Chapel History

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The following gallery of images is from the book BANK STREET CHAPEL, BOLTON, BI-CENTENARY COMMEMORATION, 1696 – 1896.

Bank St Chapel was founded in 1672 on Deansgate, in Bolton town centre, and the plaque below is situated between two pillars – the two nearest to the reader – on the corner of Mealhouse Lane.


The congregation moved from Deansgate to Bank Street in 1696. The present Bank Street Chapel building was built in 1856.

Many members of Bank Street Unitarian Chapel have engaged with the world, with many progressive causes and service projects beginning here.

The first two mayors of Bolton were members of the Chapel.

  • Charles James Darbishire, was the first Mayor of the Municipal Borough of Bolton. He was a Liberal, and served one term, from 1838 to 1839; he was born in 1797 and died in 1874.
  • Robert Heywood was a Liberal, and held office from 1839 to 1840. He was born in 1786 and died in 1868. He was the father of John Heywood, who was Mayor of Bolton from  1903–05

In addition, many members were Suffragettes and trade unionists.

More recently, Fort Alice Hostel, Bolton Interfaith Council, and Bolton Street Angels can all trace their histories to this community.

If you would like to be shown around the Chapel, please visit us on Thursday mornings at 10:30 am, when we hold our brunch cafe, or on Sunday  mornings, from around 10:45, when we have our Sunday Services.

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