Wainsgate Chapel

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.


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
United Kingdom


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.


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


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