Greater Manchester Gothic chapels designed by Alfred Waterhouse, architect of the Natural History Museum, in very dire state
National architecture charity the Victorian Society has included two 19th century cemetery chapels in Ince-in-Makerfield on its 2017 Top 10 Endangered Buildings list. The Top 10 campaign, now in its tenth year, recognises the plight of endangered Victorian and Edwardian buildings in England and Wales in the hope that increased publicity will help save them.
On the road on the approach into Ince-in-Makerfield, a small town near Wigan, you pass Ince Cemetery. At the entrance is the old cemetery Lodge, Grade II-listed and charmingly restored. If only the same could be said for the two chapels found in the cemetery itself; also Grade II-listed, they were designed by Alfred Waterhouse, the architect of the Natural History Museum. Waterhouse won the commission as part of a competition and designed two small Gothic chapels, which unlike the adjoining Lodge, have been left empty and boarded up for many years. The council is currently looking at costing some temporary, short-term repair works, but the long term future for these beautiful chapels remains decidedly bleak.
Christopher Costelloe, Victorian Society Director, said: "It was quite a discovery to find two chapels designed by Alfred Waterhouse in a Lancashire cemetery, but such a disappointment to see the state they're in. Both were listed in the 1980s for their architectural and historical significance, but that could be lost forever if action is not taken directly. If restored, both chapels would be a charming addition to the cemetery and something for Ince-in-Makerfield to be proud of."