York Walks /3

Former chapels

Photographed in July & August 2004

Little Stonegate – Former Ebenezer chapel

Former Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Chapel, York   Ebenezer Chapel, window detail

The back of Borders Bookshop, on little Stonegate. Before it was Borders it was a printing works (from 1901). But it was built originally as the Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Chapel, in 1851. Once you know this, the shape of the windows makes sense. Designed by J P Pritchett.

Lendal – Former Lendal Chapel

Former Lendal Chapel, now Marzano, detail of upper floor windows   Former Lendal Chapel, now Marzano. View of building

The Lendal chapel dates from 1816 and was designed by J P Pritchett. It closed for worship in 1929 and has been altered many times through the years. I hadn't really noticed in previous years that it's such an attractive building, until it became Marzano, and seemed to undergo a transformation, so that the exterior is now much tidied up and very handsome. A photograph of this building from some years ago shows smaller windows on the upper floor, which suggests that the lower section was covered, presumably by the sign that proclaimed its name, at that time, as Lendal House. Now the windows are fully revealed, it's more obvious that this was originally a chapel.

A book published some years ago contains the following:

Today, the chapel is best seen from the far side of the open space on the opposite side of the street, where the modern insertion at ground floor level is less apparent. As is almost always the case, the bull's eye window in the pediment has been filled in, but the general effect is still one of harmony and quiet competence.
– Ronald Willis, Nonconformist chapels of York (York Georgian Society, 1964)

The "open space" referred to has long since gone, now built on. But despite the changes on the opposite side of the street, the "harmony and quiet competence" of this building remains.

Wilton Rise – former Methodist Chapel

I love these little Methodist chapels you find outside the main city centre. I'd read a reference to a chapel on Wilton Rise, but couldn't picture it and didn't remember noticing it before. While visiting the former carriageworks site I discovered it here on Wilton Rise (originally Wilton Street), off Holgate Road, where it's been since 1872, when it was built to serve the community of railway workers. It's now the home of the York Spiritualist Centre. In 1910 the Methodist church moved to a larger building on Acomb Road: The Methodist Church in Holgate.

  Former Methodist Chapel, now York Spiritualist Centre, Wilton Rise

Clarence Street – former Wesleyan Chapel

The Groves Chapel (originally the Wesleyan Chapel, as its front proclaims) must have been very imposing when it was built in the 1880s to serve the Groves area of York. It faces directly towards the end of Lowther Street, and would look rather grand as you approached it from that street. It is less imposing these days, as it's sitting on a busy junction where many roads converge, and its boarded up lower windows are painted a revolting purple colour. No longer a place of worship, it is now used by the NHS Trust.

  Groves Chapel, built 1883

More former Nonconformist chapels are featured in York Walks /2: Converted chapels