SJ8497 : Unitarian Chapel conversion

taken 7 years ago, near to Manchester, England

Unitarian Chapel conversion
Unitarian Chapel conversion
The former Unitarian Chapel on Upper Brook Street is currently being converted into student accommodation. The adjoining Sunday school on Chorlton Terrace was in use by the Islamic Academy in 2010 SJ8497 : Islamic Academy but that too is being converted.
Upper Brook Street Unitarian Chapel :: SJ8496

The Unitarian Chapel, Upper Brook Street, Manchester, a Grade II* listed building, was described by the Victorian Society in 2010 LinkExternal link as one of the ten most endangered Victorian buildings in England & Wales

The former Unitarian Chapel has been owned by Manchester City Council since the 1970s. Opened in 1839 it is the first known example of a Gothic nonconformist chapel and believed to have been an early collaboration between Sir Charles Barry and AWN Pugin before they worked together on the Palace of Westminster. Yet despite its national significance, the chapel has been neglected for decades, resulting in 2005 in the removal of its roof. The chapel is now open to the elements and largely a ruin.

It was constructed between 1837 and 1839 out of sandstone, with a slate roof. It is in English neogothic style. The building has seven narrow bays, with buttresses and a lancet in each bay. The west end has a giant moulded archway, with an arched doorway at the ground floor with a window above. On the east end there is a rose window. The corners are square, with pinnacles. The inside of the chapel had galleries on three sides, and a ribbed, vaulted ceiling. The attached two-storey Sunday School is in the same style as the chapel, and has a triple-gabled north side, with large arched windows on the first floor. It also has a canted apse on the west end, and a lean-to porch.

The chapel was originally constructed for the Unitarians and was used for burial rites until at least 1857 (although the chapel has no graveyard), as well as baptisms until at least 1912, and marriages until at least 1916.

The chapel was sold in 1928 and subsequently used as a Welsh Baptist Chapel. It was then used as a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall in the early 1970s. The most recent use of both the chapel and former Sunday School was for the Islamic Academy of Manchester between 1974 and 2006, when it was used as a mosque, teaching centre and for outreach work in the Asian community. In 2010 the chapel was vacant, whilst the Islamic Academy still occupied the Sunday School.

More information and photos on Wikipedia: LinkExternal link

Update, December 2017: Both chapel and Sunday school have now been converted into student accommodation LinkExternal link For a fuller story of the conversion see Saving Chapel: LinkExternal link

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Gerald England and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
Geographical Context: Housing, Dwellings Religious sites Former: Islamic Academy Date: 2010 Conversion: Church Into Flats other tags: Former Unitarian Chapel Student Accommodation Click a tag, to view other nearby images.
This photo is linked from: Automatic Clusters: · Street [856] ·
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
1:50,000 Modern Day Landranger(TM) Map © Crown Copyright
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SJ8497, 2112 images   (more nearby 🔍)
Gerald England   (more nearby)
Date Taken
Friday, 7 July, 2017   (more nearby)
Sunday, 24 December, 2017
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8472 9700 [10m precision]
WGS84: 53:28.1707N 2:13.8990W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 8470 9702
View Direction
Southeast (about 135 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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