Measham Baptist Church
HISTORIC England List UID: 1307227
The Baptists in Measham had a chapel founded in 1811 which was subsequently rebuilt in 1841.
According to an account of Protestant Nonconformity in Woodville, Netherseal and Overseal on the Leicestershire History website, the General Baptist Chapel in Measham was founded in 1811. However, in 1840, the congregation united with that at Netherseal, and the return to the Religious Census of 1851 (HO 129/414/1/6/16) reflects the larger Chapel which was built in Measham in 1841.
The Chapel is a red brick, Flemish bond, with stone pediment cornice, stone 1st floor sill band to front and stone sills. Brick eaves cornice to sides and gauged brick round arched lintels. Slate roof. Two storeys of 3 small-paned round arched windows: gable end forms large pediment over all. Originally there was a doorway in each side. Central door, (The entrance to the chapel was moved in 1972 to create a central doorway), formerly window, of two leaves with large over light, upper part curved with segmental arch over. Either side a window with round arched heads and stucco sills replace the two doors formerly there. On left side three windows and on right four windows: upper right blocked and twentieth century door and window beneath. A nineteenth century extension to rear of lesser interest.
Interior: gallery to three sides on slender iron columns, 4th side later. Box pews possibly altered. Date: tablet in pediment: Baptist Chapel 1841.
A place of worship, with free sittings for 200, and 400 "other" sittings, and the estimated congregation on March 30th 1841 was 210 in the morning, and 380 to evening service, with 137 Sunday Scholars at morning class. The return was completed by George Staples, who described himself as "Baptist Minister", with an address of "Measham, Derbyshire". Measham and the joint townships of Oakthorpe and Donisthorpe were formerly in Derbyshire, but became part of Leicestershire in 1897.
Maps of 1881-1883 show there was a burial ground in front of the Chapel. Trees planted within the ground have been pollarded, giving it a rakish, but attractive appearance.
Our organ which has not seen use for some years has recently generated interest amongst organ enthusiasts.
We were privileged to hear it played on Wednesday 14th March 2018 when a research student from York University visited to view the instrument. It appears that the organ originally installed in 1860 was the work of a York organ builder by the name of Robert Postill who is renowned for his quality workmanship.
Further research is needed to establish if there are links to the organ that is housed within Derby Cathedral.