Local BBC Sites

Page last updated at 14:49 GMT, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 15:49 UK
Ancient chapel opens to public
Ancient Chapel of Toxteth, Liverpool
The Grade I listed building was built by Puritans living in Toxteth Park

The oldest dissenting chapel in Liverpool, the Toxteth Unitarian Chapel, will open to the public as part of Heritage Open Days 2010.

Originally built as a school in 1611, the Grade I listed building was built by local Puritan farmers who later added a chapel in 1618.

After falling into disrepair the chapel was partly rebuilt in 1774 since then the congregation has been Unitarian.

The chapel will open on 11-12 September for Heritage Open Days.

The Toxteth chapel congregation has had a number of significant Liverpool citizens as members.

Jeremiah Horrox, the astronomer was born in Toxteth Park in 1619 and was the first astronomer to predict and chart the transit of Venus across the Sun revolutionising astronomy in 1639. A special plaque in the chapel pays tribute to him.

Ancient Chapel of Toxteth, Liverpool
Services still take place at the chapel every two weeks

George Holt, the cotton broker, and his wife Emma Durning are both buried in The Colybarium within the chapel grounds, where the wealthiest members of the congregation were buried.

Members of the Rathbone family and the Melly family, both prominent families in Liverpool during the 1800s are also buried here.

Heritage Open Days celebrates England's architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission.

For more information on events happening in and around Merseyside visit the Heritage Open Days website.


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific