Carlisle, Union (later Rydal) Street WM Chapel, Cumberland

Grid ref NY408556

Union Street Chapel stood at the end of a block bounded by Union Street, Barrock Street and South Street. The site was purchased in 1873 for £209.16.0.The plans by the architect, James Leslie, who was also a trustee of the  chapel, were approved by the local authority on 10 August 1880.

It was built of brick adjacent to the existing buildings and was entered by a porch at one side. The porch also gave access to a boys yard and toilets. Beyond that were a girls yard, toilets and coal store. The main hall had a platform at one end and behind it were two classrooms and stairs leading to two more classrooms.

The  contractors were Mr Metcalf, builder (£432.6.0),  George Scott, blacksmith (£20.8.8), James Hewitt, furniture (£53.3.8), Mr Ferguson plasterer (£43.0.0), Edward Muncaster (£45.15.0), Mr Nanson, slater (£54.19.4), and Benjamin Slee, painter (£26.3.3).

Plans for the chapel adjacent to the schoolroom, also by Leslie, were approved on 23 May 1890. Measured 72 feet by 44 feet and was entered through a porch from Union St. It contained three blocks of pews with two aisles. Opposite the entrance was a communion area, rostrum and organ, flanked by pews for the choir. Between the chapel and the school room were four classrooms and a minister’s vestry and toilets. The building was of brick with stone facings and the fenestration was in the gothic style. The words “Wesleyan Methodist Church” were carved in the arch of the window above the main entrance. The heating apparatus using Grundy’s patent hot air system was below the minister’s vestry. An organ costing £9 was acquired in 1899.

In 1940 it had 400 sittings in pews. There was also a schoolroom and six other rooms. The chapel was closed in 1990 and the building was subsequently demolished to make way for residential property. No image of the building has been located but the architect’s elevations provide a good impression of its appearance.


Cumbria Archive Service, Carlisle CA/4/1377, 2262 building byelaw plans

Cumbria Archives Service Carlisle DFCM1/2/32 Union Street trust accounts

Cumbria Archives Service Carlisle DFCM3/1/43-62 Carlisle WM  District property schedules, 1898-1917

Cumbria Archives Service Carlisle DFCM1/5/9  Papers relating to the sale of South John Street Chapel

Carlisle Library, 1A287, Methodist property statistics 1940

Huggon, John, Carlisle Methodism, Part 3, Cumbria Wesley Historical Society, 75, Spring 2015, p10 -11

Site visit 29.03.2016

Church Close on the site of Rydal Street WM Chapel, 29.03.2016
G W Oxley
Church Close on the site of Rydal Street WM Chapel, name plaque 29.03.2016
G W Oxley

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