Old Chapel

February 6, 2009 at 00:05 | Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Old Chapel

Barrow seems to have an inordinately high density of Victorian nonconcormist chapels, most of them (but not all) now derelict. I think this may have been part of a hopeless plan to bring Temperance to the influx of migrant workers who drank and brawled in the streets! This one is in Storey Square and I expect an Old Barrovian will be along shortly to tell us its history. Bill? You have time on your hands these days!

I would hardly call it beautiful but it is rather imposing.



RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. It doesn’t look like a church at first glance. When I saw it I thought it was something like municipal swimming baths!

  2. I think that is has a certain beauty to it…

  3. What an evocative photograph. The first 22 years of my life (apart from a couple of years at college) were lived in Storey Square directly across the road from this church. Certainly in my younger days the Sunday School was active (classes were held in the smaller building with the white gable end. I’m not sure when it closed down; it may have coincided with the opening of the Methodist Church on Greengate Street (itself now closed) but memory is a bit hazy on that one. After closure it was, for a time, a furniture store, I thin.

    This particular chapel was probably built to serve the growing middle classes of the late nineteenth century. When built Storey Square was at the upper end of the housing market, not the working-class area it had become by the 1950s and 60s. If you get hold of one of the old directories you will find it was inhabited by surgeons, lawyers, proprietors of large stores and so on.

  4. Iam the sister of peter and remember the place well. It was a furniture store for some time and is now used by barrow Mateur Operatic Society for rehearsals and a store etc although I beleive it is now in a parlous state of repair

  5. What a marvellous colour!

  6. Yes this is a typical scene in many of our northern towns – many of these chapels have now been turned into shops or restaurants – what history they must have.

  7. There are many such building in the little place in the midlands are grew up and I agree a legacy of age.

  8. The color and design is great.

  9. Without wishing to get another pen-lashing from our distinguished hostess, I wanted to comment on this picture.

    I find your photo very beautiful, as it appears above. The colours and architecture are extremely elaborate and elegant, and you are at an optimal distance to efface the flaws that have been allowed to blemish this edifice.

    It was only when I blew it up to x5 (maximum)magnification that the horror became evident.

    First, the most obvious: the white gable addition that the planners have cleared to be tacked onto the original structure. Although I have never, knowingly, seen this building before, it is like the ubiquitous ‘carbuncle’ attached to an old friend.

    But worse is yet to come. When magnified, the original, Victorian workmanship – brickwork, leaded-chapel windows, carved sandstone, etc – is magnificent. Each individual tradesman’s (or should I say: craftsman’s) stamp of pride is illustrated with workmanly authority. Perfect symmetry in the brickwork; the round windows and recessed stone carvings are geometrically, and architecturally ideal; delicately defined stonemason’s lacework; the robust cornice capping layer to seal off the brickwork at the top.

    But then we can see that a later generation of ham-fisted builders with no pride in their work has made a shoddy effort to extend and expand it all; the windows have been allowed to rot to broken shabbiness; the original sandstone has been left to contract leprosy and impetigo; generations of drunks have left their urine stains and vomit on the lower walls; the roof flashing is almost non-existent above the main entrance etc etc.

    All in all, an indictment of our times.

  10. Me and my family lived across the road also to this beautiful bulding: We came from Brazil as my dad was the Brazilian Navy Commission at Vickers Shipbuilding; we were there between 1976 to 78: such great memories, i often go back to Barrow, as i am now living in France= does anybody remenber us? would love to contact =
    All the best wishes to everybody=and thank you for the great pictures
    james alves martins

  11. Storey Square Methodist Chapel (sometimes called Allison Street Methodist Chapel). The original church was erected in 1874 for a congregation of the United Methodist Free Church – one of the many splinter groups which existed prior to an initial merger of Methodist chrches in 1907. A new church was built 1894 at cost of £2,100; this officially closed (according to its surviving records) in 1953. Shown as a ‘depository’ on the 50 inch OS map of 1957. (The separate Sunday School room next door was later used by an independent congregation.). Storey Square chapel was finally demolished in 2010. .

    At one stage Barrow even had a Welsh Presbyterian Chapel which was quite close by on Paradise Street. This closed around 1897, although the building is still there under an alternative use.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: