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Report - Dartford Workhouse Chapel - January 2013

Apollo

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
History

Scraped together from S K Keyes 'Dartford Historical Notes' (1933), Dartford Hospital Histories and Heritage Gateway.

The foundation stone was laid on 13th October 1877, and the chapel opened just under six months later, on 11th April 1878, superseding one previously accommodated in the main workhouse.

The west bellcote once housed two stained glass windows designed and manufactured by the renowned Charles Eamer Kempe, which were donated by nearby Holy Trinity Church as a gift to the workhouse. ‘St Michael’ was destroyed in the early hours of 5th September 1940, when a high-explosive bomb fell on the adjacent hospital, killing twenty-two patients and two nurses, Sisters Beryl Ruth Sinclair and Mary Jane Moore. ‘St Gabriel’ was removed upon the closure of the chapel in 1998, and today resides two miles away in Darent Valley Hospital, having been blessed by the Rt Revd Dr Brian Castle, Bishop of Tonbridge on 5th February 2010.

Several years ago, the chapel was hit by a devastating fire, destroying its roof, and leaving the internal structure exposed to the elements.

Exploration

I must have walked past this building hundreds of times and had always been meaning to take a look inside. The chapel is surrounded by offices, homes and a playground, which made me wary. I finally plucked up the courage to make a visit. This is my first report, so apologies for any poor or jittery photos. Your comments and criticism are most welcome.

1FrontviewshowstheoriginalplacementoftheKempewindowStGabrielnowintheDarentValleyHosp_zpsa7c307ca.gif


elViewshowstheoriginalplacementoftheKempewindowStGabrielnowintheDarentValleyHospital_zps0342c595.gif


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WestHillChapelafterrenovation1959_zps521d5fb2.gif



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Thanks for looking!
 

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