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Benjamin Biddlecombe's Tomb

Benjamin's is the only surviving marked grave on the chapel site

The Baptistry

Most Baptists require that a baptism is done as an adult, or at least at an age where a person can make a conscious profession of their faith. Traditionally, it is done by full immersion and the chapel has a large baptistry to meet that need.


As part of our building works it was filled in with loose bricks and sand before capping it with concrete. Teak parquet flooring from the lobby was used to match it into the existing floor. A detail in the layout of the parquet gives a clue as to its position. 


The Graveyard

There are at least 481 graves on the chapel's site. As all but one are now un-marked, it is not obvious that the land around the chapel is in fact a graveyard.

174 of the graves are children (36%), a testament to the high infant mortality of the time.

You can find out more on the link below which includes the transcribed burial register as an Excel spreadsheet or, in future, via the onsite interpretation panels that we are producing thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Keeping warm

Near the fruit and veg you will see a patch in the flooring. This indicates the position of the hearth for the cast iron stove that was used to heat the chapel (shown below).

Part of our building works included the removal of the stove's asbestos flue pipe that remained in the loft space above the retail area.


Today our shop is largely unheated as it keeps food fresher and customers typically are dressed for the weather. What heating we have is provided by efficient air source heat pumps powered by our solar system..

Fireguard made by Mark Read.jpg

The Bricked up Windows

Window tax was introduced by Willian III to offset the revenue lost due to the clipping of coinage. A motion to repeal of the tax failed by three votes in April 1850. The tax was finally repealed in 1851.

It seems our chapel still had all of its windows in the painting circa 1860 below so it is unlikely window tax was the reason that the two lancet windows on the front facade were bricked up.

They are more likely to have been bricked up to facilitate the addition of the mezzanine and its staircase or to reduce costs when the window frames needed replacing.


1860                                                        1908

EBBC 1960.jpg
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