A new congregational chapel, a stone building in the Gothic style, was built in 1893 [see SMR 11278]. The old chapel, now used as a Sunday school, was established in 1662 by the vicar of Bolsover - one of the evicted ministers under the Act of Uniformity. (1)
In High Street, Bolsover, is still standing an ancient red brick (small Jacobean bricks) building erected in 1662 by the Presbyterians and used until 1772 by that sect and thereafter until 1893 used by the Independents. (2)
The building is a rectangular, single storied structure with modern additions on the north and south. It is built of a thin rough brick, in an irregular Flemish bond with stone quoins and on a short stone plinth. There are twin gables at each end. In the west and east walls are pairs of wooden casement windows with segmental brick arches and a brick drip-course. The building is used as a church hall but, as there is no minister at the present time, no authoritative confirmation of its name or use was gained (1959). See GP: AO/59/366/1 - Former chapel from the north-east. The ancient part of the building has been marked on the 25" AM survey. (3)
The building, as described above, is unchanged but is now used as a primary school annexe (1965). (4)
The records of this building are rather obscure. It is, as far as can be gathered, the second building erected by the 'Independents' for worship and may be late 17th century as there are other Congregational chapels dating back to the 1670s on the coalfield. In 1973 it was being used as an extra classroom for the National School. (6)
Although an exceptionally early date has been claimed for the Congregational church recently meeting at the Old Meeting-House in Bolsover, there is no evidence for any regular congregation before the early 18th century. At that time John Thomas (d.1719), Presbyterian minister at Elder Yard, Chesterfield, held fortnightly services in Bolsover and these meetings were continued by Thomas Ibbetson, or Ebbisham, pastor of the Independent section at Elder Yard. The meeting-house was described as 'a new erected house' when it was registered in July 1722. The original entrance was at the south end, but in 1893, when a new chapel was built to the north linked to it by vestries (see SMR 11278), a lean-to extension was added against the south wall of the former meeting-house concealing the principal elevation. The older building, which then became a hall or Sunday school, was repaired and refitted in 1912 with steel beams inserted to support the ceiling and to replace the internal lintels of the side windows. In 1981, following the closure of the church, the adjacent structures (SMR 11278) were removed, and the interior was stripped prior to conversion to office use. The walls of this building are of brickwork with stone dressings, and the roof, which has twin gables to the north and south, is covered with tiles. Some original openings remain. (7)
A former Presbyterian chapel, which, at the time of re-survey (date unknown), was being converted into a house. It is said to date from 1662. It is built of red brick in monk bond with ashlar quoins. It is of a tall single storey. It is a broad twin-gabled building with a plain tile roof. The west elevation has two large rectangular windows under slightly arched lintels. The south elevation has two rectangular windows high up, the lintels forming part of a continuous stone band. The interior has three wall memorials of 1723, 1837 and 1877. The building served as the Presbyterian meeting house until 1893 when a new chapel was built adjoining (see SMR 11278), and the old chapel became the Sunday school. (8)
The Old Meeting-House in Bolsover retains much of its original external appearance. Its double roof is of a type more commonly found on larger buildings. The two doorways placed in the gabled wall instead of on the longer side wall indicate the exigencies of a restricted town site, while the stone quions add a simple elegance to a plain but not unpreposessing exterior. The unassuming rectangular preaching room would have been furnished with such box pews or benches as the congragation could afford. (9)
Bibliographic reference: Bulmer, T and Co.. 1895. History, Topography and Directory of Derbyshire. p 218.
Bibliographic reference: Downman, E. 1895. History of Bolsover. pp 58-59.
Personal Observation: F1 WW 12-NOV-59.
Personal Observation: F2 FRH 24-NOV-65.
Unpublished document: County Treasure Recording Form. 10(e).1, with photos.
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. pp 34-5.
Listed Building File: Historic England. 2011. The National Heritage List for England. Ref: 79239.
Correspondence: Stell, C. 1985. The Old Meeting-house, Bolsover, Derbyshire.
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Centred SK 4724 7047 (13m by 14m) (Centre)
OLD BOLSOVER, BOLSOVER, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Sep 14 2017 11:32AM
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