The Samuel Worth Chapel

  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © Alex Quant
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © John Cunnington
  • © Janet Ridler
  • © Janet Ridler

Application Type

AABC Conservation

Level of Award

Commendation

Region

Yorkshire & Humberside

Local Authority Area

Sheffield

Information about this scheme

The Sheffield General Cemetery opened in 1836, making it a rare survivor amongst the few early commercial cemeteries in England. It is a comparatively small cemetery, only five acres originally and is an extraordinary feat of landscape and building engineering, completed in just two years between 1834 and1836. Built in a former quarry on a north facing, shaded slope, it is located at the side of the Porter Brook, a power source for early industry but harnessed here as a powerful symbolic element in Samuel Worth’s extraordinary “visionary citadel for the dead". At the centre of the composition stands Worth’s monumental Egypto-Greek, Doric Chapel, constructed of huge Derbyshire Gritstone blocks and descending as far into the ground as it stands above, at its lowest level concealing a hidden “master” vault, on the old quarry floor, around eight metres below the chapel floor. The Samuel Worth Chapel is a grade II* listed building, which had been on the Heritage At Risk Register since 1988. The cemetery is no longer in use and by the late 20th Century it had fallen into a serious state of dereliction, this nonconformist Chapel had been vandalised and boarded up, the windows filled with concrete blockwork to protect the remains of the original cast-iron windows and the doors removed and opening blocked, unused for over fifty years. The project involved the restoration of the building with the introduction of new services (water, electricity and drainage), fabric repairs and new facilities to enable its use for a wide variety of community activities.

Credits

Client

Sheffield General Cemetery Trust

Conservation Architect

Walker Cunnington Architects

Project Manager

South Yorkshire Building Preservation Trust

Main Contractor

Paul Mendham Stonemasons Ltd

Ecologist

Ecus Environmental Consultants

CDMC

Temple Safety Ltd

Funding Partner

The Challenge Fund administered by The Architectural Heritage Fund

Funding Partner

WREN

Specialist Sub-Contractor

Ridgeway Forge

Specialist Sub-Contractor

Stephen Hunter Stained Glass

Other

Russell Light (Architectural Design Concept)

Primary Use Class

Class D2 - Assembly and Leisure