Congregational Chapel, George Street, Huddersfield
- also known as: Evangelical Union Independent Chapel
- location: George Street, Huddersfield
- status: no longer exists
- category: chapel
- architect: John Kirk (1817-1886)
- builder: Benjamin Graham (c.1822-1879)
Originally built as an independent chapel, the foundation stone was laid on Thursday 8 May 1856 by John Crossley of Halifax.:
The chapel will be in the early English style of architecture — it will have galleries on the three sides, and will be capable of accommodating 700 people. The schoolroom will be undernearth the chapel, and will hold from 300 to 400 children.
The chapel was opened with a service on the evening of Wednesday 17 December given by the Rev. John Hanson and the Rev. Enoch Mellor.
A later two-storey building situated behind the chapel was used as a schoolroom.
Messrs. Conacher & Brown of Upperhead Row installed an organ in the chapel during the summer of 1857 at a reported cost of about £280. The organ underwent "cleaning and regulating" in September 1866.
At the start of the 1868, the Rev. Davidson Black, formerly of Middlesborough, became the chapel's pastor. However, by the end of 1868, it was reported that the congregation had dwindled to under 30 whilst the debts on the chapel had risen to around £900. Under the circumstances, the trustees felt they had little choice but to close the chapel.
The congregation of the South Street Congregational Mission Chapel had found their building "too small for their wants" and decided to purchase the George Street Chapel, opening it with a service held on Sunday 21 May 1871. The reported cost was about £1,000 for the property and a further £200 "for repairs and cleaning and putting it into a proper state for use". By November 1871, the remaining debt on the purchase had been cleared.
A small fire broke out on the afternoon of 31 March 1874, "occasioned by a quantity of soot igniting in the flue leading from an American cooking stove in one of the rooms under the chapel". Fortunately it was extinguished with "a few buckets of water".
The chapel was advertised for sale in February 1888 "for religious and other purpose". It seems no purchasers were found and the premises was auctioned on 26 July 1892, although it failed to reach its reserved price:
VALUABLE LEASEHOLD PROPERTY IN SPRINGWOOD STREET AND GEORGE STREET, HUDDERSFIELD.
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, BY EDDISON AND TAYLOR, at the Queen Hotel, Huddersfield, on Tuesday next, the day of July, 1892, at Seven o’clock in the Evening, subject to the general conditions of sale of the Huddersfield Incorporated Law Society, and to such special conditions as will be then produced, all that Valuable Leasehold PROPERTY, known as the “GEORGE-STREET CHAPEL,” situate in George Street and Springwood Street, Huddersfield.
The property comprises:—
On the Ground Floor — Spacious Schoolroom, 41ft. by 43ft., at present let to the Huddersfield School Board, and the caretaker's residence, containing three rooms.
On the First Floor — The “Chapel,” 64ft. by 41ft., with the gallery over, together with all the interior fittings, comprising two-manual organ, by Conacher; pulpit, pews, and gas fittings, together with the heating apparatus Also all that Two-storey BUILDING at the back, formerly used as a Schoolroom, 36ft. 9in. by 20ft., the upper portion of which is divided into classrooms, together with the heating apparatus. Also the yard and out-conveniences thereto belonging.
The site of the whole comprises an area of 940 square yards, and is held on a renewable lease from Sir J. W. Ramsden, Bart., for 60 years, from the 25th day of March, 1857, at an annual ground rent of £5 17s. 6d., subject to a fine on renewal every 20 years of £11 15s. 0d.
Arrangements have been made with Sir J.W. Ramsden, Bart., for the above to be leased for 999 years, provided the premises are required for other than religious purposes, at an annual ground rent of £23 10s. 0d.
Further particulars, and keys for inspection of the premises, may be obtained of the Auctioneers, at their Offices, 6, High-street, Huddersfield; or from LAYCOCK, DYSON, and LAYCOCK, Solicitors, Huddersfield.
The buildings were subsequently purchased and gifted to Huddersfield Parish Church by "Mrs. Laing, of London, in memory of her father, the late Mr. Samuel Oakes" and reopened as the St. Peter's Parochial Hall in April 1893.
Notes and References
- Tindall's Huddersfield Directory (1866).
- "Laying the Foundation Stone of the George Street Independent Chapel" in Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (10/May/1856) and Huddersfield Chronicle (10/May/1856).
- "The Opening of the George Street Independent Chapel" in Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner (20/Dec/1856).
- "Erection of an Organ in George Street Independent Chapel" in Huddersfield Chronicle (08/Aug/1857).
- "The Fine Organ" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Sep/1866).
- "George Street Chapel" in Huddersfield Chronicle (25/Jan/1868).
- "George Street Chapel" Huddersfield Chronicle (19/Dec/1868).
- "Opening of the Congregational Mission Chapel, George Street" in Huddersfield Chronicle (27/May/1871).
- Huddersfield Chronicle (18/Nov/1871).
- "Alarm of Fire" in Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Apr/1874).
- The contact for the sale was B. Halstead of Glen View, Edgerton. "Sales by Private Contact" in Huddersfield Chronicle (18/Feb/1888).
- "Huddersfield Parish Church Parochial Hall" in Huddersfield Daily Chronicle (28/Apr/1893).