Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Cemetery Chapel update. URGENT!

I recently applied to English Heritage to get listed status for the Chapel. Unfortunately this has been turned down as per the letter below.
Therefore it is very important for anyone wishing to submit an objection against the demolition of the Chapel to do so as soon as possible.

It will be so sad to see it demolished.


Context: We have been asked to consider the Non-Conformist chapel at Hyde
cemetery for listed status as it is due to be demolished imminently. It is not situated
within a Conservation Area.
History and details: Hyde cemetery was laid out by the Borough Surveyor, J. Mitchell,
in 1894. The Non-Conformist chapel is the last of three chapels which originally stood in
the cemetery. It was designed by J.W. Beaumont; an architect with at least three listed
buildings to his name, including Hyde Town Hall (1883-5, Grade II) and the Whitworth
Gallery in Manchester (c.1895-1900, Grade II). The chapel is aligned north-south and is
constructed in rock-faced yellow sandstone with red sandstone ashlar dressings and
slate roofs. The tower is in yellow sandstone to the lower sections, switching to red
sandstone as it changes to octagonal to the upper level. It is ornamented with tourelles
(corbelled, circular turrets with a cone roof) and has a slated spire. Nave windows are
lancet, while rose windows sit to either gable end; one with a cross motif, the other with
multiple roundels. It appears little-altered externally since the date of construction, aside
from the blocking of the cellar access. No information has been provided regarding the
Assessment: The Selection Guide for Place of Worship (April 2011) states that during
the period 1840-1880 in particular, considerable numbers of chapels were erected in
cemeteries and other institutions, such as workhouses and asylums. Cemetery chapels
are generally assessed under the same national criteria as churches but with an
emphasis on their setting and associated structures. Intactness, date and architectural
quality are also important elements in assessing these buildings for designation. It is
acknowledged that they will seldom have the scale or elaboration of churches, but they
are often crucial elements of cemeteries and integral to the wider setting.
English Heritage (Designation) Reject at Initial Assessment Report 17 October

The Non-Conformist Chapel at Hyde Cemetery, constructed 1894, is not recommended
for designation for the following principal reasons:
* Date: Municipal cemeteries were laid out from the 1850s, with the height of cemetery
chapel construction spanning the period 1840-1880; the chapel at Hyde is therefore a
late example of its type
* Group value: this Non-Conformist chapel has lost the context of its companion
chapels to the north and south. Although it still retains its place within the landscape
and relationship with the lodge, for an example of this late date we would normally
expect a relatively intact group in order to be of special interest in the national context
* Architectural: although designed by a respected architect, this is not the best example
of his work; aside from the unusual tower, the design is largely standard for its date. It is
not therefore of the quality necessary to compensate for the lack of special interest in
other areas.
* Interior: although no information has been provided regarding the interior, the fact it is
both a cemetery and a Non-Conformist chapel indicates it is likely to be relatively plain
Conclusion: The Non-Conformist Chapel at Hyde cemetery is not therefore of special
interest within the national context and is not recommended for inclusion on the
statutory list. It is however certainly of some local architectural interest. It was designed
by one of the leading Manchester architects of the late-C19 and early-C20 and although
not the best example of his work, some features at the chapel are echoed in
Beaumont’s other buildings. The octagonal tower for example is reminiscent of the
octagonal domed tower cap at Hyde Town Hall, while the tourelles are similar in style to
those at the Whitworth Gallery. It is also of some local historic interest as the last
ecclesiastical building to have retained its setting within this Municipal cemetery, which
although having lost two of its buildings, has retained its landscaping. It might therefore
make a good candidate for a local list, or as a landmark building within any future Conservation Area.

Recommendation: Reject

If you would like to object to the demolition then PLEASE write to the following as soon as possible stating the address of the chapel which is Hyde Cemetery, Stockport Road, Hyde, Cheshire,SK14 5QN :-

Liz Jordan
Planning Dept
Tameside MBC
Council Offices
Wellington Road
Ashton Under Lyne


Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

what a disgusting denigration of a fine building - the implication that if it's sister chapels were still here it would be more imporatant just emphasises the piecemeal way in which these things operate - the retention of the one allowed an argument for the demolition of the other two and now ...

Werneth Low said...

I remember the 3 chapels and had no idea this was the only one left. This is a fine building, not an architectural high flyer perhaps, but too good to just to dispose of on a whim. Is it still in use? Does anyone have photos of the other two chapels, for comparison?

JohnT said...

Yes, I agree with the comments above. The building should be preserved for the heritage of Hyde. I wonder if a pro forma letter could be made available for download and then everybody could then send a letter of protest from around the world. Even better would be the email address of Liz Jordan!

Tom said...

Good idea with the letter John and of course the email..

Hydonian said...

It is better to send individual letters I have been told - the more the merrier.
All you have to say really is that you have heard that the chapel is to be demolished and you wish to object to it because Hyde is slowly losing its heritage. It doesnt even have to be a long involved letter , just one saying you object and your name and address.

I've sent mine. :)

JohnT said...

Do you know if planning permission is required for the demolition of such a building

Tom said...

I think planning as already been granted... there was mention of it in the Advertiser a few weeks ago..

JohnT said...

I wonder how many people have said prayers for their departed loved ones in this chapel. I have for one. My letter will be in the post tomorrow.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

I've done a supportive post on Hyde DP

Hydonian said...

Werneth Low - No sadly I can't find ANY photos of the other two chapels although I'm still looking.
Gerald - Thank you so much for highlighting this on your site. The more people that know about the demolition the better.
JohnT - I have spoken to a lot of people who have said the same as you. It's so sad that they disregard things like this when they decide to demolish buildings.

JohnT said...

My letter of objection was sent yesterday.

Hydonian said...

Thanks John , every letter will help ,I'm sure :)