A Letter from Nantwich

September 2007                                                                                          Update

A second Chapel Mews

(Don't be shocked, but this development gets my vote . . . !)

THIS is Chapel Mews, a new development in Barker Street. I hope that anyone writing to the residents will be precise with their address as there is already a Chapel Mews in Market Street.

   However, the three homes have been allocated Barker Street numbers.

   The original Chapel Mews is a group of homes - built in 1985 - that stand on the site of the former Baptist Church. The chapel now occupies the former schoolrooms standing behind it.

  The development under construction - in the Nantwich conservation area - comprises three three-storey town houses. The new Chapel Mews is clearly named after the Baptist Chapel which was built in Barker Street in 1725 on the site now occupied by the new houses. They stand on land next to the car park of 25 Barker Street. I wonder if the wall (right) is a piece of Nantwich history? Is it an original wall from the old chapel? If so, from what period of its life? Does it look older than 50 years old? If so, that would mean it was standing when the chapel was demolished.

  When I discovered the houses the other week I was at a loss to recall what was there previously. What had been knocked down? The answer would appear to be the chapel. The land must have lain empty ever since 1957. As I was taking pictures I asked a couple who emerged from an adjoining house what had been on the site and was told that it was where people had been parking their cars. Yes, now I recall the site.   


YOU might have noticed from previous Letters from Nantwich that I am not too happy about the influx of houses in Nantwich. But this development gets my vote. Yes, really! It is tidying up an eyesore site (although I'm sorry for the people who must now find somewhere else to park) and is in keeping with the area. Although it is a three-storey development, the top storey is in the roof - attic style - as can be seen from the fact that the upper joists are floor strength and not just enough to hold up a ceiling. There are also old-style features (the lintels over the windows and arched doorways) and although the bricks are new, not salvaged from a demolished building, they are mellow and blend in nicely with adjoining properties.


lWhere are the "affordable" homes that the UK is supposed to be having? Here, actually.   


l In the book, "Lost Houses in Nantwich", Andrew Lamberton and Robin Gray relate that in 1772 "the Baptist cause fell on hard times and the Chapel closed" only to be leased, five years later, to the local Methodist Society. John Wesley preached there three times - in 1779, 1780 and 1781. About 1812, the Baptist cause was revived but later, in a row over it having been used by another denomination, the chapel was closed and remained so for 40 years until 1862. It was officially reopened, after repairs, in 1865 and was used by the Baptists until they moved to Market Street in 1873. The building was then used by the Order of the Good Templars and the Salvation Army before it became a baker's warehouse. It was demolished in October 1957.       





The original Chapel Mews, in Market Street

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