Dissenters’ Chapel

Church in/near North Kensington, existing between 1834 and now

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Church · North Kensington · W10 ·
December
15
2015
The Dissenters’ Chapel is a redundant chapel in Kensal Green Cemetery, recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II* listed building.

The Dissenter’s Chapel inside Kensal Green cemetery - over the wall at the back the road with the streetlights is Ladbroke Grove.
Credit: Phillip Perry
The chapel was the first purpose-built Nonconformist chapel to be built in a public cemetery. The eastern spur of the cemetery was reserved for the use of dissenters. A competition to build the chapel was won by Henry Edward Kendall, with a design in Gothic style. However the contract was awarded to John Griffith of Finsbury. Griffith was surveyor to the General Cemetery Company, and his design was in Greek revival style. The chapel was built between 1831 and 1834...

The chapel is constructed in Portland stone and rendered brick. At the front is an Ionic tetrastyle portico with a pediment. On each side of the portico are three-bay wings, with paired pilasters along the front, and twin Ionic columns in the antae at the sides. Inside the chapel are modern pews, a pulpit and a reading desk. Along the east wall are pilasters. Under the chapel is a partly sealed catacomb.

During the Second World War the Chapel suffered severe bomb damage during an air raid. For much of the late half of the 20th century the fabric of the chapel was slowly deteriorating. Its wings were demolished in the early 1970s. By the 1990s the building was "derelict and subject to vandalism".

The building was leased to the Historic Chapels Trust in this poor state to enable a major restoration, completed in 1997. This included rebuilding of the wings, repair of the chapel’s main body, and restoration of the historic painting scheme of the interior. A visitor centre was constructed in the north wing. On completion Historic Chapels Trust passed day-to-day management of the chapel to the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery.


VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH KENSINGTON AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

North Kensington

North Kensington lies either side of Ladbroke Grove, W10.

North Kensington was rural until the 19th century, when it was developed as a suburb with quite large homes. By the 1880s, too many houses had been built for the upper-middle class towards whom the area was aimed. Large houses were divided into low cost flats which often degenerated into slums, as documented in the photographs of Roger Mayne.

During the 1980s, the area started to be gentrified although areas in the north west of the district at Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park remain deprived and run down to this day.

Waves of immigrants have arrived for at least a century including, but certainly not limited to, the Spanish, the Irish, the Jews, the West Indians, the Portuguese, the Moroccans and many from the Horn of Africa and Eastern Europe. This constant renewal of the population makes the area one of the most cosmopolitan in London.

The Notting Hill carnival was first staged in 1964 as a way for the local Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. After some rough times in the 1970s and 1980s when it became associated with social protest, violence and huge controversy over policing tactics, this is now Europe’s largest carnival/festival event and a major event in the London calendar. It is staged every August over the Bank holiday weekend.
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