[former] The Old Chapel (Independent), Arthur Street, Oswestry
Local Independents met at Sweeney from c. 1662 until they moved to Oswestry in 1691/2. The early Independent meeting house was at the corner of Arthur Street and Willow Street. In 1695 they took out a lease for 21 years on a property in Willow Street and bought it in 1715 and spent £20 renovating it. It was replaced by a chapel built in 1750 (at a cost of about £200) on the same site, which was licensed at the county quarter sessions on 10th July 1750. It was enlarged in 1783, a gallery added in 1794 and enlarged again in 1808.
The 1750 chapel was replaced by the chapel in this photograph which was built in 1829; the first service was a funeral held there on 30th October 1829 and the chapel was 'publicly dedicated' in April 1830. This chapel had seating for 600-700 worshippers. On Census Sunday 30 March 1851 there were 270 worshippers at their morning service and 292 at their evening one. The pews were arranged in a semi-circle, and there was a gallery. It was described at the time as a "commodious and well built brick structure, with stone finishings, and a portico of the Doric order, which gives it a chaste appearance". For a drawing of the chapel made c. 1850, click here. In January 1858 they installed an organ, but it proved too small for the building, so they installed a new one in the following April. This chapel was itself replaced by a new chapel (called Christ Church) on a better site in 1872. This photograph was taken at the end of the 19th century. For a modern photograph (2003) click here.
Grid ref: SJ 289297