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Council must take action to save Dewsbury’s cemetery chapels

The Victorian Society is calling on Kirklees Borough Council to mark the 150th anniversary of Dewsbury Cemetery by securing the future of its grade II-listed chapels.

Courtesy of Betty Longbottom

The Grade II-listed twin chapels have stood empty for many years and are now in an advanced state of dereliction. Both have been targeted by vandals in the past, and holes in the roof mean the decay gets worse with every rainfall.

'We are calling on Kirklees Council to mark the chapels' 150th anniversary by securing the future of these nationally significant buildings', said Edmund Harris, Churches Conservation Adviser for the Victorian Society. 'The cemetery chapels are an important part of Dewsbury's social and religious history and should be restored.'

He added, 'Cemetery chapels are notoriously hard to find new uses for, but that's not to say it can't be done; the two chapels at Batley cemetery have now reopened as a successful community centre and internet café.'

The Non-conformist and Anglican chapels at the cemetery on Temple Road were designed by Jeremiah Marriott & Son in 1859. They were recently nominated for the Victorian Society's Top Ten Endangered Buildings campaign.

The Dewsbury Cemetery Action Group, which has campaigned for the buildings since 1997, wants to see one chapel back in use for funerals and services, with the other converted to a small visitor centre and café.

Tuesday 10 August, 2010

More recent item: Early London Board School listed at Grade II
Earlier item: Concern over 'damaging' plans for former Mechanics Institute

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