Toxteth Ancient Chapel

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Liverpool, Toxteth Ancient Chapel

"So called since the 1830s. The oldest ecclesiastical building in inner Liverpool. Associated with Nonconformity from its earliest years, it was licensed as a Presbyterian meeting-house in 1672, and is now Unitarian. Built some time between 1604 and 1618 to serve what was then an isolated rural area, it was altered and largely rebuilt in 1774, when the walls were heightened. Some 17th century masonry may have been reused. Externally, it is a simple box of coursed stone with superimposed pairs of round-archedGlossary Term windows in the SW and NE walls. A little louvred bell-turret on the SE gableGlossary Term; doorway below, enclosed by a porch dated 1906. The present entrance is at the opposite end, through a porch with organ loftGlossary Term above, added in 1841 on the site of a schoolhouse formerly attached to the chapel. Inside, a large archGlossary Term opens into the chapel. The pulpitGlossary Term - the focus - is placed centrally against the SW wall, framed by the windows. The other walls have galleries on wooden columns: those on the SE and NW seem to predate the 1774 rebuilding (the latter has a pewGlossary Term door dated 1700); the cross galleryGlossary Term only became practicable after the roof was raised. - Box pews throughout; one left of the pulpitGlossary Term has a door with the date 1650. - Brass to Edward Aspinwall, d. 1656, originally set in the floor, now on the SW wall. Just an inscription. - Monuments: several late 18th century and early 19th century tablets, including Alice Kennion, d. 1813, signed by B. Baker. Early C20 meeting room, etc., NW of the chapel. - Attractive graveyard, with a mid-19th century classicalGlossary Term arcadeGlossary Term on the NE side, paid for by Richard Vaughan Yates of Prince's Park fame, who is buried here. Nearer Park Road is the grave of the cartographer Richard Horwood, with an inscription referring to his exceptionally detailed 1803 map of Liverpool."



Series of arches supported by piers or columns (compare colonnade). Blind arcade or arcading: the same applied to the wall surface. Wall arcade: in medieval churches, a blind arcade forming a dado below windows. Also a covered shopping street.


Types include: Basket arch or Anse de Panier (French, lit. basket handle): three-centred and depressed, or with a flat centre. Chancel: dividing chancel from nave or crossing in a church. Crossing: spanning piers at a crossing in a church. Depressed or three-centred: with a rounded top, but curving inward more at the sides. Four-centred: with four arcs, the lower two curving inward more than the upper, with a blunt central point; typical of late medieval English architecture. Jack arch: shallow segmental vault springing from beams, used for fireproof floors, bridge decks, etc. Ogee (adjective ogival): a pointed arch with a double reverse curve, especially popular in the 14th century; a nodding ogee curves forward from the wall face at the top. Parabolic: shaped like a chain suspended from two level points, but inverted. Relieving or discharging: incorporated in a wall to relieve superimposed weight. Shouldered: with arcs in each corner and a flat centre or lintel. Skew: spanning responds not diametrically opposed. Stilted: with a vertical section above the impost i.e. the horizontal moulding at the springing. Strainer: inserted in an opening to resist inward pressure. Three-centred: see Depressed, above. Transverse: spanning a main axis (e.g. of a vaulted space). Triumphal arch: influential type of Imperial Roman monument, free-standing, with a square attic or top section and broad sections to either side of the main opening, often with lesser openings or columns. Tudor: with arcs in each corner joining straight lines to the central point. Two-centred: the simplest kind of pointed arch.


A term used for the architecture of Ancient Greece and Rome, revived at the Renaissance and subsequently imitated around the Western world. It uses a range of conventional forms, the roots of which are the orders, or types of column each with its fixed proportions and ornaments (especially Doric, Ionic and Corinthian). Classical buildings tend also to be symmetrical, both externally and on plan. Classical architecture in England began c. 1530 with applied ornamental motifs, followed within a few decades by fully-fledged new buildings.


Peaked external wall at the end of a double-pitch roof. Types include: Dutch gable, with curved sides crowned by a pediment (also called a Flemish gable); kneelered gable, with sides rising from projecting stones (kneelers); pedimental gable, with classical mouldings along the top; shaped gable, with curved sides; tumbled gable, with courses or brick or stonework laid at right-angles to the slope. Also (Scots) a whole end wall, of whatever shape.


A long room or passage; an upper storey above the aisles of a church, looking through arches to the nave; a balcony or mezzanine overlooking the main interior space of a building; or an external walkway.


A upper room or floor, especially within a roof space; also, a gallery in a church.


Loosely, seating for the laity outside the chancel; strictly, an enclosed seat. A box pew is enclosed by a high wooden back and ends, the latter having doors. Churchwarden’s pew: an especially tall or elaborate pew for use by the churchwarden, usually placed at the west end of a church.


Raised and enclosed platform for the preaching of sermons. Three-decker: with reading desk below and clerk’s desk below that. Two-decker: as above, minus the clerks’ desk.


(Scots): A rounded bartizan or turret, usually roofless. An angle round is set at a corner.