Chapel of the Month – October 2014

October’s Chapel of the Month is the picturesque North Lopham Wesleyan Chapel, Norfolk listed at Grade II. Dating from 1812, it is alleged to be one of the oldest Methodist Chapels existing within Norfolk and is now in the Diss Circuit of the East Anglia District.

North Lopham Wesleyan ChurchThe chapel has a brick front with side walls of flint pebble with brick dressings and a hipped pitched roof covering of dark glazed pantiles except for the front slope which is of slate. A broad principal elevation consists of three bays with two round-arched doorways and a flat brick string course between corner pilasters. Three segmental mid C19 sash windows exist to the first floor.

The interior has its original panelled three sided balcony on circular cast iron columns all with original seating intact. At ground floor late C19 benches and rostrum remain. A Wesleyan day school dating from 1864 exists to the rear of the chapel and a burial ground with headstones dating from early C19 and later to the front.

According to “Methodist Church buildings – Statistical Returns including seating accommodation, as at July 1st, 1940” published by The Department for Chapel Affairs, Manchester in 1947, North Lopham Chapel had seating for 202 souls, all in pews at this time.

The chapel is currently at risk, recent news reaching the Society of its closure citing a lack of funds for ongoing repair and maintenance. It is understood that discussions have taken place regarding placing the chapel on the property market for development.

More news regarding its closure can be found on the Diss Express website.

With thanks to Michael Atkinson for contributing this post.

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