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Building record MDR12613 - Wirksworth Baptist Church, Coldwell Street, Wirksworth

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

The Baptist Chapel, Coldwell street, was opened in 1816. It is a neat brick building, and will seat about 300 persons. (1) There is a Baptist Chapel situated here on the 1st edition OS map. (2) It has been replaced by a larger building by the 2nd edition OS map. (3) The Baptists erected their first chapel in 1816. The present edifice was built in 1886, at a cost of £3,000. It is a handsome edifice, in the Gothic style, with Sunday School on the ground floor. (4) The Baptist Chapel, in Coldwell Street, was erected in 1885 at a cost of £2,200, and has sittings for 300 persons. (5) The Baptist Chapel in Shottle separated from its parent church at Duffield in 1818. It had acquired a group of buildings on the site of the present Wirksworth Church in Coldwell Street. The Wirkswirth Church was housed in a room over a stable behind a house and shop front. Despite disparaging descriptions in the Baptist's own historical accounts, the old Baptist Chapel must have been, internally at least, quite an accommodating structure by the mid 19th century. It was subjected to an almost continuous series of improvements. There seems to have been a continual requirement for greater seating capacity, and for a general improvement of facilities. The stables were converted in to school rooms in 1861. The building was built of rubble, which was utilised in the later chapel, and roofed in tiles, which were not later used. The closing service of the old chapel took place on 22nd March 1885. During rebuilding, services were held in the Town Hall. The present building was begun in 1885, and it opened the following year. Despite several proposals for fundamental reconstruction, the chapel remains substantially unaltered. It was built in the grand Gothic tradition of the late 19th century. The chapel frontage exhibits a plethora of finely worked decorations contrasting with the rustic masonry against which it is set. The chapel represents the pinnacle of 19th century chapel development in Wirksworth. Although its high Gothic design puts it in the mainstream of national fashion of the period, it has unique features and displays the whimsical nature of its architect. It is a largely well-constructed building deserving of preservation in its own right, as well as together with, and in the context of, all the Wirksworth chapels. (6) It still appears to be in use as a place of worship [2011]. (7)

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: White, F & Co.. 1857. History, Gazetteer & Directory of the County of Derby. p 452.
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1896-1900. OS County Series, 2nd edition (1st revision), scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. p 493.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Kelly, A L (ed.). 1912. Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire. p 441.
  • <6> Unpublished document: Simpson, R W. 1981. The Nineteenth Century Chapels of Wirksworth: An Aspect of Vernacular Architecture. pp 6, 13, 17, 76-97.
  • <7> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). Current Mastermap and 1:10000 series.



Grid reference Centred SK 2875 5401 (16m by 21m)

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Record last edited

Dec 14 2017 4:28PM

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