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Wandsworth Chapel

Wandsworth Chapel

Building  From 1573 

Categories: Religion

From The Story of Congregationalism in Surrey we discover that the claim on the plaque that there was a church/chapel erected here in 1573 is more tradition than truth. The early Wandsworth Presbyterians certainly did meet at this time but probably in private houses. It is now thought that the first chapel at this site was erected by the French refugee Huguenots. When they ceased using it in the 18th century it was used for various purposes, only some religious. "Iwas used by John Wesley, who often preached in the old building, and who here baptised his first heathen convert, a negro brought over from the West Indies by a resident of Wandsworth, Francis Gilbert, brother of the Speaker in the House of Representatives at Antigua."

Rowland Hill (not the PO man) ran it for a time. The Evangelical Association purchased the lease, renovated the building and reopened it in 1809. 

By the 1850s Wandsworth’s population had outgrown the little chapel in this back street.  A new chapel was built on East Hill and opened in 1860. Thee are a few churches on East Hill and we haven't identified which one this is. The old building was used as a school and entertainment venue for the working classes but was soon found to be inconvenient.  So the old church was demolished, stones laid by Geard and Toms, and a large hall capable of holding 500 people was opened in 1883. This continued to be used for church functions until 1939.

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Wandsworth Chapel

Information Commemorated at

Chapel - building

{On the plaque to the left:} Erected 1573, Enlarged 1685. {On the plaque to ...

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