Ancient Chapel of Toxteth

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth

The oldest building in what is now Liverpool is the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth, a one room chapel that dates back to 1618. At that time it would have been inside the Royal Park of Toxteth which at that time would have stretched from what is now Parliament Street to Aigburth Vale.

At the time it was built the Puritan style as the anti-Catholic movement was becoming more prominent and the design of the building sees the move away from an altar, The sparse decoration was also a statement against the ornateness and image laden norm in Catholic churches. The preacher would have stood in a pulpit and the congregation sat on the three other sides – a more ‘inclusive’ approach that became familiar in Quaker Meeting Houses after the English Civil War of 1640-60.

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth Pulpit

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth Pulpit

Also quite distinctive in this church is the boxed stalls instead of pews. The stalls are on two levels, the top level probably being a development from 1775 when the building was renovated. Everything is painted black or dark brown – so not a place for fun.

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth - boxed stalls

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth – boxed stalls

The small cemetery at the back of the building contains a number of gravestones and monuments to a number of wealthy chapel goers.

To get to the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth take the 82 bus from the centre of town and get off at the bottom of Park Road.

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5 thoughts on “Ancient Chapel of Toxteth

  1. Please let me know who I may contact to arrange a visit to The Ancient Chapel of Toxteth in late September early October 2016. Thanks.

    • Have a look at one of the previous comments from the people at the Chapel. That provides a local telephone number for out of hours access.

    • The Chapel has been open during the ‘Heritage Open Days’ in recent years. This year that will take place between 10th and 13th September, 2015. I’ve looked on the website (http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/directory) but there’s nothing for the Toxteth Chapel this year. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it will not be open in September. Some places put their name down late but I slightly surprised that with only just over a month to go the Chapel isn’t on the list. All I can suggest is that you keep on checking the website and see if it gets added in the future. The problem is that, in the past, the information is not always as accurate as it really should be. If I come across any information I’ll let you know.

      • ANCIENT CHAPEL does not appear in HODS
        (Heritage Open Days) List for Liverpool this Year
        2015 as REPAIR WORKS ARE ONGOING IN CHAPEL
        and will NOT be completed until at least the end of
        November 2015. Hence we are NOT Open for this
        coming special weekend – Chapel is in potentially
        dangerous state (uneven floor, furnishings blocking
        entrance etc.) However, we Keyholders (2) are always
        willing to open at other times by Appointment. Caretaker’s
        home no is 728 8028 (resident very close to Chapel).
        Please PASS this info. on to enquirer/s. Many thanks:.
        Mrs. A. BUTLER

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