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."


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