EAST HADDON HISTORY SOCIETY Northamptonshire, England

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The Old Chapel

In the early 1800’s, the Minister of the Congregational Church at Long Buckby was Mr Griffiths, who occupied that position for 39 years. Besides substantial enlargements to the church building at Long Buckby, Mr Griffiths was also instrumental in the building of Chapels at East Haddon and at Whilton.

Mr. Griffiths used to "lecture" once a month in a private house in East Haddon. This form of “dissenters” worship had been going on for about 100 years already, and when the situation developed that so many people desired to hear Mr Griffiths, the accommodation was soon insufficient and in1811 the Chapel was built to accommodate the services.

This did not please the squire of that time, who gave notice to the farmers on his estate that if they continued to deal with or employ shopkeepers who attended dissenting services, they would be removed from their farms. Although legal help was sought, nothing effective could he done and the tradespeople concerned lost the custom of nearly all the farmers in the parish. In spite of these difficulties, the Chapel was completed in 1811.


Regular services were held in the Chapel for over 150 years, and a Sunday school flourished as well. The building was enlarged in 1870 to provide a kitchen downstairs, and a Sunday School room above. Funding for this building work came from a gift by Earl Spencer, and village fundraising. The annual Harvest Supper, prepared in the new kitchen, was a very well supported event!


In 1969 the Chapel closed for worship, and was bought by the artist David Tindle, who lived and worked there for 10 years, and was elected to The Royal Academy in 1979. He painted some scenes around East Haddon, including a view of the Chapel garden - click here to see the picture.


The Chapel changed hands again in 1979, underwent a number of changes, and was renamed “The Old Chapel”. It is now a private family home, as well as an art studio and a sign writing workshop. The house is not open to the public.

For more information on the sign writing services visit

 www.RJTHOMAS-SIGNWRITING.CO.UK

In 1911, a booklet was published to mark the centenary of the Chapel.

In 2011, to mark the bi-centenary of the building, the booklet was reproduced, with the addition of a foreword giving a “potted” history.



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