SHROPSHIRE'S NONCONFORMIST CHAPELS

[former] Baptist Chapel, Market Drayton [former] Baptist Chapel, Shropshire Street, Market Drayton
This polychrome brick chapel was built in 1870 on a site obtained in November 1868. The foundation stones were laid on Tuesday 4th August 1869 & the chapel opened on the 16th June 1870. The chapel was licensed for the solemnization of marriages on 12th April 1872. The building was "altered, renovated and improved" in 1889. It was used until 1955 when the building was sold. It was then used as the Artisan Ballroom for a while. By 1980 the building was being used as the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. When this photograph was taken in 2003 they were still using the upper floor of the building. By 2008 the ground floor frontage had been very tastefully restored. There is no denominational or date stone.
There had been a previous Baptist chapel (with its own burial ground) in the town, in Salisbury Road, which opened in 1818 and reportedly closed in 1843. It must have re-opened by 1851 as in that year, in the Religious Census, there were on average 20 worshippers at their morning services (held once a fortnight), but they did not have a stated minister. In 1851 it was described as a "small structure" with a residence attached. It was described as being "re-opened" in 1856, but in 1858 was reported to be closed. It was subsequently described as being used for meetings for some years after the new chapel (in the photo) was built. The old chapel was described in 1869 as "unsightly and out-of-the-way, and parts of it dilapidated".
Grid ref: SJ 673340.

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