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Providence Chapel
Former Providence Chapel, Hadlow Down (June 2015) (2).JPG
The former chapel from the south
50°59′45″N 0°10′54″E / 50.9958°N 0.1816°E / 50.9958; 0.1816Coordinates: 50°59′45″N 0°10′54″E / 50.9958°N 0.1816°E / 50.9958; 0.1816
Location Main Road, Hadlow Down, East Sussex TN22 4HJ
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Independent Calvinistic
History
Status Former chapel
Founded 1824
Founder(s) Henry Smith
Architecture
Functional status Residential conversion
Heritage designation Grade II
Designated 31 December 1982
Style Classical
Completed 1849
Closed 1993

Providence Chapel is a former independent Calvinistic place of worship in the village of Hadlow Down in Wealden, one of six local government districts in the English county of East Sussex. Although built in 1849, the chapel can trace its origins to the founding in 1824 of an Independent place of worship in the village (pre-dating the local Anglican church by 12 years). The new building was in religious use for nearly 150 years, but storm damage led to its closure and conversion into a private dwelling in 1993—although its former graveyard survives. The chapel is a Grade II Listed building.

History

The village of Hadlow Down is situated on high ground in the Sussex Weald between Buxted (2.75 miles (4.4 km) to the west) and Heathfield. Its first Anglican church, dedicated to St Mark, was built in 1836, and a parish was created from parts of Buxted and Mayfield parishes the following year. The first place of worship in the village was, however, founded 12 years earlier. In 1824, Henry Smith—a local builder and Wesleyan Methodist—built an independent nonconformist chapel for the use of local Dissenters, principally Baptists. In 1849, it was replaced by the present building. This was recorded in the religious census of Sussex in 1851, for which the return (compiled by the chapel's trustee Benjamin Austen) stated there was accommodation for 600 worshippers and that typical Sunday attendance was 300 adults and 350–450 Sunday school children. The chapel was registered for marriages on 26 January 1876, and its denomination was recorded as "Calvinistic Baptist" in 1882.

The chapel was still used for worship until the late 20th century, but it was severely damaged in the devastating Great Storm of 1987. It closed soon after this and was converted into a house in 1996.

Providence Chapel was designated a Grade II Listed building on 31 December 1982.

Architecture

Providence Chapel is a square two-storey building of red and grey/blue brick with some Classical features such as a pediment and pilasters. The three-bay façade has two sash windows (originally blank recesses) on the ground floor and three above. The ground-floor windows flank a double doorway topped with a rounded fanlight. Above the upper windows is an open-based pediment with pilasters at each side; these are of red brick with wide grey stone quoins. The front wall is of red brick; at the side, there are alternate layers of red and glazed grey/blue bricks. The pediment has a circular stone motif bearing the text providence chapel, 1849 and j.h.| m. (referring to "James Hallett, Minister", who led the congregation at the time the chapel opened).

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