Trust took on the chapel the windows were all blocked up. A search for suitable replacement glazing is now in hand. 

Can you help us with finding glass for the windows? We hope to give a home here to stained glass which is homeless or at risk when its host building is demolished or altered. If you know of such glass please let us know.

Visits

Cars cannot drive up to the chapel, so you should park in Thorndon Country Park ‘second car park’ and walk to the chapel (150 yards). Use the Country Park entrance off ‘The Avenue’.

HCT does not own the access way to the chapel and there is pedestrian access only. Please use the car park and do not drive on the track as this blocks access, damages tree roots – and you are likely to get stuck in soft ground!

You can download a Quick Guide to Petre Chapel here.

Nearby

Thorndon Country Park is open throughout the year and has a visitor centre with cafe. The Country Park is very popular in summer, especially at weekends.

Thorndon Park
off Hartswood Road
Brentwood
CM13 3SA
United Kingdom

We welcome group visits, and visitors on Open Days and the burial ground is available for Roman Catholic woodland burials.

The chapel is available for pre-arranged group visits but cannot be hired for events.

Roman Catholic woodland burials

By agreement of the Bishop of Brentwood the chapel burial ground, which remains consecrated, is now open again for Roman Catholic burials of the ‘woodland’ sort – that is without memorials of any kind, to preserve the beautiful woodland setting of the chantry chapel in a heavily wooded glade: a beautiful final resting place. Please see details here.

Dissenters’ Chapel was built to serve non-Anglicans in the first public cemetery in the British Isles – Kensal Green Cemetery.  Ruinous when Historic Chapels Trust took it over, it has been restored as an exemplar to demonstrate how other crumbling structures in this internationally important cemetery can also be rescued.

Today Dissenters’ Chapel houses the offices of the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery who are taking forward restoration plans for the Anglican chapel and the most important monuments in the cemetery.

The Dissenters’ Chapel lies within Kensal Green Cemetery, itself a Grade II* item on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and a designated conservation area. Kensal Green, London’s oldest public cemetery, dates from 1832 and is the resting place of many famous people.

Among the distinguished people buried here are both Sir Marc and Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Charles Babbage, William Makepeace Thackeray, Decimus Burton, Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, no fewer than 250 distinguished scientist members of the Royal Society, stationer and bookseller W.H.Smith. Among recent burials are Ossie Clark and Sir Harold Pinter.

Kensal Green is of international importance in the history of cemetery design and is an early example of a ‘garden cemetery’ of the sort advocated by horticulturalist and cemetery reformer John Claudius Loudon – who is himself buried here. The Anglican Chapel, main entrance, the colonnade and many monuments are also listed but several of the most important monuments have been allowed to fall into disrepair.

Along with the Anglican Chapel, main cemetery entrance and colonnade, the Dissenters’ Chapel was designed in Greek Revival style by John Griffith of Finsbury in 1834. There were competing architectural proposals for the cemetery’s buildings in both Gothic and classical styles and the fact that this pioneering cemetery plumped for Greek gave impetus to the revival of Greek architecture for cemetery buildings and monuments.

You can download a short guide to Dissenters’ Chapel here.

When Historic Chapels Trust took a lease of the Dissenters Chapel from the General Cemetery Company, the chapel had been allowed to fall into severe disrepair and the colonnade roof had collapsed.

A major restoration was completed in 1997 with support from Historic England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The main body of the chapel was repaired, the chapel’s curved flanking colonnades were reinstated and a historic scheme of painted decoration, dating from the 1860s, was retrieved. A new visitor centre and meeting space was constructed behind the north colonnade. The project received an Environment Award from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in 1997 and a Europa Nostra Award in 1998.

The rescue of the Dissenters’ Chapel is intended to be the first of several projects to restore important parts of the Cemetery.  Much of this is being led by the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, a registered charity, that now occupies and manages Dissenters’ Chapel on behalf of Historic Chapels Trust.

The Dissenters’ Chapel is listed Grade II*, the whole cemetery is a Conservation Area  and Grade II* designated landscape. A large number of individual monuments are also listed.

HCT’s work at Dissenters’ Chapel is informed by a Conservation Statement a copy of which can be downloaded free here.

The chapel is an office and event space of the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery who run guided tours of the cemetery including the interior of Dissenters Chapel and celebrated monuments nearby. Group visit enquiries should be made to the Friends.

You can download a short guide to Dissenters’ Chapel here.

Directions

Kensal Green Cemetery is 10 minutes walk from Kensal Green station (Bakerloo line and Overground).

The cemetery is served by buses 18, 23, 28, 52, 70, 295, 316 and 452. There is no public parking at the cemetery.

In the area

The cemetery is a short bus or tube journey from many West London destinations including Portobello Road Market, Notting Hill, Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath. 30 yards from Dissenters Chapel on the canalside is Portobello Dock with the celebrated Dock Kitchen restaurant and Tom Dixon designer shop

Lectures and other events are organised in Dissenters Chapel – if you would like details or wish to promote your own event or exhibition at the Chapel contact the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery.

You may also hold a funeral or commemorative event in the chapel, prior to or after cremation at the crematorium in the cemetery. This enables the family and friends to hold a more leisurely and personalised event. Please enquire about availability.

Burials are not available at the Dissenters Chapel and its catacomb is now closed for interments. Burials elsewhere in the cemetery are available by arrangement with the General Cemetery Company.

Todmorden Unitarian Church is Grade I Listed. It is a beautiful, characterful and much-loved building full of quirky features and secret places, managing to be both grand and imposing, and warm and welcoming at the same time.

You can download a short guide to Todmorden Church here, and a focus on ‘Honest’ John Fielden MP, to whom the church is a memorial, here.

Todmorden Unitarian Church, was built in 1864-9 by sons of ‘Honest’ John Fielden MP, a mill-owner and radical who was responsible for the ‘Ten Hours Act’ of 1847 that limited working hours of women and children. The Unitarian Movement originated in Todmorden and Fielden was a leading member.

John Gibson, who worked with Charles Barry on the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster, designed the church. Among its important features are its alignment (south-west), its rose and 5-light chancel windows, the 59m, 3-stage octagonal tower and its lavish decorative scheme which survives largely intact.  

Pevsner states that it “survives complete as one of the most elaborate Non-Conformist churches to adopt the style and arrangements of the Established Church during the High Gothic Revival”.  Christopher Stell, a national authority on Nonconformist architecture, wrote: “as an example of High Victorian church architecture, this bears comparison with some of the best buildings of the Established Church; as representing the Nonconformist architecture of its period, it is unrivalled”.

You can download a short guide to Todmorden Church here.

Since HCT acquired the Grade I listed Todmorden Church in 1994 over £1m of restoration work has been completed, but there is much still to do. The restoration work was made possible thanks to generous grants from Historic England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, several grant giving trusts as well as many private individuals. The work has included:

  • Repairs to roof, the 59m spire and the chancel
  • Conservation of the stained glass, which was designed by Jean-Baptiste Capronnier (1814-1891)
  • Restoring the derelict lodge
  • New heating system, WCs and small kitchen.

In 2014, thanks to a generous legacy from a former bell-ringer the ring of bells was also restored.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Todmorden Town Hall – Situated in the centre of Todmorden, this impressive Town Hall is considered one of the best municipal buildings in the country, paid for by John Fielden MP.

Stoodley Pike is a 1,300-foot (400 m) hill in the south Pennines, noted for the 121 feet (37 m) Stoodley Pike Monument at its summit, which dominates the moors above Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

HCT owns two other buildings nearby: Wainsgate Chapel which is a few miles away above Hebden Bridge, and Farfield Quaker Meeting House, which is in Addingham about 20 miiles away.  You could also take in the Bronte Parsonage Museum at Haworth, which is on the way to Addingham and well worth a visit.

Please use the Contact Us form, or visit Todmorden Unitarian Church’s website.

The Chapel was built at the beginning of the 18th century, several decades after the Act of Toleration, which gave freedom of worship to Nonconformists.   In 1756 it was rebuilt as it stands today, with further major renovations in 1859 when the table pew, under which lies a full-immersion baptismal font, was added.  The burial ground has some important headstones including a memorial to John Williams, which predates the 1756 rebuilding of the chapel.

Cote Chapel is Grade II*, one of only 29 Grade II* Baptist chapels in England.

The site of Cote Chapel was acquired in 1703–1704 by a group of worshippers who previously met at Longworth on the other side of the Thames.

In the 1750s the chapel was enlarged, or more probably rebuilt, to its present size, the capacity being increased in 1756 by the addition of a gallery. In 1859 the interior furnishings were moved around, the pulpit was removed from the south to the west wall, and ample seating was provided in box pews.

The chapel has stone walls with pitched roofs covered in the local stone slate. The truncated front gable incorporates a screen wall which crosses the central valley and is surmounted by a stone panel. In the burial ground are many 18th-century intricately carved headstones. The monument to the Williamson family is listed grade II.

A local volunteer committee helps HCT care for the buildings, welcome visitors and organise events.  They are also local advocates for the chapel. 

You can download a short guide to Cote Chapel here.

A fully illustrated guide and history of Cote Baptist Chapel written by Dr. Kate Tiller is available from HCT for £6 post free (cheques payable to ‘HCT’) or at the chapel.

Cote was transferred to the Historic Chapels Trust in 1994. HCT raised funds for major structural repairs, which included the provision of a new kitchen, two WCs and a committee room in a former outbuilding.

There is always much work to do. Currently we are carrying out repairs to more sections of the drystone boundary wall.  Our next priority, for which we are now fundraising, is further repair to the roof and the repair and redecoration the chapel’s woodwork.

If you would like to support our work to restore and maintain Cote Chapel please do contact us via this website.

Cote Chapel is still available for occasional worship, as well as for marriages, baptisms, funerals and other events such as Harvest Festivals. It is also used for quiet contemplation by many regular visitors and has hosted concerts and lectures. The committee room and the detached building are also available for meetings.

By Car: When entering Cote from  Aston, turn right at the cross roads. Cote Baptist Chapel is 200 metres from the junction. Park on the verges but please take care not to block access for our neighbours and heavy lorries that pass regularly.

Public transport:  Oxford railway station is 20 miles from Cote and has a taxi rank. Unfortunately the Oxford – Cote bus service was discontinued in 2016.

For all enquiries about Cote Baptist Chapel please use the Contact Us form.