Hopton Chapel

 The photograph above was taken in 2004

Hopton Chapel  c1910

And this one around 1910

After you have logged on as a registered user, there will be a + sign at the end of the menu item and clicking on the + will show a menu off this one named 'Hopton Chapel Downloads' and selecting this allows the download of the Excel file of burials conducted at the chapel.

Sandra Stocks writes:- Hopton Congregational Chapel was founded in 1662 by Richard Thorpe who held meetings in his dining room at Hopton Hall, being granted a licence to preach at his house in 1672 and ordained as a Nonconformist minister in 1676. 

Meetings were later held at cottages on Chapel Hill, Hopton and in 1689 a licence was granted to hold meetings at the house of Michael Sheard of Hopton. 

After Richard Thorpe’s death in 1713 there was no regular meeting house.  Subscription to build a chapel started in 1732 and the chapel was built at the corner of Hopton Lane and Hopton Hall Lane in 1733 at a cost of £115, and held 200 people.  A Manse was later built behind the chapel.

Original Hopton Chapel

                            The Original Hopton Chapel

Burials at the Old Chapel on Hopton Lane

The first recorded burial at Hopton Congregational Chapel was Luke Sheard in 1736 in the grounds of the Old Manse.  The last record we have found of a burial in this section was Charles Wooler in 1879, buried in a family grave.  The Reverend Jonathan Toothill, Minister at the chapel for 57 years, is buried at this site.  His memorial was provided by the Chapel congregation as a mark of their respect and affection.  Interestingly, the memorial records his name as Toothhill although he had always signed his name Toothill.

Known burials at the site of the old Congregational chapel date from 1816 with Bathsheba Walker, at which time the chapel was still in use so may have been within the church itself.  Previous burials may have been at this site but there are a number of entries in the burial book with no grave reference.  The last burial on the site of the chapel was Elizabeth Dawson, buried with her parents in 1893.

A new burial ground was opened on land adjacent to the old Congregational chapel. The first known burial in this section being that of William Crowther Wooler, aged 3, in 1824.  The last burial here was Hannah Stancliffe Waddington, aged 96, buried in her husband’s grave in 1959.  All three burial grounds are now on private land.

The move to Lower Hopton

Within 100 years, the congregation had outgrown the old chapel and a new chapel was built at Calder Road, opening on 18 September 1829 with the capacity to seat 600 people.  A separate school building was built to the rear and was used as both a day school and Sunday school between 1845 and 1909.  A link was built between the Chapel and the school, adding two classrooms.

In 1884, the old Chapel and Manse at Hopton Hall Lane were demolished and a new Manse built in their place but the old burial ground was retained and continued to be used occasionally until the twentieth centuary. This new Manse was sold in 1950 and is now a private residence as is the location of the old burial ground, the plan of which is now incorporated into the downloadable spreadsheet.

A separate Sunday school was built to the side of the new Chapel before 1893 but fell into disrepair and was demolished in the late 1980s.

The church became a United Reformed Church in 1972, but closed as a place of worship in December 2006, with the last service being held on 17 December and the doors closing for the final time on New Year’s Day 2007.  It is now a private residence with the graveyard and Garden of Rest accessible to the public.

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