This chapel was built on the corner of Mayfield and Richmond Roads to replace a previous chapel in Roseberry Place.
When the chapel was designed no side road had been planned, so all access was from the front. The basement contained four classrooms; a schoolroom 46 feet by 52 feet and 14 feet high; and a chapel keeper’s residence. The chapel was entered from the sweeping staircase from the road.
The architect was Enoch Bassett Keeling (1837-1886) the son of Isaac Keeling (1789-1869) , a Wesleyan Methodist minister. He was known for his Gothic Revival designs, with violent polychrome brick interiors. The interior design of this chapel is not described, but the article in The Civil Engineer and Architects Journal describes an exterior of “picked stock walling with yellow malms and white Suffolk discharging arches, with black and blue Staffordshire brick bands, all brickwork tuck pointed, the general dressings Bath stone, stone columns red Mansfield slates, blue and red Bangor countesess’s and the windows filled in with tinted rolled cathedral glass in three colours.” Clearly our black and white image does not do the building justice.
The final cost of the chapel was £4, 235.
Keeling designed the chapel for 1200, allowing 20 inches per person. The Methodist Church has always calculated the accommodation to be 1000. Attendance figures are given in the Victoria County History for 1886 and 1902: the morning congregation declining from 374 to 225 over that period, but the evening numbers increasing from 404 to 593.
Bombed in 1945, it was replaced on the same site by a smaller building, seating 203 in 1961, but the new building closed and was demolished by 1979.
Grid Ref: TQ336844
Reference: The Civil Engineer and Architects Journal 1865 pp 256-257
Returns of accommodation … 1873. London: Wesleyan Conference Office, 1875
Statistical returns … as at July 1st 1940. Manchester: Methodist Church, Department of Chapel Affairs, 1947
“Hackney: Protestant Nonconformity,” in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 10, Hackney, ed. T F T Baker (London: Victoria County History, 1995), 130-144. British History Online, accessed December 19, 2019, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/middx/vol10/pp130-144.