Building record MDR12611 - Ebenezer Chapel (site of), Chapel Lane, Wirksworth

Type and Period (1)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The Wesleyan Chapel, in Bailey Croft, is a very plain stone building, erected in 1810. It has a gallery around three sides, giving a total accommodation of 340. At the entrance is a tablet inscribed: 'Erected by numerous friends to the memory of Elizabeth Evans, known to the world as Dinah Bede, who during many years proclaimed alike in the open air and in the pulpit and from house to house the love of Christ. She died in the Lord, Nov. 9, 1849, aged 74'. Mrs Evans, under the name Dinah Bede, is the heroine of George Elliot's novel of 'Adam Bede'. (1) The Wesleyans moved from the former Presbyterian Chapel [see SMR 28365] before 1803, to a property they acquired on Chapel Lane, and in 1810 were able to complete a new church. The 'schoolrooms' to the rear of Ebenezer Chapel appear to pre-date the chapel, and are likely to have been equipped and used for meetings whilst the chapel itself was being constructed. They were probably formerly a pair of cottages. The chapel is unusual in its design in that its frontage is not to a gable end. It is of two storeys, and is built of course sandstone blocks backed with rubble, under a slate roof. Three sides display peeling wet dash, which seems unlikely to have been an original specification, and the west-facing frontage has an ashlar finish simulated in stucco, including false quoins. The interior of the chapel has been considerably altered since its closure in 1968, to facilitate its later uses as a factory and warehouse. There is a steeply-raked, horseshoe-shaped balcony, much like that at Dale Chapel [see SMR 28362]. It reflects the early 19th century fashion for cheap stucco as a substitute for masonry, despite its location in a prolific quarrying area. (2) This former Wesleyan Chapel has a three-bay front, with a central doorway that has an arched hood of c.1900. There is an original tablet above inscribed 'EBEN-EZER 1810'. This building was partly demolished in February 1983. (3) This building was de-listed on 7 December 1993. It is dated 1810. It is built of coursed stone rubble, with the facade stuccoed. It is of two storeys. It has three windows in moulded architraves with 'Gothic' glazing bars, the lowers with hood moulds. The square-framed stone doorcase has a moulded architrave and a deep segmental cornice hood on bold consoles. There are false quoins at the sides, coved stone eaves, and slates. (4) It is uncertain whether anything of the former chapel remains, or whether it has been completely demolished and replaced with another building [2011]. (5)

Sources/Archives (5)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. p 493.
  • <2> Unpublished document: Simpson, R W. 1981. The Nineteenth Century Chapels of Wirksworth: An Aspect of Vernacular Architecture. pp 5-7, 25-34.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: RCHME (Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England). 1986. An Inventory of Nonconformist Chapels and Meeting-houses in Central England - Derbyshire extract. p 57.
  • <4> Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. Ref: 79687.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). Current Mastermap and 1:10000 series.



Grid reference Centred SK 2879 5420 (14m by 15m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Dec 14 2017 4:28PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.