Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rothwell Congregational Sunday School

There I was in Christine's Book Cabin. They had a book on Rothwell Congregational Church, so I had to buy it.

When I was there a couple of weeks ago I was taken by the Sunday school that stands next to the church, though I felt there was something a little home-made about it.

I may have been on to something. For the book, Memorials of the Independent Chapel at Rothwell by G.T. Streather, says:
After all the heartaches and attendant problems which had led the way, a new block of buildings for use as a Sunday School and general purposes had finally been erected. Amid great rejoicing these well-built spacious rooms, designed by Mr William Dawkins, the church organist, had come to fruition.

Built on two levels, the entrance to the upper room was about ten-feet from the south-east corner of the Church. The entrance to the lower room was from Gas Street, as Meeting Lane had then become. Direct communication between the two levels was not made at that time.
Or perhaps I am being unfair to Mr Dawkins as he was a stonemason in his day job. A genealogy site records that he was the organist at the Congregational Church for 36 years and died in 1890 aged 66.

The Sunday School was opened on Good Friday 1886, but the book says that Rothwell Independent Church already existed in embryo form as early as 1655.


Lang Rabbie said...

Possibly not down to bodged building works but to non-conformist thrift?

I can distantly recall from equally worthy histories of methodist congregations that such buildings were partly funded by cheap (but not interest free!) loans from better-off members of the congregation)
Might the ground floor have been let to a commercial tenant for the first ten years or so to provide income to pay off the building loan, and the stairs only built when this came to an end?

ididnotkilljfk said...

Er not wanting to rain on anyones parade but given the slope from the church enterance down to Meeting Lane the design was a sterling job, and like so many victorian builds the frontage is of a significantly betterquality brick than the other sides.

the man from evison road